The Five Things I Had to Change before I Changed my Drinking
In this episode of the Alcohol Minimalist podcast, Molly addresses the pivotal aspects she had to confront and give up to change her drinking habits and forge a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Reflecting on her previous podcast and the inspiration drawn from her father’s life, Molly delves into the self-coaching model and the behavior map results cycle, which became foundational in her transformation. She discusses the significance of overcoming fears, doubts, and the perception that changing drinking habits would be difficult, emphasizing the commonality of such doubts among successful changers. Molly advocates for relinquishing the fear of failure, embracing a mindset shift, and rejecting excuses rooted in genetics or life circumstances. Ultimately, she encourages listeners to consider giving up these limiting beliefs and taking deliberate steps towards creating a peaceful relationship with alcohol. The episode also introduces Molly’s hybrid online course and coaching program, Step One, with valuable bonuses and resources for enrollees.
Hey, it’s Molly from alcohol minimalist. What do you do in this October? I would love to have you join me in my more sober October challenge. What do I mean by more sober October, it simply means that we’re going to add in more alcohol free days than you currently been doing, whether that’s one or two or 31. It’s up to you, you get to set your own goal and that’s why it’s more sober October. You can check it out and learn more at get got sunnyside.co/molly It’s totally free. I’ve got grises I’m going to be going live every week to announce the prize winners. And it’s just going to be an awesome event. So I would love to have you join me. You can learn more at get.sunnyside.co/molly and you can get registered today. Welcome to the alcohol minimalist podcast. I’m your host Molly watts. If you want to change your drinking habits and create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, you’re in the right place. This podcast explores the strategies I use to overcome a lifetime of family alcohol abuse, more than 30 years of anxiety and worry about my own drinking, and what felt like an unbreakable daily drinking habit. Becoming an alcohol minimalist means removing excess alcohol from your life. So it doesn’t remove you from life. It means being able to take alcohol or leave it without feeling deprived. It means to live peacefully, being able to enjoy a glass of wine without feeling guilty and without needing to finish the bottle. With Science on our side will shatter your past patterns and eliminate your excuses. Changing your relationship with alcohol is possible. I’m here to help you do it. Let’s start now. Well, hello and welcome or welcome back to the alcohol minimalist podcast with me your host Molly Watts coming to you from cold, rainy, windy. Blah, Oregon right now, I have to tell you, it’s pretty much the week has come. And we have days on end right now of rain in the forecast. And the kind of rain where it gets really really cold but not cold enough to snow, not cold enough to look pretty just gray and cold, and rainy, and wet. So this week’s podcast is number 100. And my plan has always been to do the episode that I am recording. It’s all about the five things I needed to change before I could change my relationship with alcohol. I’ve been really excited to share this episode with you. And despite what I am about to share with you, I absolutely still am excited about it. Before we get there, however, I want to share with you something that happened to me this past week, actually on Thanksgiving. It’s something that is impacting my life right now and I know is a life event that I will carry with me. Many of you who have listened to this podcast for a while now know that this isn’t my first podcast, the story of how I created a peaceful relationship with alcohol was really a byproduct of my work to create the habits of a happier longer life. And those habits were habits that I watched my father practice that contributed to his very optimistic and positive experience with aging. Without going into all the details. You can learn more about that previous podcast and about my dad’s inspiring life by listening to the first episode which I will link in the show notes. The podcast is called live happier longer. And it’s available wherever you listen to podcasts. After working on that podcast for more than two years, I interviewed a life coach. And that interview was where I first heard about the self coaching model that is now the foundation of what I call the behavior map results cycle. I also realized after that conversation with the life coach. Now while I was talking all about building the habits of a happier longer life. I had this one habit, my drinking habit that I knew was keeping me from living my best life. I felt like an impostor. And so in the beginning of 2019 I decided to finally go to work on changing my decades long daily drinking habit. My success in changing this habit included changing the relationship I had with my alcohol Holic mother, even though she was