How to be positive while you are going through the journey of not drinking.
I used to smoke cigarettes. Mostly it was social smoking. It was times where I’d have a drink in one hand and a smoke in another. I tried to quit a few times - sometimes it was throwing the pack away and not being tempted to buy more or be around those who smoked and other times it was slowly cutting back. I was hard on myself when I started back up again or would give into the temptation and start to smoke more regularly again. But, finally I stopped and haven’t looked back.
I never really look at quitting as being an accomplished or something that I was successful with. But, I guess I should pat myself on the back on say that I’m a much healthier person for quitting when I did. Those few years that I tried to quit, I wasn’t successful at stopping. But, I was successful at being aware that it was something that I needed to change in my life.
Not drinking alcohol or being more mindful of my drinking was just like my journey to stopping to smoke cigarettes.
I call it a journey, because it didn’t happen overnight. It is a process! There may be times that you give into the urge or there may be moments when you think you can just have one drink and not just keep on drinking. However you handle your journey with not drinking alcohol, I believe that if you are aware that there is a problem and that you are aware that you want to stop it, that’s a great step in the right direction (or down the path) towards becoming the person you want to become.
Heather Dole, one of our guest bloggers and sober moms, from @HeatherDoleMA, talks about what it means to be successful. She talks about how you define your own success. Maybe you feel that being successful with not drinking alcohol means that you will never has a taste of it ever again in your life. While, others may define success as cutting back on how much alcohol you consume in a day. Your definition of success is unique to you and only you.
As a health coach, I would always remind my clients that the goals they make need to be achievable. And, Lisa, talks about setting goals in a blog she wrote for us here called Take Action on Your Goals. If you are going to set a goal that you feel you might not meet, you may want to consider setting a smaller goal to get you closer to your main goal. Setting something smaller will give you the strength to know that you can do something - no matter how small it is.
What does it mean to be successful?
Heather says this is a complicated question because a lot depends on what you think success means. What is your personal definition of success? Before you answer this make sure it really is your definition of success and not someone else’s. We are often influenced by others version of success like our parents, peers, or society’s.
Defining success means the achievement of a desired vision or goal.
Every person thinks differently about life and is defining success in their own way, so it is very important that you know exactly how to define success for your life! Be aware what success and accomplishments mean to you in your life.
Once you have figured out what is important for you personally you are able to focus on your visions and goals.
You need to have a vision of what you want in life. Here are some questions to ask if you are thinking about not drinking.
What does your world look like in the future if you weren’t drinking?
How would your life be better or how could it be worse?
What is the ideal future for you?
What would make you feel successful?
Heather also feels that after you get your vision, you need to make a plan. One of the best ways to make a plan is to set goal. You need to set goals, and you need to set action steps for each of the goals. You need to set a time frame in which you will reach the goals. You also need to keep yourself accountable. This one is a big deal. You can make endless goals but if you don’t hold yourself accountable, it will be difficult to carry out your plans. To be accountable you need to develop good habits and grit. You need discipline, consistency, and perseverance. Also, you need to make sure you are aligned with you values while pursuing your life’s goals. If your goals don’t support your values, you will have internal conflict which will keep you from performing at your best.
I also feel that a plan including surrounding yourself with those who support your goals. You need a supportive tribe of those who believe in you. It may be a time to rethink your friends and those who are close to you. Maybe the way you are living isn’t the best for you because of those who you surround yourself with. It may be time to break those ties and focus on the new you and what you want out of life.