Day 19: Just Rewards

“It’s important to reward yourself, and your team, as soon as you complete a key task or objective. Why? By rewarding yourself in the moment, your brain elicits positive emotions, leading to the realization that your efforts result in a positive reward. By doing this continuously, your brain will start to link pleasure to accomplishing the task or objective and move towards it in the future. As Tony says, “You can only build on success!”
– Tony Robbins, Reward Yourself: Celebrate Each Of Your Accomplishments

At this point the shine of Dryuary may be dulling a bit and you’re wondering what you can do to make it worth your effort. Yes, of course, 30 Days of not drinking has its own rewards, clear-headed mornings, more energy through the day, better sleep and a sense of well-being.

In the book, Responsible Drinking, a women in the middle of a 30-day abstinence period describes some of those rewards as she describes the chapters in a new book she could be writing based on her abstinent experience.

“’Drinking and the Lost Gift of Spontaneity.’ I am finding myself much more spontaneous in the last couple of weeks. It’s fun to decide to run out and do something different on the spur of the moment. I hadn’t realized how dull the daily rut had become! Now, there would be the chapter of ‘Drinking and the Lost Art of Child Play.” This requires spontaneity also, but there is another dimension to this one. It’s great to have the ‘child’ in me come out to play.”
Rotgers, F., Kern, M. F., & Holtzeil, R. (2002), Responsible Drinking: a Moderation Management approach for problem drinkers, pg. 57

Yeah, sure, some days you’re really feeling the love, the Dryuary love, but what about the other times? The times you want to give in. The times you are lonely. The times you are bored. The times it’s just damn hard.

How do you get through those times when the “rewards” of Dryuary just don’t seem like enough?

You give yourself a tactile reward! That’s how! Something you can see and touch and enjoy. Something just for you, to acknowledge the hard work you’re doing and are going to continue to do. Sit down and figure up how much you’ve saved this month so far because you haven’t been drinking, don’t forget to include the co-expenses that go along with drinking such as babysitter and taxi fees, bar snacks and rounds of drinks you buy for others. Include everything right down to the aspirin for the next morning hangovers you haven’t enjoyed this month. Don’t skimp. You need this!

Now, time to think up some rewards.

Women, you’re so good at rewarding yourself, you’ve probably already got a list as long as your right leg forming in your heads: a massage; flowers; CHOCOLATE; an expensive piece of clothing; SHOES! And for added incentive, why not some bling like these really cool Mantra Band bangles? (I love these! And, no I’m not being paid to say that.)

Men, dudes, why is it that when I start thinking of rewards for you, all I can think of are things that are bad for you? I’m sure this is a product of my upbringing–I always knew that my dad’s favorite gift on Christmas day was going to be the bottle of not-so-fine whiskey I picked out all by myself. I mean, how many grills can a man buy for himself? Help me out here, share in the comments your personal reward list.

Did she say list?

Why the heck not? We’re in the dog days of Dryuary here and, for many of us, this is when we need more incentives to ride it out to the end. Rewarding ourselves is not a frivolity, it is a necessity. We all need a place to go when, “I’ve gone far enough” starts echoing in our brains, a place of comfort, a place where everyone knows our name, , a place where our favorite weakness is always served up with a Smile!

The place?! (And, no I’m not being paid to say the either! However, Mr. Bezos, if you’d like to donate $690,000.00 USD to MM, I promise you, we will not complain.)

Speaking of, did you know you can designate Moderation Management as your non-profit charity in Amazon’s Smile Program?

Post Submitted By: Mary Reid aka Kary May Hickey
Mary Reid is the Executive Director of Moderation Management and the author of Neighbor Kary May’s Handbook To Happily Drinking Less or Not Drinking At All, Quite Happily: With the help of online recovery community and her new work of fiction, The Better Place: A This Side Of Heaven Story.


  1. You’re awesome! I’ve finally successfully learned to meditate and highly recommend it when the urge to have a drink comes around.

  2. Oh wow, I needed to hear this today! Last night I almost had a drink because my job is sucking so much and the “sparkle” of Dryuary has dulled. My husband was out of town and I thought, well, no one would know if I had a drink. But I would know.

    So proud of myself for not going down that road last night and for sticking to it. I’ve come more than halfway, I can do this!

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