“REMEMBER TO CELEBRATE MILESTONES AS YOU PREPARE FOR THE ROAD AHEAD” – Nelson Mandela
This is a picture of the inside of my wardrobe! Each picture, drawn by my girls, marks a milestone of me not drinking. From my first one hundred days, to the Pizza Express Hat that they gave me when we went out to celebrate a year of me not drinking. I don’t think I will ever take these down, and I know for certain I will never throw them away, they mean so much to me!
Milestones, targets, goals whatever you want to call them are so important when you first decide you want a break from the booze. You may just be aiming for a month of not drinking, but make sure you do something to mark that achievement once you’ve got there.
I know a lot of people talk about the first 100 days of not drinking being the hardest time and that at around 100 days the magic happens and it gets easier. Personally I knew from the outset that I wanted to get to a year so the 100 days mark felt like a huge achievement but I knew I still had a long way to go. I think it just helps to break it up when you’re aiming for a certain number of days initially, then once you get to that point you feel so good you just want to carry on. That’s what happened for me anyway!
At first the thought of not drinking “forever” scared me, I just could not think that far ahead. My main aim was Christmas, then New Year, then 100 days, 200 days and so on. I’m now counting in months in my head and will probably only celebrate my sober date every year now. I couldn’t fit any more pictures in my wardrobe anyway if it was every 100 days!
You also need to make sure that you treat yourself when you hit a milestone, whether it’s a shopping trip or a meal out with friends or family, just something to look forward to and just give yourself a minute to say – well done me!. I bought myself a little somthing every 100 days then my husband bought me a new Pandora Charm when I got to 12 months. It’s a number one which is a lovely reminder of what I achieved, but the pictures from the girls are just as precious. Now every month, on the 21st (the date I quit) I try to make sure that I make time to do a little something for me, even if it’s just a coffee in a café before the school pick up, just something a little special for that day.
Other times milestones can be the first time you’ve done something or been somewhere and not had a drink, so a night out, a holiday, a birthday, Christmas or New Years Eve, they are all milestones and once the first one is ticked off you know that you will nail it next time. There is a lady who follows me on Instagram who has just had her first sober girls night in and loved it! It can even be something as simple as your first hangover free Saturday or Sunday morning, they always feel amazing but the first ones are the best!
So just take some time to put your goals and milestones in place and stay focused, just take one step at a time to get there, don’t think past that point. Thinking that you’re not going to have a drink ever again is a scary thought initially and is probably enough to make you pick up a glass of wine straight away! But just break it down, step by step and day by day. You will get there and I guarantee that once you’ve hit that first milestone, you will feel so good you will want to move onto the next. Once you hit one hundred days you will want to go onto two hundred, once you’ve done a sober Christmas or birthday feeling amazing and enjoying every moment of it, you will know that you can do it and will want to do it again and again! I promise it just gets better and better! Just make a start, set that goal, hit that first milestone and congratulate yourself when you get there!
If your thinking about making a change, set your first goal now, tonight, just do it! Tell me what it is then we can encourage one another! Have you hit any milestones recently?, big or small they are all important and they all make up your journey! You can do this!