This course is about preparing to quit drinking alcohol.
Most people fail within the first few days of their quit because they don't prepare properly. Quitting drinking is more than just not putting the alcohol into your mouth, that's only the first step.
People who successfully quit alcohol know that to stay away from this poison in the long term means rebuilding or regenerating your life. This course prepares you for that rebuild.
You don't need any special skills or knowledge to take this course. You do need to apply yourself to all the steps provided.
The course is laid out step by step, so all you have to do is follow along.
What is a habit? How a habit is constructed or de-constructed? How does this all relate to your stopping drinking alcohol?
What are your real needs? Do you need to relax, socialize, and have fun, or are there much deeper needs that you need to fulfill?
This tutorial will give you a better understanding of how so many areas of our lives are affected by achieving or not achieving our most basic needs.
Maslow’s theory on needs gives us a pretty good benchmark for figuring out not only why we drink, but why we do most anything in this life. Understanding these things lets us see where we might have gone wrong, and more importantly, where we might start working to put things right.
Abraham Maslow said, "I suppose it’s tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything like it’s a nail.” Using alcohol to sleep, relax, socialize, whatever the benefit you’re aiming at, is like using a hammer to knock a screw into a piece of wood. You seem to have achieved a shortcut but in end all you've done is ruin the screw and the wood.
Who are you as an alcohol user? Who do you want to be once you stop using? How you view yourself is massive, it’s huge, it’s the deal maker or the deal breaker. What you believe about yourself, plays a much bigger part in who you are than what you do. What you believe directs all your thinking. Your thinking directs all your action.
How much control you have? What is your locus of control and how does that determine how you deal with your habitual behavior?
Your control lies very much in your mind. Not only does it reside there, it’s shaped and consolidated there. That shaping can be positive or negative. You can choose to believe in your ultimate control of life, your responsibility for the rights and wrongs, or you can choose to believe that your path and journey are set using forces which are beyond your control. This tutorial is a look at how you can learn to be helpless.
How much control do you have over your life? How much control do you have over the people around you, your environment, and you mind?
Where should you direct your focus when you are quitting drinking alcohol?
We normally think about skills as something to do with learning the piano, as a part of our jobs or businesses, and so on. But it’s more than that. A skill is anything that takes a certain amount of knowledge to do and that you can develop over time and with practice. The two forms of learning are acquiring the knowledge and putting that knowledge into practice.
This is a recap of the main points in this section.
What is preparation? What is it not?
Why do you need to prepare? Isn't it just better to dive right in and just stop drinking?
Keeping things as simple as possible is important. Keeping things simple allows you to put your focus where it is going to be best served. With that in mind, here's a very basic set of tools for your new journey.
Here's a rundown of what you can expect from the rest of this course.
How long should the preparation stage of stop drinking alcohol last?
Regardless of how much time you spend in thinking about the preparation, what you learn about preparing yourself and planning what to do next, it will come to nothing if you don't take the next step: action.
This is a recap of the main points in this section.
Why should you get to know yourself? Why put in the effort?
Get to know your past alcohol thinking. Answer questions like:
How has alcohol affected your thinking and your physical well-being?
How has your thinking affected your drinking?
Did you like drinking when you first started?
What were your perceptions about drinking alcohol when you first started?
How often have you failed to do something that you should have done because of your drinking?
Get to know your present alcohol thinking. We'll look at questions like:
What kind of behavior do you exhibit before you have been drinking?
What kind of behavior do you exhibit during your drinking?
What kind of behavior do you exhibit after you’ve been drinking?
What do you think about before/during/and after your drinking?
Get to know your future alcohol thinking. We'll look at questions like:
How do you see your future if you don't stop using alcohol?
How did I see my future if I did stop using alcohol?
Get to know your alcohol drinking environment. We'll look at questions like:
How does your drinking affect your environment?
How does your environment affect your drinking?
Get to know the people in your life in relation to alcohol drinking. We'll look at questions like:
How have the people in your life affected your drinking?
How has your drinking affected the people in your life?
Why is it so important to focus on building the new rather than on destroying the old?
Let's take a general look at what behaviors and habits you'd like to see in your life.
What new behaviors and habits are you going to pursue?
