1. Start with your end outcome in mind. What does your ultimate relationship with alcohol look like? Is it no alcohol at all? Is it being able to have a drink on the weekend but not midweek? Is it being able to choose when you do or don't drink? Think long term rather than what you might need right now.
This step is crucial. If you can see there is an outcome you desire, you will be more motivated to take the necessary steps to get there.
2. Drop the all or nothing attitude. The alcohol reduction industry is the only industry that brings such an all or nothing approach and it's causing more harm than good. Aim to drink one less beverage next week and you'll be further on the journey than someone who fears not being able to stay sober so never starts.
3. If reducing your alcohol intake isn't working on your own, find support that aligns with you. There are so many companies, brands, apps and services that bring a unique approach. Gone are the days where alcohol reduction was reserved for AA meetings or Rehabilitation Clinics. Find an approach that brings you curiosity and interest. If you aren't enjoying your alcohol reduction journey, something is wrong.
4. You don't need to have a severe drinking issue to want to drink less. One of the biggest problems for people is feeling they aren't "that bad" when it comes to alcohol, so they sweep it under the rug. I've worked with clients who drink 2 bottles of wine a night and clients who don't drink more than one bottle a week. Both individuals have the right to choose to drink less.
5. Short sharp detoxes (3, 5, 7 days) are a great way to start. Give your body permission to experience life without alcohol and see what comes up. You'll surprise yourself with either, how well you can do or how much extra support you might need.
6. Listen to your body. If you feel great detoxing, take on that feedback from your body and continue the journey. If you feel terrible detoxing, take on that feedback from your body and seek professional support to take care of and give your body what it is asking for. Some of us feel fantastic the day we drink less. Some of us become aware of the emotional or physical pain our bodies have been feeling underneath alcohol.
7. If you are starting a detox, remove any alcohol from the house. It's hard enough sticking to your commitments as it is, let alone reaching into the fridge for the salad dressing and noticing it's behind a cold bottle of champagne or a 6 pack of beers.
8. Make small decisions that support your commitment to yourself. Pour out that bottle of red you've had in the cupboard for years. You're not wasting $30. You're investing $30 to feel sober and fresh for the night.