Motivation at Christmas

As we head towards Christmas – a trigger season for us all – Laura talks about motivation at Christmas

Carrot or stick? What motivates you best? Are you more motivated by what you might lose by giving up a drink, or the consequences of not changing?

For some, it is the extrinsic motivation (doing something because of what we get (or avoid) by doing it) for others is it the intrinsic motivation (joy of the process rather than outcome).

Either way, perhaps rather than seeing your goal as an absence of alcohol, try to think of stopping drinking or cutting down as a way of creating more opportunities to do different or new things.

Questions to ask yourself for motivation at Christmas:

  • What kind of reasons did you have for wanting to stop or reduce your drinking?
  • Are those reasons still sufficiently motivating?
  • If not, what new reasons and goals will keep you motivated longer-term?
  • Have you noticed any surprising positive benefits of sticking to your goals?
  • If part of you needs to be motivated by the stick – how are you going to remind yourself about the risks and negative things you are avoiding, and of the reality of what drink was doing to you, even when the memory fades?
  • Is it just about avoiding booze, or can you see that stopping or cutting down is part of a larger pattern of change – freeing up time and energy to get more done, and making other healthy or positive changes instead of drinking?
  • Will you always need sticks and carrots, or do you think you could begin to enjoy this journey for its own sake?

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