Take a Break
Deciding On Your End Goal
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The process of deciding on your end goal can be a challenge when changing your relationship to drinking. It is okay to not know exactly what you want, beyond knowing that something needs to change.
By eliminating the mind’s chatter and not playing into internal dramas, new thoughts and practices can come through much easier. Making space to commit to decisions becomes easeful and no big deal.
In this episode, learn the power of freeing up your mental energy so that you can worry less about drinking, and spend more time creating, enjoying, and cultivating other aspects of life.
What You’ll Discover
How your end goal with drinking can be changeable.
Methods for removing mind-chatter around your drinking.
The power of normalizing not knowing your drinking end game.
Featured on the show
You are listening to the Take A Break podcast with Rachel Hart, Episode 326.
Whether you want to drink less or stop drinking, this podcast will help you change the habit from the inside out. We’re challenging conventional wisdom about why people drink and why it can be hard to resist temptation. No labels, no judgment, just practical tools to take control of your desire and stop worrying about your drinking. Now, here’s your host, Rachel Hart.
Welcome back, everybody. Today, we are talking about how to decide your end goal when it comes to drinking and alcohol. This is a question that comes up all the time, I always say. And I think one of the things that makes the work that I do so different and so unique is that inside Take a Break, in the membership, we have people with all different goals.
There are people who want to drink less in a sitting. There are people who want to drink less during the week. There are people who want alcohol to be kind of a rare part of their life, something that they save for special occasions. There are people who want to take a real solid period of time off.
Their goal is really about, let me get maybe 90 days under my belt of not drinking, let me get six months. They really want to do that because they want a reset for their mind and their body. There are people who are like, “You know what? I’m done. It’s just not something that I want to expend mental energy on anymore. It’s not something that I want to put a lot of resources towards. I just want to be this person that feels completely confident without it.” So, we have all different types of goals.
And I think it’s incredibly powerful for people to be doing the work with others who may have a different goal from themselves. I think it’s powerful, because so often we tell ourselves that, “You know, it would be easier if everyone was making the same decision as me. It would just be easier if everybody at the table if nobody was drinking. Then that would be easier.”
It is a belief that I think extends well beyond the realm of drinking and alcohol. About, we need people to make the same decisions. And when everyone is making the same decision, then our ability to succeed, that will go up. I mean, I understand why that is. But I think that part of the problem, when we tell ourselves, “If we’re all on the same page, and I don’t have temptation around me, and we’re all making the same choices, that’s going to be easier for me.”
When we have that mindset, what we inadvertently do is teach the mind that when people are making different decisions, that it’s going to be very challenging. And so, the beauty of having all different types of people with all different goals around alcohol, all working together, all using these tools together, all trying to change their relationship with alcohol, but in different ways, is that it exposes people, essentially, to the process of change in a real-world setting.
Where people are going to be making different decisions. And that’s okay. How then, do you deal with that? When you see what someone else is doing and maybe judgment bubbles up, maybe you start to question your own goal, what’s going to happen, then? That is such a powerful and profound work.
But I will tell you, even though we have people that have all these different goals, I often think the vast majority of people that do this work with me say, “I don’t know. I don’t know what I want to do. I’m not sure what I want my relationship to be. I don’t know how to answer that question.” That is also a really okay place to be in.
I think one of the things, where I got stuck for such a long time in my own journey is that it really did seem that I had to know ahead of time where I wanted to go. And I didn’t know, I wasn’t sure. I was really in this tug-of-war with myself for a very long time. That it felt like things were just not as fun. Life was not as exciting. I could not be the person that I wanted to be. I couldn’t relax. I couldn’t have the pleasure. I couldn’t really let my silly, goofy self shine without alcohol.
So, that really felt intensely true for me for the longest time. And then on the other side, I was in this place of, “God, I don’t like feeling like I need it for these things. I don’t like the results that I’m getting. I don’t like waking up the next day and trying to piece together the night before. I don’t like spending a lot of mental energy worrying about am I ever going to figure this out? Is something really wrong with me?”
And so, I was in this tug-of-war for such a long period of time. And I think part of the problem for me was feeling like, okay, well, I have to decide. I have to make a decision. I have to decide what I’m going to do for the rest of my life. My answer is, no, you don’t. My answer is your relationship with alcohol can change over time.
You can make a decision now and make a different decision later. That’s okay, that doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. And you can also be in a place of not knowing what you want, and still be doing the work to change the habit. That is an important piece of this. Because I think so many people, because they’re in this tug-of-war, because they’re not sure what they want.
A lot of times, it’s that, “I don’t know what I want, but I just know something needs to change.” I remember thinking that so much. “I don’t know what I want. I’m not sure what I want.” I couldn’t really even envision what my future would look like, in many ways. But I knew I wanted something to change.
And one of the things that I offer to people in these moments when they’re not sure, one of the things I offer is, what if we just focused on all the chatter? What if we just focused on turning down the volume on all that internal back and forth? All that chatter in your brain about, “I don’t know, should I drink tonight? How much? I hope I don’t screw up. Are people going to judge me? Is this person going to give me a hard time? I hope people don’t give me a hard time. Am I ever going to figure this out?”
We have so much chatter around the habit, and we’re in this place of feeling, in some ways, like we’re on autopilot. And in other ways, not really knowing how to intervene. It creates a ton of chatter. What I suggest to people is, what if, instead of focusing on this place of, “Okay, I’m never going to drink again. I’m just always going to limit myself to this magic number.”
