Monday, 2 April 2012

Drink Awareness

What's this post about

Recording what you drink and how this is helpful. It will also introduce you to a very useful online tool.


Recording what you drink will give you insights not only about how much you drink but also when, with whom, where, how often, to what extend etc. It will help you understand the ‘structure’ of your drinking habit. This information is incredibly useful if you want to change your drinking habit.

Drink Awareness

You’re already aware that you drink too much. You’re probably already know where and who you drink with but when you start recording how much you drink, these facts become more salient, more real. You also become more aware that it’s a pattern. It has a rhythm. It has a structure. It’s a HABIT. This is important because once you can see the ‘structure’ of your habit, you can target weak points in that structure to change it for the better.

Video - How one or two changes can make a big difference to a structure.

Structural Weakness in Drinking Habit – some examples from my life.

• I drank mostly at home. I didn’t realise it at the time but this was a weak point in my drinking habit. It meant that I could try out changes without the added stress of peer pressure. There was my girlfriend but she was fine with me making those changes (maybe because she thought I would failure??).
• Stopping after one or two drinks was a skill I didn’t have. It was vital to becoming a moderate drinker.
• When I started drinking (not the first drink ever but the first drink in the evening), my default attitude towards drinking was positive. I associated it with being social, talkative, having fun, good personal stories, etc. I didn’t think/remember all the negative things about drinking like the hangovers, being out of control, puking up, bad personal stories, feeling drained the next day etc.

Recording the amount you drink.

I started with pen and paper. I recorded the actual drinks that I drank. I actually started when I began making changes to my drinking habit. This was still useful as it gave me vital information on where I was succeeding and where I was failing. I did very well at home but less well at parties and in the pub. Seeing the pattern of failure allowed me to consider the failures more objectively and make new adjustments, so that I coped better with those situations.


I now use Mydrinkaware. This has many advantages over pen and paper.

• It converts drinks into alcohol units. This helps you understand the different strengths of drinks more.
• Allows you to see the information visually.
• Allows you to see the amount you drink in different ways i.e. money, calories, exercise needed to burn off the drink. This is useful if your motivation involves money, weight loss etc.
• Doesn’t take much time.
• Lets you set up ‘favourite drinks’. Which makes recording quicker.
• It also has a lot of other features. I haven’t tried these out but they might appeal to you.

If you’re not recording your drinking habit, I strongly recommend that you start. Do it for a limited period. Perhaps 2 weeks. It will certainly let you see your drinking in a different way.

Mydrinkaware is a very useful tool for recording your drinking. It’s fun and simple. It also converts your ‘drink record’ into many different graphs, in a way that pen and paper can’t do.

Become drink aware. Become a moderate drinker! Leave your hangovers behind!

Other posts that might be helpful for you

How to become a moderate drinker

Alcohol - Scary Yourself with Numbers

Triggers - Making changes that work

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