deceased by then, I went on to start this podcast write my book, and I hope bring true purpose to my mother’s life. Though I still very firmly believe in the five daily habits that we focused on with live happier, longer. They are moved, learn, give, share and let go, which by the way are all scientifically proven to increase longevity and improve overall happiness. You see my science roots were already showing. I know that helping people change their relationship with alcohol is where I am meant to serve. And my dad who has been along for the ride has been nothing but supportive and excited about my efforts. He was thrilled to see the book in print. And despite not really understanding the podcast format, he could hardly believe it. When I told him that I’d hit 100,000 downloads. It gave him great comfort to know that I was finally at peace with alcohol, and that I had reduced my drinking so significantly, he was very proud that I was helping people change their drinking to on Thanksgiving at the age of 94 point 10 After enjoying an extraordinarily beautiful November day here in Oregon, sharing a great meal with his grandsons. And laughing his way through an old episode of Frasier. He experienced sudden cardiac arrest, and was gone instantly. While it was undeniably shocking, I also believed I was prepared for his passing just because of his advanced age. Well, it turns out that as much as I thought I was ready, I really wasn’t. I have felt a true ache in my heart, like I have never felt before. But I am very relieved to share with you that because of the work I’ve done and do, I do not have the desire to over drink to escape my sadness. Something I definitely would have and did do previously, when faced with loss. I’m dedicating this episode to my dad, Craig Q curry. I know a lot of people believe they have the best dad ever. And I will simply say that I believe my dad was among the best of the best. He was a man of honor, intelligence and humor. I teased that he could talk to anyone, and he’d find a common ground. I called it the six degrees of Craig curry. Because inevitably he’d find something or someone that he had in common with everyone. He loved football, golf, Abe Lincoln, and his family. He understood what it meant to work hard. And before I could get the details out for him, I’d be saying Dad, can you and he jumped in saying Yep, happy to. He was my rock, my compass and my brightest Guiding Light. I was so very proud and still have to call him my dad. He had his first heart attack in 1980. And he would have told you that he had been living on borrowed time since then. He never took it for granted, and taught all of us around him, how to live a life with optimism, despite the challenges. So here’s to you, Dad, I miss you so much already. All right. On to the show. I have a little bit of housekeeping to do as well. And this is also something I have been very excited to share with you. Step one, my hybrid online horse coaching program is opening again for January. And it’s got some pretty great bonuses. First, there’s the program itself. So step one includes a six week online course that is self guided, and a 50 minute one on one coaching session with me to tailor the program to your specific circumstances and habit habit patterns. You also get a PDF version of my book breaking the bottle legacy. So you have lifetime access to step one, which I am continually adding new content to and ultimately my hope is that step one will become sort of like the alcohol minimalist clubhouse, where you can drop in anytime at any point and find something useful, and someone who cares and This in your corner. Only students of step one or proof positive have access to my coaching calendar. Now, in addition, if you sign up for January’s course, this offering you get some pretty great bonuses. Number one, you get enrolled in moderation management’s extra dry, premium version of dry you weary. Now, whether or not you’re planning on doing the full 30 days, I certainly am, I hope you will too. But this is a 30 day program that will help support you to incorporate more alcohol free days in the month of dry weary if you’re not looking to do the whole month. So it’s a great program. It’s a $15 value right now, that’s going up to 25 here and very few days. So it’s 30 days of support during the dry you were a period in January. Now if you’ve already enrolled in dry weary through moderation, management.org. And you’ve already signed up for the extra drive premium version of it, you will get refunded the $15 by me. So if you haven’t yet, it’s included. So sign up for step one, and you’ll get enrolled in dry whereis extra drivers and over at moderation management. Second bonus super excited about this as well. This is something that is an exclusive opportunity through me. With your enrollment in step one, you will get three months free, that’s a full quarter year free of sunny side, the app that I talk about all the time, the techspace support system, and all that they’re going to be doing for dry weary as well. It’s $30 value, and you get that free as a part of signing up for step one. So the cost of step one is $249. And without the bonuses. I know it’s an amazing value. There is no one in this space offering one on one coaching, and an online course with lifetime access and a book for $249. And now you get some really great extra values to boot. So this is the perfect time to take action. Set yourself up for the year and truly change your relationship with alcohol. Become an alcohol minimalist. Join me for step one starting January 1 2023. You can go to my website www dot Molly watts.com/step. One that’s Ste p o n e altogether and get signed up for more information. I will be opening the doors for registration in about one week. But right now I just want to let you know you can sign up to get notified of when that happens. I am super excited again to share that opportunity with you. Hey, all just a quick break in the show to talk with you for a minute about sunny side. It’s fall and it’s time for tailgaters and holiday parties on the horizon. There is never a better time than right now to put a mindful plan into place. And Sunnyside is my recommendation for how you can really use a tool that provides a way to track your drinks, measure your progress, and really uses proven behavior change techniques to create lasting habit change. The thing is, you can reduce your drinking by 30% in the first 30 days with Sunny Side, and you can save over $50 a month, cut out 2500 calories out of your diet. And these are just based on average results. I know that people that I talk to and people that I work with are using sunny side and getting great results. If you’d like to find out if it will work for you go to www.sunnyside.co/minimalist to get started on a free 15 day trial today. So as I mentioned, this episode is all about the five things I needed to change before I could truly say I have a peaceful relationship with alcohol. When I first started doing the work to change my drinking, I truly did not know if I could be successful. All the evidence from my past suggested that I couldn’t be in fact, looking at all of my past attempts to change simply created an even greater sense of doubt. I didn’t know how to be successful. And the first thing I had to give up I was thinking that my fears and doubts were reasons to not take action. I had to decide that not knowing how long it would take how many times I would stumble, none of it mattered, there came a day when the fear of not being able to do it. And to not be important, I’m just going to do it afraid. And I’m going to do it thinking that I don’t know if I can do it, I’m just going to do it anyway, I’m going to take these steps, I’m going to take these steps every day. That’s the number one common thing I see in people who end up successfully changing their drinking habits and creating a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Just like me, most of them did not believe, or greatly doubted, and had a lot of fears about their ability to change. But the fact that we all doubted ourselves isn’t what I want you to focus on. The thing I want you to hear is that we were also wrong. We were just wrong about ourselves. I heard this quote recently, and I wanted to share it for anyone sitting around letting their fear and their doubts dictate how they’re showing up in their lives. Now, it is fine to be afraid, it is fine to doubt. But let’s stop letting the fears and the doubts dictate how we show up. Bob Proctor said, faith and fear both demand for you to believe in something that you can’t see. I want you to hear that again. faith and fear both demand you believe in something that you can not see. So if you cannot see it, you might as well go with faith, right? Choose faith, not fear. My fear and doubts kept me stuck for a long time. So many of you are letting your fears and doubts keep you stuck. And for me, I had to give up the idea that I needed to know I was going to succeed at changing my drinking to get started. I was like there’s just no way to know. And that’s okay. I don’t need to know to get started. Every person that’s created a peaceful relationship with alcohol didn’t know if they could do it when they got started. I’ve applied faith in my willingness to get up each day, and try a little bit better, harder than the day before. instead of fearing that I couldn’t do it. I literally made a promise to myself that every day I was going to wake up instead of sitting there and thinking about how many times I failed in the past. I just chose to be determined for that day. I would say to myself, is there something that you can do that just a little bit better than you did yesterday? put faith in that question. I made plans, and I would try to stick to my plans. I took it day by day, so many of you are believing in your fears instead of having faith. I’m just going to tell you as someone who has fallen short on a lot of big goals, because I thought keeping my eye on the finish line was the answer. I had to put faith in the question of today. What do I have the emotional bandwidth just to do just for today, maybe tomorrow, I’ll have more. