Whether toward a temporary detox or a permanent behaviour change, these ideas will help you break any habits you’ve committed to changing. This guest post was written with participants in our upcoming Cellular Renewal Online Retreat in mind, a seven-day cleanse including raw food nutrition, yoga and wellness advice delivered straight to your inbox.
If you’re going to do a detox or cleanse, that means giving up alcohol for the remainder of the time as well.
Perhaps you didn’t think about it upon making the the decision to sign up, but if you’ve committed you’ll need to give up alcohol for the duration of your cleanse. This may be more of an issue for some, but if you are at all concerned about giving up drinking for a week, a little bit of preparation in advance goes a long way.
At Club Soda, we help individuals to change their drinking habits, though we understand your drinking is a personal choice. Your goal does not always have to be about quitting – you may also want to cut down, stop for a bit, or stick.
The Cellular Renewal Retreat (starting April 26th) is one way to stop for a bit: taking a week (or a bit longer) off the booze, before going back to drinking again. Or perhaps, if you want it to, this seven-day retreat can serve as a ‘soft rest’ to help you cut down for the longer term.
If you are used to drinking regularly, even if just a small amount each time, it may seem like a daunting prospect to stay sober, especially in social situations such as nights out with friends or parties. We know that habits like these, formed over the years, can be challenging to change.
There are several tips and tricks, all derived from the science of behavioural change, that you adopt to help you break a habit. These rules won’t magically change your life overnight, but can be used as tools toward reaching your goals. If you’re fighting the urge to grab a drink at a work event or popping open that bottle of wine at home, give these ideas a try:
1. Prime your mind
Priming means using subtle hints to draw your mind towards something different. They are also sometimes called nudges, and they work at a subliminal level. For instance, spending time in nature, or even looking at pictures or trees of flowers will lead you to healthier choices in your life: your mind gets “primed” to thinking “natural”, and you end up behaving in more wholesome ways.
Another quick trick is to make your computer passwords into reminders or encouragements: for the retreat week, change your password to something like “1willNotDrinkThi$week!” and you’ll have to keep that phrase in your mind. Just that simple thought will enforce your resolution not to drink.
2. Set a default
Defaults cover powerful, often almost invisible, influences on our lives. What happens if you just go with the default option, without actively changing things? You may end up with insurance you never wanted, only because you didn’t untick that little box on the online shopping page. Marketers are well aware of this trick of course. But you can also make it work in your favour by putting only healthy drinks in your fridge, for example, and hiding all the alcoholic drinks somewhere where they are hard to get to. When you open the fridge door for something to drink, you’ll most likely just grab the juice that is there, rather than climb up to the loft for that bottle of wine.
Combine a default with priming by setting your internet home page to a website that will inspire you, or remind you of all the good things you’ll achieve with your 7 day cleanse.
3. Don’t abandon social norms
Basically, it is always easier to do things collectively. If you are struggling, friends can give you a boost to keep going. If you have a question or worry, someone will be able to offer advice or moral support. It would be great to complete this 7 day cleanse with others. But even if nobody in your life is doing this retreat, you can always turn to social media – Movement for Modern Life’s has a designated Facebook group where you can share the trials and tribulations with an online community of new friends.
4. Make accountable commitments
Do you ever find yourself needing to say something out loud to keep yourself accountable? Signing up to this retreat, or any kind of cleanse or detox, is a big commitment in itself. By telling people around you about your commitment, or tweeting and sharing it on Facebook, it’ll be harder to give up. Once again, online interaction is maybe not as good the real thing, but it still works. In one fascinating study, researchers found that tweeting about your diet led to significantly more weight loss. Go the extra mile with this type of commitment by giving someone you trust some money, and asking that they only give it back to you if you complete the retreat; otherwise they are to give it to a charity of their choice.
These tips above are in no way limited to giving up alcohol for a week. They can be applied to all other changes and challenges in your life as well, at any time. And if you’re feeling inspired to change your habits, even in the short term, to become a better you, it’s not too late to sign up for Cellular Renewal Online Retreat. Join us!
Club Soda helps people change their drinking, whether they want to cut down, stop for a bit, quit or stick. We bring everything people need into one place: goal setting and progress monitoring using our online tools, sharing advice and tips with others, both online and socially, connecting with experts and perks for additional support and distractions, and friendly socials and inspiring events.