How’re you doing? I’m Kevin O’Hara for alcoholmastery.com.
Today’s video is about changing your alcohol drinking problem. You can also use these principles to change any bad habit in your life or set any good habit in your life. I hope you enjoy.
Today, I want to talk about 7 principles of changing your alcohol drinking problem.
The first one is that every single habit that you ever have in your life, including alcohol has 3 different components: the trigger, the behaviour and the reward.
You can change any of those things and you will start to change the habit.
A lot of the time with habits, they are subconscious.
You have to try and bring that subconscious habit up into your conscious awareness.
The trigger is the thing that sparks off the habit; maybe a thought, the environment, a person, it could be anything.
It’s something that triggers the thought to drink.
The thought to drink just doesn’t come out of thin air.
You have to figure out where that trigger is coming from.
The behaviour itself is the drinking.
Or whatever it is you’re doing, smoking or bad eating or whatever.
The reward is what you’re getting out of it.
For a lot of people, the reward for drinking might be to relax, to get drunk, to get out of your face, to socialise, whatever it is.
That is the ultimate reward you’re trying to get.
Many of these rewards are to do with the emotional rewards.
So you attach this to an emotional feeling.
You can change any habit, including drinking alcohol, by keeping the reward, and just changing the behaviour.
For instance let’s say that finishing work is a trigger for drinking.
That was one of my biggest triggers.
The reward was relaxation and curing my thirst.
I didn’t realise that was what I was doing until I stopped drinking.
I realised that most of the trigger and behaviour was because I was thirsty and not drinking enough water during the day.
By the time evening came, I was dehydrated.
So, in order to change the behaviour, I drank water and got the same rewards.
The trigger is thirst, the behaviour is drink water, the reward is quenching the thirst.
If you’re drinking to relax, you can keep the trigger and you can do meditation or go out walking.
There are many different things you can do to relax without taking the poison into your body.
At the end of the day, the reward is actually better.
Number 3 is that once you change your fundamental habit like drinking alcohol, it becomes a keystone habit.
In other words, what you’re doing with one behaviour has a knock-on effect into other behaviours.
For me, drinking included smoking, junk food, not exercising and many other different behaviours that were attached to this one thing.
Once I took alcohol out of the equation, it also had this knock-on effect on other areas of my life.
I’d already stopped smoking a year before, thankfully.
I started thinking about how I was exercising, how I was thinking, what I was eating and how I was spending my time and money.
All these things, just having that one keystone habit had such an effect with so many other different things I did in my life.
The 4th thing is that, I’m not such a great believer in willpower.
I think that once you get momentum, you don’t need so much willpower.
Your commitment and persistence will help you out; it’s going to do a lot of the work for you.
In the beginning, you need willpower to stop yourself from going out to buy alcohol.
It’s one of the pieces of advice I give to people.
Get rid of the alcohol and all the paraphernalia out of your house.
Once you’ve done that, then you need to use your willpower to stop you from going down to the shops.
You can use your willpower strategically.
Willpower is like a muscle.
You can exert it so much.
Eventually you won’ be able to use it as much.
Willpower is like a muscle, you can only use it so much before it starts to tire.
So, you have to be smart about how you use it.
Get rid of all the shit in your house.
If you’re having a craving, don’t sit there and dwell on it.
That’s using up valuable willpower.
Get up and change your environment.
Do something different.
Get your mind away from the thoughts around drinking.
There are many things you can do that uses your willpower to kick-start you into changing your environment and so on.
Number 5 is to try and plan as much as you can in the early days.
This is what I’m talking about with preparation.
I think it’s one of the most essential things you can do.
When you’re thinking about your triggers, the behaviour and how it unfolds, and your rewards, and how you can replace the behaviour but still keep the rewards.
You can think about how to change the actual triggers.
Change the rewards.
Amplify the rewards.
You’re trying to avoid or exchange the triggers.
You’re thinking of what to do in certain situations.
You’re thinking about as many different aspects of this as you can.
I have a course on the website about this.
It’s called How To Prepare To Quit Drinking Alcohol.
It goes through a lot of different areas, like how to set up your day to quit, what’s the best way of thinking about this, how to overcome obstacles and so on.
Anyway, preparation is one of the best things you can do, having a plan for different eventualities.
When you know certain things are going to come on, have a plan for them.
I’ve said this before, because I’ve stopped drinking now and my life is going in a really good direction, sometimes I slip back into some of my old patterns when I go back to Ireland for instance, or when I go on my vacations.
I don’t really plan, and that’s something I have to get a grip on.
I have to spend half an hour just planning out these things: how to eat, get exercise, get proper sleep.
All of that adds up to a general feeling of wellbeing.
That’s what I want.
You want that feeling of wellbeing to be as high as possible when you’re in these circumstances.
Holidays, time with family, these are all special occasions.
For me, I just have to start putting in the effort to plan those things.
Planning is a good thing when you want to quit.
The next one is to believe in yourself. Believe that you can do this.
All habit change starts in your brain and ends up in your brain.
Everything you do starts out as a thought.
You have to be careful about what you’re thinking.
Try and be as positive as you can.
Self-belief is another skill you can learn.
A lot of people that come into this quitting drinking, they lack self-belief.
They come to places like alcohol mastery because they don’t know how to do things or how to be without alcohol.
That’s hopefully what they learn while here through the videos.
Not only can you learn how to be without alcohol, but being without alcohol, that life is ten times better than it will ever be with alcohol.
So you really have to build that wall of self-belief around yourself, that nothing can get through that.
Build that level of faith in yourself and your own abilities.
That comes with time, but fake it until you make it.
The final thing is that the people you surround yourself with…there’s an old saying that you can tell a lot about a person by the five closest people that are around them.
That goes for the people you surround yourself with.
If you’re a drinker, you’re going to surround yourself with other drinkers.
Any habit is likely to happen within a community of like-minded people.
You’re likely to develop bad habits in a community of likeminded people.
You’re also likely to develop good habits in a community of like-minded people.
Unfortunately, we had to close the Facebook page because it wasn’t going in the direction I wanted it to.
But I’m working on a second edition, and I’m working on getting it up and running as soon as possible.
It will be on the website and hopefully we can get more people on it.
It’s going to be a community where we help each other as much as possible, not just with quitting alcohol, but with moving forward in life.
I’m really looking forward to putting this together and starting out. Look out for that.
I’ll leave it there.
I hope you got something out of that.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section.
If you want to sign up for the Quit Drinking starter pack which has 3 different courses and books, and other bits and pieces, come on over to the website and leave your email address and I’ll send it to you.
If you want to help us out on Patreon, go to patreon.com/alcoholmastery, and you can sign up to be a patreon. Until next time, stay safe and keep the alcohol out of your mouth.
FACE YOUR FEARS, LIVE YOUR DREAM.
Until next time…
Onwards and Upwards!