Stop Drinking with Parallel Goals | Stop Drinking Solutions

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How’s your resolution to quit drinking going so far? Regardless of what your goals are, I hope you’re working towards meeting and/or exceeding them.

For those of you who have sworn off alcohol, here’s to another weekend free of temptation! If that doesn’t work, here’s to resisting temptation and avoiding the pain of a hangover, and the guilt of another weekend washed away by booze. 

For me, one of the ways I was able to distract myself from drinking was to replace my normal after-work beer with an after-work jog. These didn’t last very long, maybe two weeks tops, but I feel like it was an important step I needed to take. It was a great distraction, and the runners high I got after a jog made me feel better than any beer ever could. 

Around that time, I decided that I would make getting in shape a priority. My dabblings with Sober October made me realize I would be shedding some poundage anyway, so I thought “Why Not Go Whole Hog?” I started a bit late in the year to jog outdoors for very long, but a few laps around my neighbourhood turned into a near obsession with fitness.

While I wasn’t thinking about it much at the time, by setting two related goals, I was able to strengthen my resolve for both!

Think about it this way: how many times have you thought about hitting the gym on the weekend only to find yourself too hungover to even leave your house? Even making breakfast can be difficult, and that trip to McDonald’s to grab an Egg McMuffin (if you’re even up that early) causes you to lose your breath. Doesn’t really sound like a situation that’s conducive to personal betterment, does it?

It doesn’t even have to be fitness, maybe you’re already working out and fit as a fiddle. Your goals could be to learn to speak French, become a better cook*, or to save money for a trip or other big ticket item. Take some time to set a goal and think of ways you can accomplish your goal.

Give yourself a definite end, or something to strive for.  Recently my goal has been to work out once per week and I’ve been successful in this recently, so for future years I’ve decided to up that to 3 times a week in hopes of making each year even more active than the last.

Having a goal with a specific achievement in mind will help you accomplish the goal easier, because you will be able to track your progress and work to pick up the slack if you find yourself failing.

“Not Drinking Alcohol” is easier to quantify than “Drink Less”. How much is “Less”? Is getting wasted 1 less time per week really a achievement you’d be proud of?

Spend less is much harder to stick to than Save $1000 for a trip to Mexico in the winter because you will have a definite moment where you will know if you failed or succeeded.

In my case, I’ve been using my Fitbit to determine how active I’ve been. It tracks my steps and general activity and I can use the website to see how I’m progressing. The first 3 months I had my Fitbit my goal was 10,000 steps per day, but I didn’t quite live up to that number. But now I know, and I can work harder to increase this number in the future.

To recap: take the time you’d otherwise be getting drunk and put it towards a new goal. Working towards one, will help you achieve the other and help distract you from those darn cravings. This will be especially beneficial if its a goal you thought was impossible before, making your success that much sweeter.

*The Tim Ferriss book 4 Hour Chef has some great recipes in it as well as a game-plan to becoming a better chef, one dish at a time! Plus it has a lot of other great stuff in it on how to change your life for the better. One word of wrning though, the author is a bit of a wine-connoisseur so you might want to skip those parts.

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