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have less, I don’t know. Here’s what I do know, I cannot keep putting all my eggs in the fear basket. I’m just going to see what I can believe in this moment in this day. And I will reflect and recover as often as I need to. So that was really the first thing I had to give up. I had to stop believing that knowing if and how I could succeed mattered. And instead, I chose faith in small steps each and every day. The second thing I had to give up was believing that changing my drinking habits was going to be hard. I swear to God, I used to sit around all the time thinking about how hard it was going to be in my mind would go off thinking about all the things I was going to have to give up that point I probably drink three beers most nights and more on the weekends. And the idea of not being able to drink like I was drinking or not drink at all. So I have the typical black and white all or nothing thinking that is fueled by AAA and recovery program thinking. So I thought that in order to change my drinking habits, I needed to be able to stop drinking for some period of time. I thought you have to prove to yourself that you don’t need alcohol. And the only way you can do that is to take an extended break. And that’s pretty much impossible. So it was just too hard to stop. And so what I stopped doing was trying to change when I thought that way right? What I actually needed to do, I needed to meet myself where I was at and create a doable plan. I needed to educate myself on the science of habits and the science of alcohol So I could start finding the small wins that made changing my drinking easier. Here’s the thing. Every time you sit around and you think about how hard this is going to be, you’re going to be afraid to try. You sit and do nothing. What can you do to make it easier to change? That was the question that needed to be asked. My biggest problem was that my unconscious programming, my belief system was focused on this, the all or nothing stories that most of us have around alcohol, society fuels, those stories, AAA and other recovery programs, fuel these beliefs. And I didn’t understand how my thoughts drove my desire to drink. I also didn’t understand how continually telling myself, it, it was too hard to change created my feelings of being unmotivated, complacent, discouraged, to even try. You know what’s really hard. The hard thing was never doing anything to change. And every single day, because I thought it would be too hard, living with that constant anxiety and worry about my drinking. That was hard. When I stopped telling myself that it was going to be so hard, and instead told myself that I could create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, with small steps, easy wins, and in a way that would be sustainable for the rest of my life. I could do that. I could start that. And I felt motivated to change. The third thing I needed to give up was waiting for the right time. I can’t tell you how many tomorrow’s how many Mondays how many January’s I have waited for in my life. But it’s definitely in the hundreds and possibly in the 1000s over the course of my life. And I can tell you, I might have been able to change my drinking habits a whole heck of a lot sooner. If I had quit telling myself that now’s not the right time. You know, I had a vacation planned. So it wasn’t the right time. I had a lot going on my job. So it wasn’t the right time. My parents were sick. So it wasn’t the right time. Or it was the holidays like it is right now. You know, I always had all these I was constantly telling myself reasons why now is not the right time, which of course is unfortunately just a total Sham. And let me tell you why. You want to learn to include alcohol in your life in a way where you can handle your life where you can deal with your life. Without overdrinking. You shouldn’t be doing it in a way that is so hard or so impossible or so time consuming. That you can’t take care of your kids that you can’t go on vacation, that you can’t visit your parents, you can’t in the hospital or you can’t deal with your job. There was no right time coming. Every moment matters. And there needed to be a way and there was for me to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol, where the right time had nothing to do with it. I needed to be able to go on vacation and still make progress. I need to be able to get together for holiday gatherings be around alcohol and not believe well. Now it’s not the right time. You know, it’s an end, you know, I had to get over thinking that it’s not the right time, because work is so stressful. If what you’re doing to change your drinking habits does not allow you to live your life, to be with your life who deal with your life, to navigate the ups and downs that every life has. You’re doing it wrong. And I had to quit doing that I had to quit betting on what’s called conditional success. No more conditional success. Conditional success means all the conditions need to be right. In order for me to have what I need in order for me to be able to do what I need to do. I traded that in for deliberate success, which means that I was going to sit down and I was going to figure out the things that I needed to do for myself, no