Want to stop drinking? Define your whys!

My Year No Beer (Week 4)

A great tip if you want to stop drinking is to define your whys!

To super charge your alcohol free journey and get your head in the right place regarding not drinking I’d like to share 3 great tips which have helped me.

The above tips will help you to really get a grip on the reasons why you want to stop drinking and use them to help build a powerful visual image that your subconscious mind will lock into and work towards. Once your subconscious knows that being alcohol free is important to you and you can see the life you want without booze holding you back your brain (your goal achieving machine) will start to help you on your path to your dream life.

Want to stop drinking? Define your whys!

Create a list of why you want to stop drinking

Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle so you’ve got two columns.

At the top of the first column title it Reasons I want to continue drinking. In the second column title it Reasons I want to stop drinking.

Now let fly, there is no right or wrong here but be brutally honest. You want to put everything that you believe about alcohol and why you do / don’t want to drink.

Everyone’s list will be totally different, but the aim of the game initially is to get everything out of your head and on paper.

Once you’re finished making your list, I’m guessing your Reasons I want to stop drinking column is likely already longer than your Reasons I want to continue drinking column which is exactly what you want. The longer we can make the reasons why not to drink the better!

Also I’d invite you to take a look at the Reasons I want to continue drinking column and really reflect if what you’ve written is true. As I bet a lot of it, when you think a little deeper, may prove to not be true.

A couple of examples which I had on my own list were, I drink because it relaxes me and I drink to socialise. However when I looked at these a little more I realised that this was not true.

Alcohol’s relaxing qualities were fleeting, after that I’d be looking to have another drink to maintain that relaxed fuzzy feeling. End result would be I’d drink more as my tolerance levels increased to try and get that relaxed feeling.

Over time as tolerance increases it meant I had more alcohol in my system. Since alcohol is a depressant, my body would create more ‘upper’ hormones in an attempt to regain homeostasis (optimal functioning). However as the alcohol was broken down and removed from my body, I’d be woken up with a surfeit of all those ‘upper’ hormones resulting in a racing heart and anxiety!

Also alcohol didn’t really help me to socialise, as I am an introvert, I used to have a couple to ‘loosen me up’ but all it did was take the edge of the anxiety I was already feeling caused by alcohol! Couple that with not really connecting with people or remembering what was said it couldn’t really be said it did help me socialise.

So in the end I scribbled out I drink because it relaxes me and I wrote I don’t drink alcohol because is makes me anxious instead.

I also ditched I drink to socialise and replaced it with alcohol stops me connecting with my family and friends.

Once you are finished, keep your list close by and refer to it whenever you need to to remind yourself why you want to stop drinking. Also you may gain more insight with time, so add more whys to it should you need to.

Top tip: in my experience I recommend writing your list by hand. I don’t know why but going old school with pen and paper seems to help it sink in better.

I don't drink alcohol because it makes me anxious
One of my whys: I don't drink alcohol because it makes me anxious
alcohol stops me connecting with my family and friends
One of my whys: alcohol stops me connecting with my family and friends

Imagine a powerful and vivid image in your mind of the life you want

This technique is pretty cool, it is a great way to really think about what your life could be. Dream BIG! Bring into your mind’s eye an image of you living your best life now that you’ve changed your relationship with alcohol.

  • What do you look like? Are you thinner? Looking healthier? New clothes?
  • How do you feel? Are you glowing? Are you happy? Confident? Relaxed?
  • Who is with you? Are you alone or is there others in the picture? How do they look? Are they proud?
  • Where are you? Perhaps on holiday? Indoors or outside? In a social setting or in a new home?
  • What can you hear? Is there music? Ambient noise?

The above are some ideas that help me visualise but I’m sure you’ll find some of your own as well. There is so much we can do to help our imaginations really bring this picture to life.

Once you have created this image in your mind, really let your emotions build around it. Perhaps you have a sense of happiness, excitement, being proud etc. Your mind will start to recognise that this image is important. Since it makes you feel good, your subconscious will take note of this and start to guide you to reach and live like this.

