5 Key questions to ask when setting your drinking target

Asking yourself  these 5 key questions before setting a target for your drinking can be really  helpful. As we explained in our last  blog post it is  important  to choose an approach that will work for you as one size does not fit all.

Is it better to stop drinking altogether or simply to reduce your drinking?  These questions will help you decide what’s right for you.


5  key questions

  1.  If you find once you start drinking, you cannot stop drinking then maybe giving up drink altogether rather then reducing is easier.
  2. If you always go out to get drunk rather then socialise then maybe giving up drinking is easier.
  3. Pressure from friends can influence our drinking. If you go out with friends who drink heavily it may be easier to not drink. Or the opposite, if you go out with friends who drink a little, drinking a little  could be easier.
  4. If you have frequent blackouts, where you can’t remember parts of the night out then not drinking at all may be easier.
  5. Finally, not drinking at all can be easier to do as it needs less planning than  setting a drinking target. so if you hate planning and organising, not drinking at all might be better for you.

Once you’ve answered these questions you may be able to make your decison. If you’re still unsure, there’s other things you can do which can also  help you make the right decision for you.


Talk to a friend

Take a look at your advantages and disadvantages of drinking as this can also help you to decide what’s best for you. Find out more  on this here

Consulting a friend or family member who you trust and will listen to you and will not shame or judge you can be helpful. Be a little careful though, often if people have been hurt by our drinking, they can demand more than we can do at this stage.


Decide on your target for a week

It can be easier to set a target for a short time rather than saying I’m giving up drink for ever.

If you simply want to take a break from drinking, then setting a goal of not drinking this week at all might be helpful.

If you’ve been drinking every day for the last 10 years, setting a goal of not drinking one day this week might be good for you.

Don’t forget to check whether you have a physical dependence on alcohol before setting  your drinking target. You can find out more about this  here.


Believe in yourself

So there is a wide choice of targets and the choice  is yours. What’s really important is that you believe in your ability to reach your target as this will build your confidence in managing your drinking.

In many ways, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, if you believe you can achieve your target you will and if you believe your target  is not “do able” then you will be more likely to fail.

So if you want to give up drinking entirely, but don’t feel able for this, set a smaller target that you think you can achieve.

As the Chinese say

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

If you’d like to check the low risk drinking guidelines please click here.

This post was written by Carol

As some who gets hangovers lasting a week, Carol never drank too much - Once she got to a sensible age! However as a patient with an auto immune illness, since she was a teenager she has to drink very little. So she really understands how Irish society makes this very difficult. Carol is responsible for all aspects of Lifewise operations that Valerie and Angela do not cover.

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