EP #35

One Compelling Reason isn't Enough to Change your Drinking

alcoholic minimalist podcast

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In Episode 35 of the “Breaking the Bottle Legacy,” Molly invites listeners to join her private Facebook group and shares a personal anecdote about overcoming the urge to drink in the evening, opting for healthier habits. The main segment of the episode revolves around the importance of having a compelling “why” for changing drinking habits. Molly challenges the notion that one compelling reason is enough and emphasizes the need for a list of reasons to stay motivated. Drawing inspiration from Darren Hardy’s “The Compound Effect,” Molly discusses the significance of “why power” in driving action. She shares her personal journey of shifting her reasons for drinking and encourages listeners to explore their own motivations by setting a goal to write at least 50 reasons for changing their relationship with alcohol.

You’re listening to breaking the bottle legacy with Molly watts, Episode 35. Hi, I’m Molly, after a lifetime living under the influence of family alcohol abuse, spending more than 30 years worrying about alcohol and my own drinking, believing I had an unbreakable daily drinking habit, I changed my relationship with alcohol forever. If you want to change your drinking habits than breaking the bottle legacy is for you. My goal is to help you create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, past, present, and future. Each week all focus on real science and using your own brain to change your relationship with alcohol. Nothing has gone wrong, you’re not broken, you’re not sick. It’s not your genes. And creating peace is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Well, hello, and welcome or welcome back to breaking the bottle legacy. With me, your host Molly Watts coming to you from a kind of gray and cloudy Oregon, past few days have been definitely felt like fall is in the air. Some of me a little bit of me is looking forward to that I love some of the things going on in fall in my Facebook group, I shared that I’m one of those pumpkin spice people. So that has me happy about fall. But of course I love the summer. And I love the warm weather. So I’m hoping that it’s not gone completely yet. I think we still have a few nice days left here. All right. So today on the podcast, folks, I first want to say that this is a solo episode, obviously super excited about that, because it’s been a bit and I have something special to share today. My book, breaking the bottle legacy how to change your drinking habits and create a peaceful relationship with alcohol is releasing exclusively on Amazon in September. And to celebrate, I am giving away two free chapters of the book. And you can access those chapters on my website to go to www dot Molly watts.com backslash chapters. That’s Molly with a Y and watts with an s.com backslash chapters. So go grab two free chapters if you’d like to read it now. And stay tuned for more details on the exact date that the book goes live. One more piece of housekeeping, I want to invite you to go over to that private Facebook group that I was just talking about. It’s private so your posts and comments can’t be seen by anyone outside of the group. But it’s searchable. Just go to Facebook and look for alcohol. minimalists change your drinking habits. I will put a link in the show notes. And it’s just a great resource. And I really love what is happening in the group right now. With people sharing their wins their struggles, cheering each other on. And here’s what Julie shared recently. She says Good evening. I’m checking in here because I’m keeping accountable with all of you. Today is my alcohol free day. I’m doing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday right now, it was not the smoothest day at work, but I wasn’t going to let that change my plans for the day. I thought about getting some many beer but decided to grab some different water at Target. I had to drive a little ways to the store that I don’t normally go to. It was a nice country dive and I enjoyed it. I don’t mind driving so much now that I’m not commuting. I got home around 640 and plan to do a workout and make dinner my normal routine. I was putting away the groceries and noticed water on my floor. I knew the culprit an issue with my central air. I started doing damage control and then called my plumber. I got things in decent order and he arrived within about a half hour. I’m so glad I caught it when I did. We discussed preventative plans. But now it’s too late to work out and I’m pretty beat my normal habit would have been to go straight to the fridge for a beer I would have probably had to and not had any dinner. I’m stopping and writing you instead. This was not a huge disaster. My day was okay overall. I’m opting for new and healthier habits and working on my thoughts to hope you had a good day. So that was Julie’s post it was just that’s just one of them. That’s just just one story that’s happening. But I love the fact I love her I said this in the group I said I’m just so glad that you’re using this space journaling your thoughts thinking about this and sharing your what’s going on and your successes, your struggles, everything with us. It’s such a great spot. So I encourage you, I welcome you, and we’d love to see you over in our private Facebook group. All right, so today on the podcast, I am going to talk with you about having a compelling why for changing your drinking habits. And actually, that’s not even the right. I want to talk to you about why having that one compelling why probably isn’t enough justice to sustain change. Wait, what? knowing your why isn’t that supposed to be like the important piece of all of the self help guru talk that you hear. In fact, in his book, The compound effect, Darren Hardy says, the person who has a clear, compelling and white hot burning y will always defeat even the best of the best at doing the how. And when I was working on my previous podcast, and my project all about building the habits of a happier longer life. I read that book, the compound effect, and I shared it on my podcast and I even created a worksheet on why power. Again, guided by Darren Hardy in the compound effect, I gave this advice. Most of us wouldn’t walk a plank between two high rise buildings for even $1,000. But Darren Hardy says if your child was on the opposite building, and that building was on fire, would you walk