30 Ways to Cut Down on Drinking

Random Observation/Comment #639: As a big city dweller and a parent of a toddler, I’m a highly functional social alcoholic.

Why this List?

I’m sober curious. I wonder how it’d feel to skip a few nights, a few weeks, or a few months. Would I be more productive? Would I still have fun? Would I lose weight? Would I save money? Would I realize that I only like hanging out with my friends because we share a common bond of alcohol consumption?

Whatever your reason for cutting down, this list could be useful for trying different techniques and setting some personal ground rules.

  1. Genuinely agree that cutting down is a good idea
  2. Consider your age – You’re not in your 20s with great metabolism and unlimited energy
  3. Consider your health – Your liver likely needs a break
  4. Consider your family – There are people that love you and depend on you
  5. Consider your enjoyment – Are you really remembering and fully present if you need the numbing agent every night?
  6. Consider calorie intake – Lots of empty calories and sugars may impede with weight loss/maintenance goals
  7. Consider the morning after – Drinking is borrowed time that you’ll pay for later
  8. Consider your budget – Alcohol is expensive and it’s very easy to be generous with buying drinks
  9. Consider your safety – If you have to drive or be responsible the next day, it’s important to be responsible
  10. Consider your tolerance – If you keep drinking, you’re only going to be chasing a longer tail before a euphoric release
  11. Consider your willpower and pride – It’s not just a 30 day challenge. It’s proving that you’re not dependent or addicted. You can do it.
  12. Make a rule: No more than 2 drinks per night
  13. Make a rule: Only drink when you’re out with friends during a holiday or social event
  14. Make a rule: Say “no” to the first drink
  15. Make a rule: Never be the first to ask for a drink
  16. Make a rule: Never drink alone
  17. Make a rule: Only take a sip when others take a sip to pace yourself
  18. Make a rule: Drink a glass of water between every drink
  19. Make a rule: Only drink Thursday to Saturday
  20. Replace alcohol consumption routines with other activities like cooking or yoga
  21. Drink seltzer or tea instead of alcohol if you’re just watching TV – this was a useful one for me because it was easy to curl up with my wife and a bottle of wine after Evie went to bed and watch a few episodes of the latest binge
  22. Only keep expensive alcohol in the house so you feel guilty drinking the good stuff unless it’s for a special occasion.
  23. Hang out with people that like to do other things than drinking
  24. Rearrange your social calendar and skip events if you know you’re going to be drinking excessively with a certain group
  25. Order club soda with lime to make it look like a gin and tonic to avoid questions
  26. Try a group effort – Convince groups to not drink together – Dry January is a great group reason
  27. Make an excuse: “I’ve been overdoing it from the holidays”
  28. Make an excuse: “I’m on antibiotics” (classic pregnancy excuse)
  29. Don’t tell anyone you’re doing a 30 day challenge (or trying to cut down). Just do it.
  30. Tell everyone you’re doing a 30 day challenge and you’re really trying to follow through without peer pressure.

~See Lemons Sober Curious