The Podcast

Take a Break

Episode #322

Why You Struggle With Commitment Part 1

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Tuesday’s Episode

The moment you decided to give in, to order another one, or to take a sip, you made a decision.

Most people aren’t aware of what they thought in that moment, but bringing awareness to it is crucial if you want to change your drinking habit.

This week, learn how to reevaluate the nitty-gritty moment right before having a drink and why bringing awareness to this moment will help you keep your commitment in the future.

What You’ll Discover

Why you might want to avoid looking back at the moment before you drank.

Some of the thoughts you might have that lead to taking a sip.

How being willing to evaluate your decision to drink impacts your ability to say no.

Featured on the show


You are listening to the Take A Break podcast with Rachel Hart, Episode 322.

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.

Hey, everybody. We are talking about commitment. This is going to be a two-part episode: Why you’re struggling with commitment. I talked in my last episode about why your commitment falls apart. And this series of episodes is really about how to bring as much awareness as possible to what is going on with the habit.

So, I have an exercise inside the membership, when people are either doing the 30-Day Challenge or the people who want to reintroduce alcohol, they’re doing that reintroduction work. I have an exercise all about assessing what happened. It works if you’re trying to take a break, it works if you’re wanting to drink less, it kind of works across the board. And in fact, you really can apply it to so many things in life.

That last episode was kind of step number one, in assessing what happened. Really understanding, okay, how were you feeling in the lead-up? Well, before it came time for you to actually make good on your commitment. So, I encourage you, if you haven’t listened to that episode, to go back and listen to Episode 321.

Because today, I really want to get into the real nitty-gritty details of what happened in the moment, that split second, where you gave in, or you broke your commitment. This is not a place that a lot of people spend a lot of time and energy. We’re very quick to be like, “I don’t know, I just really overdid it last night. I don’t know, I just really screwed up.”

We’re very quick to pass judgment. And because we pass judgment, because we’re so quick to label what happened as a mistake, a failure, or a screw up or there being something “wrong” with me, we’re so quick to pass that judgment. So, we seldom really actually want to look closely at what happened. Like, “Oh, God, do I have like to have to go back to this place where I was a bad person? Where I was screwing up? I don’t want to revisit that.”

Listen, you weren’t a bad person. I’m not asking you to go back to the nitty-gritty details, because I want you to relive shame. I’m actually asking you to go into these details to help remove shame. That’s actually the amazing thing that happens for people, is that they’re so sure, looking back, examining the moments where they have broken their commitment, is actually going to feel terrible.

When in truth, it can give so much relief. It can give so much relief to see oh, it was just a sentence in my mind. It was just a thought that I had in the moment that I didn’t even realize was there. That’s why it happened. Not because I’m broken, or something’s wrong with me or something’s wrong with my brain or I’m missing an off switch. Right? None of that is what’s going on.

So, I have people really start to unpack that think-feel-act cycle. What we’re talking about on the podcast all the time. This idea that your drinking doesn’t just happen, there’s a thought and a feeling connected to it. What I have people do in this exercise, is really unpack it for every step of the way.

Today, we’re going to be talking about the moment where you give in. The moment where you break your commitment. That split second before you say yes. So, maybe your commitment was to have nothing. It’s that split second before you drank. Maybe your commitment was to stop at two. It’s that split second right before you had the third. What was happening there?

Remember, we don’t pick up the drink. We don’t lift up our arm and move our hands towards our mouth and take a sip, we don’t do any of that, our body doesn’t make a move towards the drink without a thought and a feeling.

Now, you will be very unconscious about what that thought, and feeling is. But I promise you, it’s there. And so, what we want to start to do is figure out what was happening in that split second right before? What excuse, what thought, did your brain use to not keep your commitment?

Again, this isn’t about going into blame or shame. It’s just looking to find what that sentence was, because of finding it is so powerful. When you know what that sentence is, you not only can start to see oh, it’s just a thought, that’s it. My lower brain just offered a thought. But you also now have the roadmap for, if this is the thought that leads to me giving in what do I need to start thinking differently?

What do I need to tell myself instead? How do I need to respond when it comes up? And now, here’s the beauty of going back and doing the nitty-gritty. And going on the hunt, searching for what was I thinking? How was I feeling? In that split second.

The beauty of doing this is that you gain awareness that you’re never going to lose. So, I think of it like, if you learn a new word that you’ve never heard before, or you discover a country, right? Someone talks about a country that you didn’t even know existed.

And, you know, this funny thing happens when we have that experience. It’s that all of a sudden, immediately after, it’s like, oh my god, there’s that word again. Or, oh my gosh, here we are talking about Tajikistan. Again, I didn’t even know Tajikistan existed until yesterday, and now everybody’s talking about it.

Suddenly, it’s like this thing that you just learned, you just gained awareness about, it’s everywhere. Now, of course, it’s not actually appearing with more frequency. What’s happening, is it your brain was just ignoring it before. Because you’re like, “Yeah, I don’t know what that is.” You didn’t even realize you were ignoring it. It was there, but you didn’t have awareness about it.

Now, the same thing is true with that thought that you have in the split second before you break your commitment. Again, we often want to revert to, I don’t know, it just happened. I’m not very good at following through. We want to make the explanation for why we can’t keep a commitment into this thing that is totally unexplainable. Or this part of our personality.