the length the plank to save him without question, and immediately you do it money or not. Your y power is the internal drive you need to get started and take action. It’s the driving force of who you want to become not a goal you’re trying to reach. And in this, in this sheet, I said your y can take two forms what you love or what you hate. Your y doesn’t have to be noble, it just has to move you. So I talked about that. Like I said, your y power, right. And I totally bought into this idea. Clearly, as I shared 10, I created a resource like I just talked about. But now I’ve come to realize it was actually a strategy that didn’t serve me didn’t work for me. And I don’t think it works for a lot of people. In fact, when I successfully changed my drinking habits, it was because I didn’t have one compelling reason to change. I had dozens before when I tried unsuccessfully to change my drinking habit I pretty much focused for I mean, like, you know, for years, actually, for me, I wouldn’t even say that I tried to change it. Well, yes, I did. But I was focused, pretty much focused on one thing, and one thing only, it was that I didn’t want to become an alcoholic, like my mom. And drinking less would ensure that I didn’t write, sometimes I’d layer on. But really, that was just an extension of not becoming an alcoholic, like my mom. And even though it sounds like a great reason. And it was a big part of my life, I had a lot of emotion surrounding not wanting to be like my mom. I also had a lot of other reasons that I wanted to keep drinking. And so while that reason was intellectually true to me, it just wasn’t enough to stop me from struggling because I had many reasons to keep drinking. Here are some of them. So I believed that drinking helped me relax after work. I’ve talked about that before. On the podcast many times, I truly believed that I needed to drink to take the edge off. I like the taste of beer, and I enjoy wine with meals. And I thought that that was you know, simply a reason that made it impossible for me to stop drinking. I liked drinking at parties and with friends. I didn’t drink to access all that often. So I certainly never binged like my mom did. So therefore, I could convince myself that it really wasn’t a problem. I simply couldn’t imagine holidays, vacations or events like the Super Bowl without alcohol. And I had a lot of thoughts about alcohol that positioned it as a reward in my life. It’s okay to have this one. You deserve it. You work hard, you know, those kinds of thoughts. What I realized, and truthfully, I realized this in retrospect, so I want to be clear about that. But it makes a lot of sense to me and why sharing it now with you ahead of time, I hope will help is that when I actually change changed my habits and created this peaceful relationship with alcohol. I did it because I had many reasons. I had many reasons. And I found amongst those many reasons, I found reasons that I made even stronger with education and information and science on alcohol. And I kept those reasons front and center and revisited them often. So we’re going to talk about each piece of that, okay. Like I said, first of all, I had a lot of reasons. And I had many reasons, and a lot of the new reasons that I had came from challenging and questioning some of my old stories. And then I would keep building up on those reasons, making them even stronger, and building on small successes, which then created more reasons. I want you to think about an area of your life where you see yourself as successful. Whether it’s your diet, your job, your relationship, your finances, I’m pretty sure that if you asked yourself, why you’re successful in that area, and if you do this work, and really break it down, you’ll see that you have a long list of reasons that keep you going in this area and keep you motivated. I know that for me, there are areas in my life where I struggle with being consistent and following through. And there are other areas where it feels pretty easy to stay consistent. Of course, my relationship with alcohol now is one of those areas where it’s very easy for me now to stay consistent. And that’s because I have many reasons. Another area where it’s always been pretty easy for me to be consistent is in my side hustle my my passion project businesses. When I break it down and look at that, I can find a lot of why’s I have many reasons. First, I truly enjoy it. I love doing this podcast. And I feel like I’m helping people, which is awesome. Number two, it’s a creative outlet for me. And that is something I really value. Number three, it reinforces my thinking and makes me feel happier and healthier. Number four, I feel like I’m contributing something positive into the world, like I’m giving back. And number five, I have goals for the future to work for myself. And I know that I’m building something that can help me achieve that freedom. So it’s those reasons I got a lot of reasons that it it doesn’t feel hard for me to be consistent and to do the things to respond to emails to post in the group to record podcasts, those things, they don’t feel hard for me on a ongoing basis. And I’ve been doing podcasts now, not just this one. But I’ve been doing a podcast since 2018. I think I got I’ve got to go back. And look, I don’t even remember how long it’s been. But it’s been, you know, I have, I don’t know, 120 podcasts like that. So between the old podcast and this one. And it takes a lot of people for people that are that are podcasters, they could appreciate this. It’s not. It’s definitely a labor of love. It takes a lot of work on a weekly basis. And talking, you know, setting up interviews, writing the content for solo interviews. I mean, for solo episodes, it’s a passion, but I it, I am don’t find it hard to be consistent because I truly, truly love it. When I look back on what shifted for me when I was able to break my 30 plus year daily drinking habit. It’s because I no longer focused on just that one reason of trying to avoid becoming an alcoholic like my mom. I’ve found many reasons. Learning the science of alcohol helped me challenge some of my old stories. I know you’ve heard me say that before, especially when it comes to the idea of that I needed to drink alcohol to take the edge off, right? My reason changed to become I don’t want to increase my anxiety by drinking too much alcohol. And that was just one reason. I found many reasons to want to change my relationship with alcohol. And I needed many reasons