matter what was going on in my life. No more giving up on me. No more letting life tell me that I can’t take care of myself. That’s not true. In the moments when life goes crazy. That is the exact moment that I need to show up for myself. And I needed a plan and I needed to have a process that helped create that piece for me. The fourth thing that I have to get to give up was believing that failure could no longer be a reason to stop or to not try, I had to learn that I was going to have to be okay. If I disappointed myself, I could not allow mistakes to do or Elmi. We get to try as many times as we want. That’s the beauty of this. We don’t have to beat ourselves into submission or tell ourselves, we’re not capable. When things don’t go as we plan. That’s optional. A lot of us do that when things don’t work out. I know, I certainly have ended for a long time. We talked to ourselves so poorly, we call ourselves lazy, we call ourselves dumb, we call ourselves stupid, why can’t you learn? We think that everybody around us is ashamed of us. Now, we do this to ourselves. And I just had to accept that if things didn’t work out, instead of being disappointed in myself, every day, I was going to be proud that I actually tried. And I was going to keep trying, again. Otherwise, I was just doing what we call pre disappointment. I was sitting around every day disappointed that I wasn’t trying, that I wasn’t changing, that I didn’t have enough discipline, I was disappointed that I couldn’t figure out how to change, I was already living a life of disappointment. That’s what I want you to understand. Me not going for it didn’t tamp that down, I had to quit telling myself that I couldn’t handle disappointment, I would just tell myself that and get afraid. When I finally started changing, I reminded myself that I could either be disappointed in myself for not trying or allow disappointment to ride along with me, as I learned how to keep going, you might as well keep going, right? until you figure it out, and have a plan in place for how you’re going to show up for yourself. When you struggle, and allow those failures to be lessons that you use to keep moving forward. The last thing I had to give up was I had to quit complaining. I had to quit complaining about my genetics, about my mom about my history about my job about my life. I had to quit complaining about all of it. And I had to decide that from now on. I am working around every obstacle that I believe is in my way. People who succeed aren’t complaining about what’s wrong. They are not focused on the problem, they are focused on the solution. So many of us just use these things against ourselves. And then we over drink because of it. Whatever’s going on between your ears is really what’s happening in what’s determining how much you’re drinking. So please remember that changing your habits is really not about counting your drinks. It’s about what goes on in your mind. There is no drink plan on the planet that can overcome the obstacle of crappy mindset. I tell you, I used to be very dramatic about my life. Everything was hard. I had a lot on my plate, I had real challenges. But I also had so many blessings, so much to be grateful for. And you know, even the things that I complained about. Now, when I look back, I think was that even really that bad? I had to quit listening to those stories. When they would start up, I would just tell myself, there goes that there goes old Molly thinking again, I’m not going to think like that anymore. When I really made the connection between how much my thoughts created my feelings, I didn’t want to hold on to a lot of negative thinking. It didn’t feel good to think that way. And the truth was, there was always another perspective. There was always another perspective available to me. My thoughts were optional. And none of the things that I complained about kept me from creating a peaceful relationship with alcohol. I just needed to learn how to use the power of my beautiful, brilliant human brain to work for me and not against me. So ask yourself, do you need to give up any of these things so you can change your drinking habits and create a peaceful relationship with alcohol now? Do you believe you have to know if you’re going to be successful before you can start? Do you need to quit telling yourself how hard change is going to be? Do you need to stop waiting for the right time? Do you need to stop being afraid to fail and allowing your mistakes to keep you from trying. Do you need to stop complaining about your life and convincing yourself that your life is why you over drink. If you are ready to join me and take some next steps and really work on your peaceful relationship with alcohol, I hope you’ll consider joining step one in January. Thank you for being here. Thank you for joining me on episode number 100. And with that, I will say Until next time, my friends, choose peace. Thank you for listening to the alcohol minimalist podcast. This podcast is dedicated to helping you change your drinking habits and to create a peaceful relationship with alcohol. Use something 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