sixtyandme logo
We are community supported and may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Change Your Thinking… About Drinking

By Janet Gourand June 28, 2023 Lifestyle

We’ve been brainwashed for decades into believing that alcohol is fun, essential for socializing and will help us to relax. The combination of marketing and social pressure has left us with “false beliefs” about the necessity of drinking alcohol. We need to work on overturning those beliefs and if you are ready to do that then read this article.

We recently hosted a Sobriety Bootcamp, and here are 10 takeaways I’d like to share with you.

Find Your Whys

Many of us have resolved to take a break from alcohol but after a couple of weeks we grow bored with the challenge. We need to stay strong and focused and the best way to do that is to make a list of why you are doing this. Is it to improve your health or your relationships or to get fit or something else? Make a list of your whys and look at them every single day.

Avoid the Moderation Trap

I personally spent more than a decade stuck in this miserable place. I just couldn’t imagine my life without my beloved Sauvignon Blanc so decided I would just cut down. I discovered that the “low risk” limits are a bottle and a half of wine a week. So, I tried (and failed) to drink within those limits again and again. I finally accepted that I was dependent and would have to quit.

Don’t Fear Failure

Many people don’t even get started on this life changing journey because they worry that they will fail. The truth is that you may fail, over and over. You may have many “Day Ones” but the important thing is to keep trying. Log your alcohol-free days and aim for longer and longer Sober Stretches until it sticks. This journey is about progress not perfection.

Have Your Reasons Ready

Whether you are merely taking a break or want to explore an alcohol-free lifestyle be prepared for questions! Alcohol is the only drug we have to justify not taking. The best way to deal with this is to keep it light – “I’ve not been sleeping well so want to take a break from alcohol” is a good one. As a follow up you can say, “I’ve been alcohol free for a few weeks and feel fantastic!”

Use a Tracker

If you mark your day as alcohol-free in the morning you are less likely to spoil it by drinking in the evening. Whether you are taking a break for 5 days, 30 days or a year drop me an email and I’ll send you one of our awesome trackers. Stick it on the fridge and watch those alcohol-free days mount up.

Play the Movie Forward

Whether you are tempted to drink or facing a boozy social event, this is a great technique to use. If it’s a craving, then imagine what will happen after that “one drink” you are thinking about. The chances are it will lead to another and even another which will result in that 3 am wake-up call when the anxiety kicks in. If it’s a social event, then just plan what you’ll be drinking in advance.

Don’t Be Depressed!

If you love your wine, then you will miss it at first but hang in there and you will start to experience the benefits of an alcohol-free lifestyle. Your skin will improve, your eyes will sparkle, and you will start to love mornings! There are thousands of delicious alcohol-free drinks available these days so there’s no need to feel deprived at all.

Acknowledge the Health Risks

As we know, “nobody gets out of here alive” but that doesn’t mean we can’t make every effort to Live Long and Die Well. I gave up drinking at the age of 63 and feel fantastic after 8 alcohol free years. I am convinced that giving up alcohol is absolutely the best thing we can do for our health and happiness as we age. Here are 6 Reasons to Ditch the Booze after 60.

Don’t Go It Alone

For some of us it’s not until we try to take a break from alcohol that we realize that we’ve become dependent. If we try to quit drinking alone, we often struggle. Most of us need a community to keep us on track and motivated. We need to be reassured that we are not the only one with this problem and that there is a way out. If you’d like some support, then check out Tribe Sober.

Dry July Challenge

The first step in changing our relationship with alcohol is to take a break. Have a month off drinking to see if you have become dependent. If you find a month without alcohol a breeze, then you are fine but if it’s really hard (or even impossible) that’s a sure sign that you need to make some changes.

If you’d like some community and online support to get you through an alcohol-free month, then check out Tribe Sober’s Dry July Challenge

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Have you ever thought that you need to change your relationship with alcohol? Have you quit drinking – how did you do it and what are the benefits of being alcohol free? What false beliefs do you hold about alcohol – do you think it’s essential for socializing? If you do want to quit, then what are your whys? Have you ever tried to cut down… and failed? Does the thought of giving up alcohol depress you?

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Later in life I had a series of crisies: job loss, career collapse, deaths of loved ones. I started drinking every night. I quit when I finally accepted I had a problem. I tried to justify it for a while. Once I made the decision, that was that. My life a has calmed down but I have no desire to drink again. Some studies show light drinkers live longer than teetotalers. If you are a light social drinker, no need to worry then. I am happy with my decision not to drink alcohol at all.

janet gourand

great decision Faxon – life sends us lots of challenges but we have to find other ways to cope

Melanie Defe

I gave up alcohol 4 years ago after an evening of heavy drinking while attending a weekend yoga retreat. The obvious insanity of that led me to quit cold turkey. I always tell the truth if others ask why I can’t have a drink occasionally. Truth is I abuse alcohol and I’m not into abuse. I wish all success if they decide to quit for good. I have never regretted the decision. And, I don’t embarrass myself anymore!!!

janet gourand

for so many of us it’s the best decision we ever made – well done Melanie!


I quit drinking alcohol over a decade ago and I really enjoyed my mixed drinks. I stopped when I decided to totally change my lifestyle and eating healthy. Sure I miss it at times but alcohol is toxic to the body, especially the liver. I used to have fatty liver but no more. I convinced my 41 year old son to not drink for 2 weeks. Afterwards he told me he felt better overall, slept better, etc. He has now stopped drinking also. Yes, a glass of wine or a beer won’t hurt you occasionally but most people don’t stop at just one.

janet gourand

well done to you…and your son! many younger people are deciding not to drink these days


I enjoyed having wine with my meals. A cold beer after a good gardening day was refreshing. But then I was diagnosed with a fatty liver. So I continued to drink here and there, my body did not like me drinking. So as nice as wine or beer on a hot day can be, a cold glass of water suites me better. I have wine liquor in the house but frankly I just ignore it. I feel better exercising and eating better. I AM WORTH IT.

janet gourand

yes of course you are worth it Wilhelmina – a glass of wine is seen as “self care” but for many of us it’s the opposite!

Shaggy Maggie

Tried cutting down..and it was too much work.Like smoking, there was no such thing as one.For years now, alcohol free. SO many alcohol free beverages now. And I adore waking up fresh. I can recommend The Sober School, an online program for women, which helped me rethink my relationship with alcohol.alot. Check it out!

janet gourand

yes cutting down takes up too much headspace – Sober School is great and we also run online and Zoom courses here at

The Author

Janet Gourand is a writer, a podcaster and a recovery coach. She quit drinking in 2015 at the age of 63. She founded Tribe Sober which enables people to change their relationship with alcohol. Tribe Sober is an international community which offers a membership program.

You Might Also Like