It's all very well talking about establishing new habits, bringing new behaviors into our lives, but how exactly do we do that? Isn't it hard to get rid of an old habit or bring in a new habit? That's where habit chaining comes in.
How can you deal with overwhelm of reaching that one big goal?
If you choose the wrong target for your goals, no matter how much you try to stay motivated and on track, you will find it very difficult once you come to roadblocks or tough parts of the journey. It makes much more sense to choose your goals wisely, to choose SMART goals.
Which areas of your life should you be planning goals for? You are re-planning your life, where can you find balance?
There’s a time thinking and there’s a time for action.
If you want to succeed, you have to put up with discomfort and uncertainty. We also have to acknowledge that there’s a possibility that we’ll get it wrong. How do you overcome this? What do you do in the face of a potential setback?
This is a recap of the Setting Your New Goals section.
Your preparation has to have a time frame. We can get so caught up in the process of preparing to stop drinking that never step over that starting line to actually doing it. Procrastination can be a big issue when you’re trying to do something that might cause you some discomfort. This is why it's so important to set a specific timeframe for your preparation.
How can you cement your commitment and increase the chances that your goal intentions are going to bear fruit? The answer is implementation intentions, otherwise known as if/then statements.
The biggest obstacle you will ever face is your own mind. Let's look at a couple of mindsets.
How do you move your focus away from alcohol in the heat of the moment?
This is one of the best inspirational tricks you can implement on your new alcohol-free journey.
Keeping track of what your thoughts are, where you're going, and what you've done is important.
Mantras and affirmations are sentences of your own choosing that you repeat to yourself over and over again. They are self-directed reprogramming of your mind.
One of the largest influences on your habit is going to be your environment, it’s one of your biggest triggers. So, you’re much more likely to change your behaviors if you change your environment.
How to prepare for the temptations or triggers that you’ll encounter in your wider environment.
You have the least control over the people in your life because they can react. Pure and simple. How do you prepare the people you love to accept the changes you're about to make? How do you make sure they give you their best support?
How to deal with everyone else, your colleagues at work, your old drinking buddies, the more distant members of your family. Do you try to get them on your side? How much do you tell them? How do you explain what you're doing?
I used to be your typical Irish drinker. As an alcohol user for over 30 years, I always believed that alcohol was a part of my identity, my culture, and my life. Like so many others, I regarded my own lack of control to be at the root of my alcohol problems. After several unsuccessful attempts at moderation, I came to the conclusion that the trouble lay within myself, not the alcohol, and that I was an alcoholic. Life was not looking too good. My health was suffering, the hangovers were increasing in duration and intensity, I was unfit, overweight, and wasting away in general.
But the most of my pain came from realizing that my drinking was making me a terrible role model for my teenage son. Everything else I could handle, leading my son down the same destructive path that I had taken was very difficult to live with. With that devastating realization, my decision to stop was immediate and permanent.
My message, and that of my website - alcoholmastery.com, is straightforward: quitting alcohol is simple, you just don't put any more alcohol into your mouth. For most people, the difficulty in quitting is not in the withdrawal, the recovery, or the addiction. The difficulty is in how to live an alcohol free life. How do you fill the behavioral vacuum that drinking alcohol used to fill? How do you celebrate without raising the toast or getting drunk? How do you find enjoyment without using alcohol? How do you refrain from drinking while everyone else is devouring the stuff? How can you ever be happy as a non-alcohol-user?
It's not as difficult as you might imagine. You weren't born with the alcohol thirst, you’ve learned it. The secret to successfully quitting alcohol is as simple as learning a few new skills, learning more desirable ways of thinking and dealing with your life. Step by step, and day by day, you re-engineer the changes for a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life.
My style of teaching is to break down complex ideas into a no-nonsense, straight talking, and down to earth approach. My up-front coaching style is developed around breaking down your alcohol perceptions, rethinking your relationship with alcohol and its use within our society. I can’t promise you an easy ride, but I will deliver genuine step by step strategies that you can implement in your life right now.
You can find my weekly self-help videos, shot while hiking through the hills of Alicante, Spain, at the website Alcohol Mastery. I also host the weekly Alcohol Mastery Podcast.