CUTTING DOWN – TIPS TO STAY ON TRACK
Using the Drink Checker Diary
Using our Drink Diary to cut down
It's hard sometimes to keep track of your drinking, so we’ve created a nifty little drink diary to help you cut down, keep track of your drinking and see how much you’ve saved.
Research shows that people who use a drink diary to help them cut down, do so more successfully and are less likely to slip back into bad habits.
The Drink Checker diary is confidential and anonymous – you don’t need to give your name to use it – just a made up user name and password. You can log in with your username and password on your phone, device or pc.
Using the drink diary is a great way to help you cut down, understand more about your drinking and motivate you to keep your drinking low.
Ways to use the drink diary
The diary will ask you first about your last week’s drinking to understand how much you usually drink and to set a baseline, so you can see how much progress you’ve made. You can also see how much you’ve spent on alcohol per week and how many calories from alcohol you’ve been accumulating.
You’ll then be asked to set some personal goals for your new drinking target. Setting goals is a proven way to motivate yourself to make changes. You can:
- Choose if you want to have some drink free days
- Set a limit for how much you want to drink or spend on drink per week
- Create your own motivational reminder for each time you log in
The drink diary will show you how much you’ll be saving if you reach your goals.
Seeing your progress
As you use the drink diary, you can see how well you've done in sticking to your goals or even exceeding them. This will help you track how well you’ve done and also show you if you need to make more changes.
The coloured dots for each day on the diary show you if you’re drinking within the healthy guidelines (green), just above (orange) or at risky levels (red). You’ll also get a smiley face if you’re reaching your goals.
Get some great tips about how to cut down.
Being honest with yourself
The drink checker is just for you – if you find you’re not meeting your goals, have a look at the month view and the coloured dots and think about the following:
- Are there more orange/red days than you expected?
- Is there a pattern to your drinking – are you drinking on a particular day or days per week?
Have a think about the three P’s – people, places, problems. Is your drinking always with particular people that you drink with, are you drinking in the same places, are you facing particular problems?
It may be that you’ve developed a drinking pattern that simply needs a tweak or two to get you back on track. Seeing the pattern is the first step to making positive changes.
You can make changes by changing the pattern or at least lowering your drinks when you do drink. Often drinking heavily is simply the result of habit and making a change can liberate you. Try these ideas out:
- Be honest with yourself and others about why you want to drink less – some great reasons are getting fit, losing weight, needing to be sharp for work
- Think about where, when and why you drink during the week and make a plan to lower your drinks on each occasion – or try a new activity instead
- If you regularly drink with the same people each week, ask yourself if you can lower your drinking in their company and stick to one or two and no more
GOOD LUCK! Remember to be positive, each week is a new chance to reach your goals.
If you find using the drink diary is not working for you and you still want to cut down, don't give up. You may want to talk to someone to help you. There are many support options available if you need some extra help to cut down or stop – go to our support page.