Forming Positive Habits
Whether you’re working on removing alcohol from your life, you’re newly alcohol-free, or you’re well into this journey, forming positive habits is a supportive practice to incorporate into your life. In many ways, drinking alcohol on a regular basis begins as a habit before it solidifies into a physical dependence. Just as we can learn one negative habit, we can begin to build many positive habits to replace it.
Habit formation is a helpful tool to automate processes in your life. This is important in living alcohol-free, because when something isn’t habitual, we are actively making decisions about that behavior. The more decisions we make, the more mental energy we burn, and the more taxed our systems are by the end of the day. Ever heard of “decision fatigue”? This is why it matters. When we’re feeling that stress and fatigue, we’re more likely to reach for something that immediately alters our mental and emotional state, like alcohol.
Habit formation overcomes this mental drain. When we create habits, we eliminate many of these decisions and preserve our energy for all of the other decisions we have to make throughout the day. Did you know that Steve Jobs only wore black turtlenecks for this very reason? When he didn’t have to expend energy deciding what to wear, he could apply that to his zone of genius. You don’t need to overhaul your closet, but we can mirror this by setting out our clothes for the next day. One less decision to make tomorrow.