Prep Work

Although the real work doesn’t start until the first of the month, there are some things you can do beforehand to make your moderation month more enjoyable and as a result, more successful.

  1. Make a list of activities you’d like to pursue during Kickstart Moderation 2020. You will likely discover that drinking took up more time than you thought, plus you’ll have more energy. Dust off that guitar or running shoes and break out the knitting needles and paintbrushes-keeping our hands busy keeps them from missing the feel of a drink in them.

  2. Stock up on healthy non-alcoholic beverages for those abstinent nights and for drinking in between alcoholic drinks to help you maintain your moderate goals. Now is a good time to discover some new favorites. You can throw some unhealthy ones in there, too, for the days you feel like indulging yourself. Rewards are necessary!

  3. Start a drinking diary or start using a drink counting app such as SayingWhen so you can accurately track the change in your drinking habit. This may sound like an insignificant task but the Addiction Research Foundation in Ontario, one of the most highly regarded in the English-speaking world, rate this strategy as one of the most important in their progress. (Responsible Drinking Handbook; Rotgers, Kern, & Hoetzel; pg. 133) You might be surprised to find that just actively keeping track reduces your drinking without any conscious effort to drink less .

    Too many times we remember only the times we don’t obtain our goals, a tracking system of some type will give us a more accurate picture of progress.

  4. Complete the Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire. The results provide an indication of how difficult moderation may be for you. A high score does not give a definitive answer as to whether or not you will succeed at moderation, though. “About three-quarters of people with alcohol dependence reduce or stop drinking without any kind of professional treatment or even interaction with a community support group such as AA (Dawson et al. 2005).

  5. Perform a cost analysis of your drinking. Yes, write down how much you spend on alcohol each month-this is one of the most tangible measurements of a change in our drinking habit. But, also write down the effect drinking has had on your personal and professional life. How has it affected your relationships? Your work performance? Your own enjoyment of life? What benefit do you get from drinking? We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t think there were some benefits. What’s the downside of your drinking? What benefit do you hope to achieve with moderation? Don’t spend too much time on the negatives of the past here, focus on the positive benefits you hope to obtain-this is more powerful (See next assignment).

  6. Watch the following video. Where are you in the Stages of Change? Do you have a well-formed outcome yet? If you do, what is it? If you don’t, what would you like it to be? While the MM Headstart is geared to people who are ready to enter the Action Stage of Change and start actively and physically taking steps to change their relationship with alcohol, people who are in other Stages of Change are also welcome to participate since information is sometimes necessary to advance us in the Steps of Change.

18 thoughts on “Prep Work”

    1. They are in the Eastern U.S. Time Zone. We will be varying event times to try and accomodate participants in different time zones. What Time Zone are you?

  1. I paid and registered through facebook. How exactly does this work? Are there meetings or events? Check ins? If I already paid, how do I register to this website? I’m confused on how this works.

    1. Hi Lindsay,
      You are already registered for this site. Kickstart Moderation June 2020 kicks off next Monday, June 1. Check in here each day for the daily post to discuss some principles, guidelines and strategies for moderation. We’ll also include a tool, task and alternative drink choice. Discussions and signing up for different rosters/goals will take place on this site or over on the Kickstart Moderation Facebook group, whichever you prefer. We will offer two Zoom meetings per week, Tuesday and Thursday evenings and we will have a nightly check-in for those participants who want to check in and talk about how their day went. All of these activities and tasks are optional and you can choose the ones you think will work best for you.

  2. Hi, just checking in. I really appreciated the “stages of change” video particularly “accentuating the positive.” I relapsed after 19 years at a family function and have been on and off for six years now. Although I genuinely appreciate being able to make a toast and a mixer (at a mixer :)), I need this approach and welcome the support.

    1. Glad you’re here, JJ! I was abstinent for 7.5 years before I decided to explore moderation again.

  3. I am really looking forward to moderating. Have tried a few times. I have had some success but then I usually go back to my old habits.

    1. Glad you’re here, Allison! Moderation is a continual process of learning about ourselves and exploring all of our possibilities and capabilities. Moderation won’t happen if we don’t view ourselves and our future as endlessly interesting and valuable and worth changing for. That can be hard to do in times like now when the future seems so uncertain. That’s why we’re hosting Kickstart, just like you, we’re ready to get interested in our future and our future selves again.

  4. I really appreciate and am looking forward to kickstart moderation. I won’t be able to attend Tuesday because I will be golfing. That is the one thing I really love to do and am able to do since all this lock down has happened. I am looking forward to positive changes. Tuesday will be a non drinking day. Planning to start my 30 tomorrow. I have read most of the books so far. Just have to order the two that I couldn’t get through audible or my kindle.

    1. Keep checking the Recommended Reading page, I’m always finding new reading material and adding it. Currently reading Recover by Stanton Peele and it’s full of good stuff. Just added it to the list.

    1. We have a nightly check-in on the events calendar. Otherwise, you can check-in in the comment section of the daily main post. Next week, we start the Sticky Roster-also on the event calendar and participants can sign up for that daily in the comment section of the event.

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