Day 9: Building Resolve

Resolve never to quit, never to give up, no matter what the situation.

Jack Nicklaus

Whenever you want to make a change that deep down you know is good for your health but you feel there is internal resistance, rest assured you are not alone.

Abstaining for January may feel like a big gig, but when you get your mind in the right place, being sober for a month is easy and fun!

The resistance is what I call the Inner Critic.  This inner voice suggests, ‘I bet you can’t go sober for a month’ or ‘You will fail, what is the point in trying!’

The Inner Critic is the negative self-talk that underpins the resistance to being sober for January.

If you recognise this in yourself, the good news is it’s a state of mind, not a reality!

Changing your inner dialogue does take practice, but once you get the hang of it, you can breeze through January sober and feel proud of what you have achieved.

There is an opposite part of the Inner Critic that has incredible resolve, and it can shift your negative mindset to a much healthier and optimistic one.   I call this part the Intuitive Healthy Part, and it is the gateway to your success.

Developing this part to be more present is not only the key to being sober with ease but will give you a massive self-esteem boost too.

This Intuitive part has only your best interests at heart, and the best way to connect to this part is to stimulate its presence in your daily life.

I suggest writing down all the bonuses of being sober for January, from weight loss to more energy, better sleep and a healthier liver! Then, remind yourself of these moments when you think about drinking.

Keep post-it notes with statements on your computer such as ‘I am calm and confident sober’ or ‘I feel safe being sober’.

Set your phone alarm three times a day and call it ‘Fun Sober January.’

Don’t let your Inner Critic win the battle.  If it says something like ‘You’ve had a bad day, I bet you’re going to drink tonight, ‘ challenge it with ‘I am working through my stress and know this moment will pass.’

Each time you hear your Inner Critic talk doom and gloom about being sober, combat its energy with a positive statement and say it three times.

A great quick resource is to lie in bed for 5 minutes and imagine going through your day coping well with everything.  Any obstacles, see yourself breathing deeply, releasing the negative energy before it takes hold and then breathing into a space of calm and logic.  Then see the situation as being resolved without needing to drink.  

Then go forward again to the next day, where you see yourself waking up sober and reviewing the day before with pride that you coped so well without a drink in your hand.

The more you imagine these sorts of outcomes, the more your mind and body learn how you cope with life without alcohol. For example, the more you feel the feelings of calm in difficult moments, the more your mind and body will know that this is the dominant response rather than reaching for a drink.

Being sober for January when you discover how to manage your Inner Critic rather than it manages you will make a massive difference to your success.

Georgia Foster is the creator of the 7 Days to Drink Less at www.georgiafoster.com