because they helped offset. All the reasons that made continuing my drinking habits seem like quote unquote, no big deal. Instead of trying to change your relationship with alcohol for one reason, I want to challenge you to find many reasons. And to do this, I think it’s really valuable to write them down. Write them down and keep them front and center in your life. revisiting them often. Remind yourself that you don’t have just one reason, especially for those of you who believe you want to change Your drinking habits because your partner, your spouse, your loved ones, they want you to. Alright. That is, is a shaky, shaky ground, my friend to, to have that be your one reason, you need many reasons and they have to, you have to keep expanding on them, especially things that resonate for you. I’m not saying that you can’t, that that keeping a relationship isn’t a compelling reason of course it is. But I guarantee you that when your toddler brain says You deserve it, when it tells you just this once, when you, you will start to have thoughts like you think, you know, you’ll think he or she doesn’t control me that one reason may not be strong enough to change your behavior. Even if your goal isn’t to stop drinking altogether. And as you know, if you’ve listened to this podcast, I am not alcohol free. I am an alcohol minimalist. And but I want you to stick about for me, but I worked on changing my perspective on alcohol, almost to the point where I could imagine being completely alcohol free. All right. And to do that I used first I use some reasons that would only happen if I gave up alcohol altogether if I you know if I was never drinking, right. And but they helped me work on reasons and then find the reasons that would really resonate. And here’s what some of them were and here’s what you could do and start writing these, you know, write down your own reasons. I will never get a DUI, I can always drive. I will never blacked out. My kids will never hear me slur because I’ve been drinking, I will sleep better. I’ll never experience a hangover. I’ll never stumble because I’m drunk. I’ll never tell a story twice without realizing it. I’ll never be hungover. These are just a few and and of course, they aren’t even the ones that resonate with me the most, well, maybe sleeping better, that does resonate. That has always resonated with me, but you get the idea. And that’s really the next part of this equation is to make the reasons stronger. Start with the low hanging fruit, like the reasons above that I just said, but then take it to the next level and find reasons that really resonate with you. For me, the reason that became abundantly clear to me as I worked to change my relationship with alcohol was that I wanted to be at peace. And I didn’t want to worry about alcohol in my life any more. I learned that I had been feeding the anxiety by drinking both physically dirt due to the neuroscience. And I’ve talked about that quite a bit on the podcast. But also because my baseline was just a perpetual state of worry from growing up with an alcoholic mother and having alcohol being a big part of our relationship and our life and constantly worrying about her. And so I just accepted this perpetual state of worrying about my mother and worrying about my own drinking. And I really truly thought it was just a part of who I was. And then when I realized that that wasn’t so that living without that worry and anxiety was so possible. That was just an amazing reason. And another reason I uncovered was that I feel felt better physically. And another one was that I was more productive and creative in the evenings without alcohol. I found I liked the taste of non alcoholic beers, just as well as regular beer so that that old reason that I thought I wanted to keep drinking because I just liked beer too much to ever give it up. changed to a new reason that I liked the taste. I prefer the taste of non alcoholic beer. I keep these reasons front and center and I revisit them often. Of course doing this podcast and writing the book. All of that certainly helps me keep my reasons a prominent part of my life. But you don’t have to do all that to keep the reasons your reasons front and clear for you. You can do it by simply scheduling it into your days, scheduling it into your week, commit to a weekly check in with yourself or five minutes every day. Write it down. Find a schedule that works for you. But keep your reasons right there with you. Keep updating them keep working on them. They’re going to shift and change. Like I said I found new reasons as my my success is built as I was able to meet myself where I was at where I was able to make Plants keep my plants, the reasons started to pile up in favor of changing my relationship with alcohol and started going down, right, the piles got lower for continuing to drink on a daily basis. your reasons are going to be different from mine, and they should be to some degree, they’ll be the same if you’re like me, and you’re focused on science and you want to do things that you know, you want to understand the science of alcohol and you want to stick to those low risk drinking limits. And so those low risk drinking limits are a good enough reason, right, they are going to mitigate the risk of developing alcohol use disorder, they minimize risk in terms of the health related outcomes. So maybe yours will be similar to mine. But I also want you to find reasons that resonate for you. I want you to set a goal of writing out at least 50 wise you have for changing your relationship with alcohol. Start with that low hanging fruit and work from there. If you are struggling with changing your drinking habits, ask yourself do you have many reasons? Or are you focused on just one or just a couple? If you want to make this journey easier, find many reasons. Find the really strong ones, and keep them front and center. All right, that is all I have for you. This week, my friends, I encourage you to go to www dot Molly watts.com backslash chapters. Download two free chapters of my new book coming up in September on Amazon. And until next week, choose peace by friends. Thank you for listening to breaking the bottle legacy. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Take something that you learned in today’s episode and apply it to your life this week. Transformation is possible you have the power to change your relationship with alcohol. Now, for more information, please visit me at www dot Molly watts.com