Our subconscious works with images and feelings, but studies have identified our subconscious can’t tell whether something is real or imagined.

So if the image you have created looks so good and makes you feel great, your subconscious will love that. It will want to make sure you get more of it. As such it will keep tracking in the background and alert you to any opportunities on the horizon to help you live your imagined reality.

A simple example of this, most people will identify with, is when you have decided to buy a new car, a pair of trainers or handbag etc. Once you’ve fallen in love with your new whatever it be, you start to see them all over the place!

Now of course there hasn’t been a glut of new cars, shoes, handbags etc since you made the decision to buy, they’ve always been there, but now your subconscious knows it is important to you and is in turn letting your conscious mind know. And voila now we see them more in our lives.

Create a mood board to illustrate why you want to stop drinking

If you like scrapbooking or getting creative with the scissors and glue then I’d recommend you let your creative juices flow and create a mood board to visually remind yourself why you want to stop drinking.

If you are more at home using the computer you can create your mood board using your preferred software or an online design tool such as Canva and print it out instead.

However you decide to produce your mood board the principle is simple. Pull as many elements as you can on to this board to help your subconscious lock in to your new alcohol free lifestyle.

Much like the previous tip, the aim of the game is to give your subconscious imagery to work with.

Your mood board will be as unique to you as your list of whys and your imagined imagery.

However you may wish to consider as well as including photos of things you’d like to achieve, adding inspirational quotes or key words that reinforce why you want to stop drinking to your mood board can be really effective.

Quit Lit may help you to stop drinking

If you are finding it hard to find your reasons why, perhaps having a read of some Quit Lit may help you.

A couple of great books to get started with are Drink? The New Science of Alcohol + Your Health by Professor David Nutt and Alcohol Explained: Understand Why You Drink And How To Stop by William Porter.

These books helped me to see past the social acceptance and glorification of alcohol and the relentless marketing of the drink industry. What I also liked was neither book sets out to demonise alcohol, nor preach or judge about whether you drink or don’t drink. They simply present the science around alcohol and its effects on humans in a very easy to understand way.

I am sure either of these Quit Lit books will help you to formulate some ideas around your whys.

Pillars of Positivity


  • 7.5 hrs (5 x 90 mins sleep cycles)
  • Sleeping better in general but wake in the night still
  • Getting up in finally getting easier
  • Starting to look into a realistic morning routine. (Journaling, exercise, meditation, self-development, business development, etc.)


  • Ran 39 Km in a week.
  • 10 Km run average speed 5:31 / Km. Running 9 seconds per Km faster!!
  • Feeling a little more motivated to exercise. Looking to build in strength training.


  • 70 Kg. Lost half a kilo this week.
  • Varied diet generally eating healthy.
  • Started fasting last week (16:8) but it has been sporadic if I stick to it at present. All in good time! Definitely feel better when I do it though.


  • New online connection on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook Alcohol Free group
  • Few meetings lined up with fellow coaches and fellow creators for this week and next
  • Considering how I can grow my connection with other likeminded AF warriors so we can support and cheer each other on.


  • Reading (20 mins / day)
  • Meditation (10 mins / day)
  • Running x 4
  • Personal development

Clear Thinking

  • Experienced moments of real serenity, totally chilled and relaxed
  • Feel more patient in general
  • Feel more positive / energised at times
  • Motivation continues to improve. Achieved a lot this week!

28 days in and loving living Alcohol Free.

Since my last drink Iittle wins include:
🏅Lost 3 Kg in weight
🏅 Sleeping better (I know it can be even better, it’ll come)
🏅 Running faster. On a 10 Km run, 4 weeks ago it was 5:50 / Km. Today same run I averaged 5:31 / Km. So I’m running each Km 19 seconds faster!!
🏅Concentration, motivation, focus and overall happiness through the fricking roof compared to 4 weeks ago.

Disclaimer: Donating to Pancreatic Cancer UK

The links to the books on Amazon are affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a kick back from any purchases made using the links from this site. I will be passing this on to Pancreatic Cancer UK. So if you do decide to buy anything please know you’ll also be helping a great charity raise highly needed funds. Thank you.