What are the drinking goals of people joining Club Soda?

By Posted in Feelings and Emotions

From the very beginning of Club Soda three years ago, we’ve always said that we are never going to tell anyone what their goals should be. So whether you wanted to cut down on your drinking habits, or quit alcohol completely, you would be welcome at Club Soda. And regardless of your goals, we would help you achieve them.

We’ve often used the tagline “cut down, stop for a bit, quit, or stick” to describe our approach (“stick” meaning to stick to your new habits or to maintain what you’ve already achieved). Initially, we thought that those four goals would cover most people. But it turns out that life just isn’t that simple.

When we started asking people joining our Facebook group what their drinking goal was, we quickly realised that people’s goals are much more complex than we had first thought. In this article, I’m going to talk about some of that complexity and about how our goals can shift, mutate and evolve over time.

The quotes below are all from new Club Soda members who joined our Facebook group in January or February 2018.

Cut down, moderate, drink more mindfully

To “cut down” can mean many things. From drinking on fewer days of the week to drinking less each day to drinking something else, and on and on. Many people start with a vague idea of what moderation could mean in their journey. Through trial and error, they often discover what works for them, and what doesn’t work. Sometimes they decide that quitting altogether is the better option for them after all.

What are your drinking goals?

“To cut down. I am finishing Dry January now and do not want to stop drinking, just drink in moderation and less often.”

“Cut back from a habit of 1 to 2 glasses of wine each night and be able to have a mindful single glass of wine, 1 or 2 times a week.”

“To cut down and change my drinking habits. Find a healthier way to deal with stress.”

Stop for a bit, take a sober sprint

Most people planning to stop for a bit have a fixed number of sober days or months in mind – a month, two months, 100 days, a year. Some have a goal in mind for afterward as well, others are waiting and seeing how they will feel after their sober sprint.

What are your drinking goals?

“I want to stop drinking for a month – and then see whether I give up alcohol permanently.”

“To stop for a year, then decide what comes next.”

“I’m trying to change my relationship with alcohol after years of drinking too much. I’m attempting 100 days alcohol free right now.”

Quit, go alcohol-free

Forever seems like a long time, but some new Club Soda members have already made up their minds. Their reasons may differ, but their goal is the same: an alcohol-free life. Some have tried cutting down and realised they are better off without, others have enjoyed a sober sprint and want to carry on.

What are your drinking goals?

“I gave up drinking for 2 months last year and felt wonderful. I started mindful drinking but at Christmas lost it. I want to get back to being sober and leading an amazing life.”

“I am hoping to quit completely, as I do not enjoy it any more.”

“Stop drinking completely. I have always had a problem with binge drinking and not knowing when to stop. I have tried several ways of limiting but have finally accepted I am not in control when I drink alcohol and therefore, alcohol-free is right for me.”

Stick, maintain, carry on

Some new members have a few sober or mindful drinking weeks under their belt, some have given up alcohol years ago – but all “stickers” are determined to hold on to what they’ve achieved. Many say they would still like some help and support, while others are just looking for new friends who understand their choice of not drinking, or drinking less than they used to.

What are your drinking goals?

“My goal is to stick with an alcohol-free lifestyle. After being sick and tired of being sick and tired for about a decade, I quit drinking over 3 years ago.”

“Last year I spent 3 months in rehab for alcohol abuse. I’m a year sober and need to keep it that way.”

“I have 1 year sober March 4. And I want to stick to that forever!”

The “not sures” and the mixers

Many peoples’ goals are easy to put into one of our four categories, but maybe an equal number are not. Either the new Club Soda member doesn’t exactly know what their goal is either, or they have two or more goals at the same time.

What are your drinking goals?

“Not sure, I’m really enjoying Dry January and am going to keep going (give up alcohol for lent) and then I will re-evaluate whether or not I want to reintroduce alcohol to my life, in much smaller quantities.”

“Cut down significantly – but I want to stop really. I think. But I don’t know what a life without alcohol in it looks like – so not sure.”

“Ideally I would like to quit all together, I’m not ready to consider forever at this point but I have cut down a lot over the last month.”

“To cut down and ideally quit altogether.”

Non-drinking goals

Sometimes the main goal isn’t about drinking at all. Cutting down or quitting alcohol is just a way of achieving something else: losing weight, getting healthier, concentrating on other things in life.

What’s your drinking goal?

“Cut down to lose weight for my wedding.”

“Alcohol free for a year to lose weight & improve my running.”

“I stopped drinking 9 months ago. Drinking made me really unhappy and I’d got into some bad habits. Would be nice to hang out with others that feel the same in a world where you’re made to feel like a weirdo for not drinking!”

“To stop drinking indefinitely, I am 44 days alcohol free so far, this is to support my goals for better health, training for my second Ironman, be a nicer person, save money, look better and free myself from desire to drink to increase confidence.”

“Stop drinking while I am quitting smoking. Not smoked or had a drink for almost 3 weeks.”

From setting goals to achieving them

From the quotes above, you can see that people have many kinds of goals when they join Club Soda, but the tools and techniques for achieving those goals are often exactly the same. The other thing to keep in mind is that people’s goals often change over time.

That is why we want to keep Club Soda as a place that is welcome for everyone, regardless of their initial goals. We can all learn from each other, and help and support each other.


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