The problem when we make it part of our personality, it’s just like, yeah, I don’t know, I’m just I’ve always been this way. I’m just someone who’s not very good. I’m just someone who thinks more is better. I’m just someone who, when I start, I have a hard time stopping.

When we make it part of our personality, then it feels impossible to change, right? It’s like, how am I going to recode my personality? I can’t change my DNA. Except, neither of those things are true. It’s not just happening. And it’s not an indication of who you are as a person. It’s a thought that your brain has learned to practice. That has become habitual. That you likely have zero awareness of.

And when you do the work to go back and see what was happening in that split second before I gave in? What was I thinking to myself? How was I feeling? When you go back and you find the thought, you see that there was indeed a sentence, it really creates so much freedom in a way. You start to feel really empowered.

I will tell you; I have such a vivid memory. I’ve talked about this before. I was very, very convinced that my drinking just didn’t make sense, right? I would swear up and down, there was no rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes I would rein myself in. Sometimes I would stop. And other nights, it was like, I mean, I thought I was going out for happy hour, and then it’s 2am and we’re at the shawarma cart getting food.

I would have told you, I would have been sure, there is no rhyme or reason to it. It just happens. It’s unpredictable. But then, when I started learning this work, the idea that no, it doesn’t just happen, there is a thought, there is a feeling. And all of a sudden, I remember when I had the awareness around the thought, “Eff it!”

Of course, that’s not what I was saying in my brain. I was saying the more explicit version, but that thought of “Eff it! Who cares?” The moment that that clicked for me, the moment I was like, “Oh my God, there is a thought there. I do think that in the moment. Those are the nights that go off the rails.”

It was a like I had just gained this access, this doorway into my mind, that I didn’t even think was possible. It was so freeing and empowering for me to realize, “Yeah, there is a thought. I am thinking something. It doesn’t just happen.”

Because it meant for me, in that moment, “If there is a thought, if there is this path that I can follow, then perhaps I can change the path. Perhaps I can start to craft a new way forward. If it just happens then I’m screwed, right? If it’s just part of my personality, then how am I ever going to change it?”

I will tell you; this same thing happens all the time when I walk people through this exercise in the membership. I will witness them have their own light bulb moment. Because so many of those people, they intellectually understand and agree with this idea of the think-feel-act cycle. It makes sense to them.

And part of them, believes that their drinking doesn’t just happen. And part of them, is holding on to this idea of like, I don’t know, maybe I’m just the exception. Maybe there is no thought, maybe it doesn’t work like that for me.

And so, to have something that really feels like I don’t know, I don’t know why I drink that much last night. To have something that feels like you can’t explain it, to all of a sudden, go to the place where you can actually pinpoint the moment, the sentence, the feeling, where you broke your commitment, that really changes everything.

Because now you have this awareness about a part of the habit that was hidden from you; you couldn’t see it. Right? I had that thought, “Eff it!” Over and over and over again for years and years and years, and I had no awareness that it was there. The beauty is, that once you grant yourself that awareness, it’s like once you see it, you can’t unsee it.

Now, you are not going to lose the awareness. So, not only do you free yourself from the idea of it just happens; if your drinking just happens, how are you going to change it? Not only that, but more importantly, when you see that thought, when you understand how you were feeling in the moment, all the sudden, you have your starting point.

You have that place to start from, to figure out, well, if that is what is triggering the decision to break my commitment, the decision to say yes, okay, so how am I going to create a new way forward? It’s very hard to craft a new way forward when you have no idea where you’re starting from.

But now with that awareness, when you do that work, it’s like, okay, so if that is my go-to excuse, and you may have more than one, I certainly did. But if you can start to see what they are, it’s like, okay, so well, how am I going to talk to myself differently in the moment? Because now I’m going to have much more awareness when it appears.

Now, I’m actually going to be able to see it come up, rather than have it be this invisible part of the habit. I say this all the time, that we have to, if we want to change our relationship with alcohol… It doesn’t matter what your goal is, if you want to change your relationship with alcohol, you have to start talking to yourself more than you listen to yourself. Right?

When we are on autopilot, when the habit is just this unconscious thing, we’re just listening. We don’t even realize that we’re listening. But that’s what’s going on. We’re not talking to ourselves in these moments, we’re just listening.

Listening to those thoughts of the lower brain is like, “Yeah, this is a good one. Every time I think these thoughts, ‘Eff it! I deserve it. It’s not fair, I want one, too. It’s free. I don’t want to waste it.’ Every time I think that thought, you know what? I get a reward. That’s a really good thought to think.”

But if you can shine a light and how the habit works… If you can shine a light right into that split second moment, the split-second right before you gave in, suddenly you have this way forward. This is how change is created.

If you’re not going to go back and get curious… If you’re not going to go back… If you’re going to try to pretend like oh, let’s just forget that last night happened… If you’re not going to go back, you’re not going to be able to create the change that you want.

Because change is created in these small bits of awareness. Change does not come from magically turning into this person with an iron will. It comes from these small steps, these small shifts, in changing your response to your thoughts. Your response to your desire and your urges. Your response to your deprivation, anxiety, and insecurity.

You’re starting to create with these small steps and new neural pathway. And that’s how you change the habit. So, be willing to go back into that nitty-gritty. This really is part one. And then, I’m going to have a part two episode. That’s, “Okay. I know what happens now, the moment that I gave in. What happened the moment right after?”

All right, I’ll 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 and start your transformation today.

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