In another article I described why I stopped drinking alcohol, and how much my life has improved ever since then. To summarize, back in 2004 I was developing a list of new year's resolutions, and I suddenly realized that my alcohol addiction was the main reason I hadn't accomplished my goals years before. It had sapped my time, energy and money - and it did so morning, noon and night.
The sudden revelation that it was alcohol that was sabotaging my efforts to accomplish my goals made me very angry ... at alcohol, not myself. I determined to do something about it, and to change from the man I was to the man I wanted to become.
I was also immediately aware that once I removed alcohol from my life, it would logically become easier and easier for me to achieve my goals. And it has. I've lost weight, I have more energy, and I feel much healthier. I also think more clearly, I'm genuinely enthusiastic about my future, and I'm on pace to more than double my income this year as compared to last year.
However, you may be wondering why you should listen to MY advice - someone you do not know, and who does not claim to be an expert on addictions - instead of your doctor, or someone else who's opinion you trust. My answer is that you should be open to ALL ideas to overcome alcohol addiction because you just never know if and when some little "crazy idea" will work wonders for you, until you actually try it. What worked for me CAN work very well for lots of other people, including you. Just give it a couple of weeks, and you'll be living an alcohol-free lifestyle. Now, let me tell you the 5 steps I used to stop drinking alcohol:
The First Step: I remembered the bad times I had drinking alcohol. I constantly reminded myself of the times I got sick, or wasted all of my money, or just "felt lousy" due to drinking. I not only remembered the bad stuff, I tried to RE-LIVE it all over again so I would become more disgusted at the prospect of drinking. I tried to conjure up the same bad feelings I had before in order to reinforce my commitment to change. In fact, I purposely remembered the bad times involving alcohol as often as I could, even if it meant doing so every 5 or 10 minutes!
SUMMARY: It is essential to constantly REMIND YOURSELF of all of the negative experiences you've had while drinking alcohol. Remember the vomiting, the headaches, the stomach aches, and wasting your money. Remember getting in fights, or saying stupid things, or hurting others - emotionally or even physically. Dwell on and relive the bad feelings that were CAUSED by alcohol. All of these bad things WERE in your life BECAUSE of alcohol. Let the NEGATIVE feelings grow inside of you at the very mention of the word alcohol. Begin to HATE alcohol for what it's done to you in the past. Let the NEGATIVE feelings about alcohol OVERWHELM any positive feelings you USED to have about alcohol. I can tell you for a fact that there is NO ONE who is more of a positive person than I am, and yet I can also assure you that by being deliberately negative about alcohol you'll quickly want NOTHING to do with it. You will soon identify IT with EVERYTHING that ever was NEGATIVE about your life.
The Second Step: I had a dirty mind and deliberately conjured up negative words, images and thoughts about alcohol. I really let my imagination get the better of me here, and I TRIED to visualize the most disgusting things I could ... and then CONNECTED them to alcohol. I won't say what they were here, because they were pretty bad! But, what happened is that after a few days of deliberately connecting words, images, and thoughts to alcohol they were soon joined at the hip.
I've written about the many reasons to quit drinking alcohol, as well as 5 things that will improve when you quit drinking alcohol, but here are a bunch more in case you're still not sure you should quit. Plus, I'm sure you can come up with even more if you put your mind to it! So, with that being said, here are 30 Great Reasons to Quit Drinking Alcohol:
1. You will immediately start having more money. Just imagine that great feeling to open your wallet and see a bunch of greenbacks! That's money you WOULD HAVE thrown away on booze, but instead you'll be able to use it to buy something nice, pay off some debt, or just save for a rainy day.
SUMMARY: Visualize the most disgusting images you can involving alcohol. If you see a glass of beer PICTURE it as really someone's urine. Say the word URINE to yourself when you see someone drinking a beer. If you see a glass of wine PICTURE it as blood. Say the word BLOOD to yourself whenever you see a glass of wine. Attach the most vile and disgusting images to whatever your favorite drink was, and in a couple of days it will become automatic. Alcohol = _______ (fill in the blank with the most ugly, disgusting words and images you can come up with). You will soon, naturally, be repulsed by the sight of an alcoholic drink. See Quit Drinking by Using the Power of Imagination for a few way to attach negative mental imagery to alcohol.
The Third Step: Each day I focused on small improvements in my life. Each morning I paid special attention to the fact that I just felt better, stronger, and happier. I also noticed that my face was a bit less puffy, and the bags under my eyes a bit less noticeable. I tried to notice every little change for the better, and I tried to do it all day long. Noticing and FOCUSING in on the improvements brought them to the forefront of my thoughts, making them a priority, and helped reinforce my desire to quit.
SUMMARY: This is the opposite of the first step. Simply put, constantly remind yourself of how you NOW feel better, look better, have more money, think more clearly, and will LIVE LONGER since alcohol is out of your life. Notice even the little positives, such as how you now spend more time with your kids, or exercise more often, or eat healthier. Life is made up of the little things. I don't mean to just be thankful for your "blessings" (the 5th step below) but FOCUS on how much your life is getting better each day.
The Fourth Step: I acted like I've been sober for years, even though it was only a few days. And I acted like alcohol meant nothing, even though (at first) it meant a lot. It's hard to explain this, but "acting the part" helped me become what I wanted to become because I began to do all the little things that a sober person might do. In essence, it was easier to become sober when I acted like I ALREADY WAS sober!
SUMMARY: Act (and think and talk) as if you've been sober for years, even if it's only been a day or two. Something mysterious happens to you when you do this, and yet it's also quite simple: you BECOME the type of person that you act like TODAY. The reason this works is because when you "act the part" you sub-consciously begin to adapt the habits and thoughts required to become the type of person you wish to become. And the more you "act the part", the more you become your ideal you. Basically, acting the part makes it easy to walk the walk.
The Fifth Step: I was continually thankful for the many blessings in my life. Not in a general way, but very specifically I thanked God for what I ALREADY had. Each evening I thanked God for my life, for being healthy, for my girlfriend, for living in the greatest country on earth, and for many other things. By doing this I constantly focused my energy on the good things around me, and by doing so I helped attract other good things into my life. Like attracts like!
SUMMARY: Above all, be truly grateful for the many blessings in your life. There are so many things, both big and little, that you could be thankful for if you would take a few moments and think about them. Whether it's your family or friends, or the country you were born in or where you're living at now, or the physical or intellectual skills you possess, or your ability to see or hear or talk, or the many freedoms you enjoy. There is so much that YOU have that a lot of other people DON'T. Cherish these blessings, and focus on them often to realize how lucky YOU are to have been given these gifts. When we are truly thankful for what we ALREADY have is when we open ourselves up to even more of life's blessings.
Summed Up - Here Are the 5 Things You Should Start Doing:
These 5 simple steps are exactly how I stopped drinking alcohol - and they are nothing more than teaching yourself some new habits around alcohol. This might sound hard to do, but remember that new habits can take hold in as little as 3 weeks. After 6 weeks the habit becomes as solid as a rock, and you no longer even have to think about it. So, I implore you to TRY this 5 step program to overcome alcohol addiction for at least 3 weeks. It truly worked wonders for me, and it can do the same for you.