How to deal with a blip

It is not unusual to have a blip or a lapse. This is not me giving you permission to ‘have a night off’  because it happens to everyone, but instead a canter through the learning from Club Soda about why and how you can best respond to such an event.

What is a blip?

For a moderator that may mean you had a few too many drinks on a day you had planned to have just a couple. Or you may have started with an alcoholic drink when you meant to make the first two drinks alcohol-free. Basically, you did not stick to your plan.

Your blip could have been anywhere between a few too many and a skin-full, and how big or how long your blip was will affect how you feel about it.

Likewise if you are going alcohol-free. You may have had one night of excess before baring all to yourself and the Club Soda group, or your blip could have lasted a few weeks or even years.

Common responses

Our inner critic will be dying for us to see this as a failure. It hates having to ride the discomfort and wants us to gain immediate satisfaction from hitting the F**k it Button.

You may have an urge to change your goal to fit your behaviour, or begin to oscillate between a moderation goal and going alcohol-free, redrawing your boundaries to accommodate your perceived failure. You may set your days to zero or reframe them (xx days – 1).

How could you respond?

Get back on it now – It is not about the number of day 1s, it is about the fact you pick up and carry on. The shorter the time between a blip and picking up again, the more successful you will be in the longer term.

Create some space for yourself – preferably hangover-free! You can’t plan a lot with a bad hangover, but doing nothing also feeds into your guilt and sense of failure. So if you can manage just one thing, work out when tomorrow you will give yourself some time to focus on the next steps.

Recognise that it happened. Don’t redraw our goal to accommodate the blip. If you do, that in itself is an important reflection of your commitment to the goal.What made you do it?

What made your resolve crumble? Did you:


What could you have done differently? What was the alternative plan?

What does this tell you – does it “reaffirm we’re on the right road” ?


Use the WOOP system to reset your goal and create a new plan. Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan.


Be kind to yourself now and in the future. In the face of ‘failure’, guilt and disappointment we tend to treat ourselves harshly, when in fact we need to care for ourselves. Do something nice. Treat yourself with generosity because you are doing something hard. Plan in some rewards for the journey ahead.

Stephanie’s story

Your reflection does not have to be epic. In two paragraphs, Stephanie summed up the situation and her actions for the future. She did it well in her one paragraph post today:

I’ve never been so disappointed in myself. I was 75 days in and doing FANTASTIC…felt like I had everything under control and felt confident enough to do a girls weekend…well the pressure got to me after watching everyone drink and enjoy the sun and the water and before we went to dinner my friend said “you just need to live a little…quit trying to be so perfect” as she poured me a glass of wine and that was it…I drank almost a whole bottle worth.

My body actually physically rejected everything. I could feel it poisoning me, literally and I threw up everything in the nasty bar bathroom. Basically, my night was a complete waste. Fuzzy memory, felt like absolute crap…up all night with anxiety and have a killer headache. I have to not let this wreck me…have to let it empower me. And understand that it was absolute madness to put myself in the situation of attending a boozy girls weekend and thinking I could just sail past all my triggers.


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