Plan for stress

Let a friend you trust or a loved one know about your goal to cut down and tell them you’d like them to be a friendly ear when you need to get something off your chest. Or decide on a go-to activity that’s easy to do when you need to clear your head, like listening to your favourite music, or taking a walk.

Be pro-active

Make things easier by not putting yourself in situations you know will make it difficult to stick to your goal. If you’re catching up with someone, take the initiative and suggest you go for a walk or to a café instead of the pub – or offer to be the designated driver.

Make swaps easy

If you regularly drink at a certain time of day, like when you come home in the evening, make sure you have something, chilled, refreshing and non-alcoholic on hand to replace that alcoholic drink. Why not give a 0% beer or a glass of alcohol free fizz a try, there’s never been a wider or better variety. You might find something new you love that helps make cutting back a doddle!

Practise ‘No thanks’

Drink at your own pace when out by opting out of rounds. And prepare yourself for when someone offers to buy you a drink or encourages you to have a large glass of wine or a double spirit so you’re ready for the question. If you hadn’t planned to drink that day make sure you know in advance what non-alcoholic drink you’d like.

Measure progress

Each week revisit your goal and list your progress, whether you’ve managed a few drinks less or none at all. And remember, slip ups happen so don’t beat yourself up – if you haven’t hit your goal one week, set yourself a reminder to look at your plan and make a fresh start on Monday.

Master your environment

An easy way to cut down on alcohol if you're a wine drinker is to buy small (125ml) glass to use at home rather than large ones, which can cause you to pour much more than you realise. If you drink spirits buy a cheap single/double measure for pouring spirits at home so you know exactly how much you're drinking.