Committing To The Decision - NQTD
You’ve done the T-chart, and you’ve weighed the pros and cons of continuing to drink or not. You know that alcohol takes a toll on your physical and emotional health, your finances, your relationships, and your self-worth. If you’ve decided that it’s time to remove alcohol from your life, read on.
There’s a popular phrase in the alcohol-free community: “Never Question the Decision,” or “NQTD.” In fact, this is such a guiding principle for many that they’ve chosen to have this mantra tattooed on their bodies.
NQTD speaks to the idea of making a decision and committing to it, and can be a powerful tool in our alcohol-free journey.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent months or years trying to “moderate” your drinking, or “make it work.” After all, alcohol companies tell us to “drink responsibly,” and it may seem like everyone else can do it. You spend so much time thinking about drinking: not drinking, if you’re drinking more than others, if your drinking is a problem, what a “normal” amount of drinking is… trying to moderate our alcohol use can take up a ton of mental energy.
But when we know that removing alcohol from our lives is the best choice for our wellbeing, and we commit to that change without question, it paves a path forward. It takes the mental gymnastics off the table, it frees up our brain power for more important things, and it helps us feel assured in our choice.
We know that the neuroscience of habitual alcohol use is much more complex than just willpower alone, so many of us experience “Day 1” many times before it sticks. But there’s a substantial mental shift that happens when you commit to living an alcohol-free life, even if it takes some time for our brain chemistry to catch up to our resolve.
We also know that when we begin to question our decision to remove alcohol from our lives, we’re putting ourselves at risk for using alcohol again. When our resolve is shaky, when we start to have a rosy view of drinking again, we’re likely to give it another try. This is why “never question the decision” is so powerful; when we remove the constant weighing of the pros and cons, we’re steady in our decision.
Today, write NQTD down on a few sticky notes to post around your home and work. Commit to this change you’ve chosen for yourself, and let’s get to work.