What if, instead, your goal was to get to a place where it simply just didn’t take up a lot of room in your brain anymore? I want you to imagine what that would be like, if alcohol and urges and excuses and looking forward to drinking and recovering from last night, what if it just didn’t take up a lot of room in your brain anymore? What would that look like?
You know, in many ways, I see what it looks like for people that I work with. I see people make the decision, “Okay, you know what? I want to drink, and I’m going to make this decision. I don’t feel like I’m on autopilot anymore. I’m not worried that I can’t be trusted. And also, it’s no longer the best thing, about where I am or who I’m with or the end of the day or the party.”
“So, when it’s no longer the best thing, and I feel confident that I’m making a considered choice. And I’m not worried about trusting myself, and I’m not worried about being on autopilot, I can just enjoy it and move on.” What you think about that, how powerful that is? It’s like, “Yeah, yeah. Okay, so I had some wine. I’m moving on. Not a big deal.”
You can also go to the place of not having a lot of chatter if you say no. You decide, “You know what? I don’t want to drink. Maybe it’s not tonight, maybe it’s not this week, maybe it’s not this month, maybe… I don’t know for how long. But I don’t want to. I know that I want to say no, right now.”
“And it’s just a simple decision that I make. Without all the drama. Without feeling like I’m sitting at the kids’ table. Without feeling resentful or having FOMO or believing that I’m not as much fun or I’m not going to have a good time. It’s just an easy decision to make.”
Removing all that chatter is where I think so many people get stuck, because we don’t have the think-feel-act cycle. I mean, I certainly didn’t have it for the longest time. And so, not only did I not understand how all of the chatter around my drinking was actually leading to reinforcing the habit and reaching for another drink, but I had no idea how to intervene with it.
I had no idea what to do or how to change that. I didn’t even know that I could start noticing my thoughts, seeing what they create, and start practicing new believable thoughts that didn’t feel false or fake or like b.s. But I want you to think about, if you’re in that place of, “I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what I want to do,” what if, number one, that place wasn’t a problem to be in. What if that place wasn’t a problem?
It didn’t mean you couldn’t start doing the work. Because one of the things that I say a lot to people is, “It’s okay to pause when you’re doing this work.” It’s okay to pause and integrate everything that you’ve learned, everything that you are working on. To integrate that in and to help that refocus what you want your goal to be. It’s okay to do that.
So, nothing has gone wrong. Sometimes, people, when they’re inside the membership, sometimes, when they do that first 30-Day Challenge, they’ll get to the end, and they’ll say, “Yeah, I want to take that period. I want to take a period now to kind of integrate all of this.” That’s okay, that’s great. Use all that information. Use all those data points that you got from those 30 days, where you went all-in on the work. Use that time to, now that you have more data points, to see if you can get any closer to what is the vision that you want.
Sometimes people will do a 30-Day Challenge, and they’ll just stack another one right on. Sometimes people will do one, and then they’ll come back, three months later, six months later, and decide to do another as they’re continuing doing the work inside. It’s okay to be in that place of not being sure. And you can still make progress.
So, you can normalize that it’s okay not to know and doesn’t mean then you’re going to be stuck, you can still do this work. And you can start thinking instead of, “Well, do I never want to drink again? How much?” Instead of being in this place of quantity, you can be in this place of, “What do I want it to be like in my brain? How do I want to be thinking and feeling? What would it look like for me if I said no? What would it look like for me? What would need to change if it was no longer the best thing about the end of the day, the people that I’m with, or what I’m doing?
How would that then allow me to say, “Okay, yeah, have a drink and enjoy it and move on,” and not be caught in that place? You can start thinking about what you want from that angle. From the place of, “How much room is it currently taking up in my brain? And how much room do I want it to take up in my brain?”
I always say this, that one of the most important things that I think this work is about… Yes, it’s about feeling like you can trust yourself. It’s about feeling more in control. It’s about feeling better in your mind and your body. It’s about all of these things. But one of the places that I think is so often overlooked is it’s about freeing up your mental energy.
We spend so much energy thinking about drinking, worrying about drinking, looking forward to drinking, feeling bad about how much we drank. If we can free up all that mental energy, what would you use it for? What would you do with it? How would you want to harness it and utilize it to go create things and go do things in your life?
That, to me, is the real power of this work. The real power of this work, in many ways, has very little to do with alcohol. It’s really about learning how to go from this place of feeling like you’re at the mercy of your brain and you don’t really know how to control it and you don’t really know how to manage it.
To seeing your brain as this amazing tool that you have that you can work with, that you know how to create new neural pathways, you know how to interrupt habits, you know how to bring awareness, and step back, be in that place of the observer, and watch what’s happening. That’s the real gift of all of this work.
So, if you don’t know what you want right now, if don’t know where you’re going, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean anything’s gone wrong. You can still keep doing this work. Remember that.
Alright, that’s it for today. I will see you next week.
Okay, listen up. Changing your drinking is so much easier than you think. Whether you want to drink less or not at all, you don’t need more rules or willpower. You need a logical framework that helps you understand and, more importantly, change the habit from the inside out.
It starts with my 30-Day Challenge. Besides the obvious health benefits, taking a break from drinking is the fastest way to figure out what’s really behind your desire. This radically different approach helps you succeed by dropping the perfectionism and judgment that blocks change.
Decide what works best for you when it comes to drinking. Discover how to trust yourself and feel truly empowered to take it or leave it. Head on over to www.RachelHart.com/join and start your transformation today.