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10 Steps for Improving Your Motivation for Alcohol Recovery

motivationIf you have reached the stage where you see how much alcohol is damaging your life, you may still be holding back from choosing sobriety because of lack of motivation. The problem is that making any major change involves a good deal of hard work and, even if you have been suffering a great deal of pain because of addiction, there is still comfort in the familiar. In order to break free from this comfort zone, you need to increase your motivation for sobriety. What follows are 10 steps for achieving this.

1. Have a Clear and Positive Reason for Becoming Sober

The problem with using fear as a motivator is that it only works, at best, in the short-term. If the potential dangers of alcohol abuse were enough to encourage sobriety, there would probably not be much need for addiction treatment. It is important to have a positive reason for giving up alcohol, which could include things such as the desire to have a second chance in life, or to develop a high level of serenity. It is vital that any goal you set for yourself is clear because any vagueness will not be enough to keep you on track once things start to get hard.

2. Spend Time Imagining How Great It Would Feel To Achieve Your Goal

One way to increase your motivation is to actively visualise what it would be like to achieve your goal. To do this you need to make the image in your mind as vivid as possible, trying to actually feel your excitement. If you do this for a few minutes (or more) every day, it should help increase your motivation. It is also important to use this technique any time that you feel your motivation beginning to wane. Visualisation is a powerful technique that is used by professional athletes to help them achieve greatness, so it can work for you too.

3. Spend Time around Motivational People

It has been claimed that humans become the average of the five people they spend their time with. This is probably an exaggeration, but there is no doubt that the people you like to be around will have an impact on your thinking. If you want to increase your chances of succeeding in recovery, it will help you to be around those capable of offering encouragement – ideally, these individuals should have overcome their own addiction problems.

4. Begin Journaling

The benefit of writing things down on paper is that it makes things much clearer – it also becomes easier to be objective about your thoughts. You could start your journal by writing down all the reasons you want to quit alcohol, as well as the thoughts that are preventing you from taking this step. Once you see everything written down, it can give you a better sense of your situation. By continuing to journal on a daily basis, you can make a commitment to change your life even before you have developed the motivation to quit alcohol for good.

5. Benefit from Motivational Interviewing

An addiction therapist can use motivational techniques to help you build enough determination to break free of alcohol. It is usually necessary to attend a few sessions in order to get the most from this type of intervention. The therapist is not there to brainwash you into wanting to recover from alcohol, as that would not really work. The real goal is to allow you to more clearly see your own desires so you can harness these as a call to action.

6. Immerse Yourself in Inspirational Recovery Material

The more time you spend thinking about recovery, the higher your motivation is likely to become. This is why Alcoholics Anonymous suggests that newcomers try to attend 90 meetings in 90 days. Even if you do not intend to use this fellowship as part of your recovery treatment, you could still benefit from this strategy of fully immersing yourself in sobriety. The wonderful thing about the internet, for example, is that you will find plenty of resources that are free; this would include things like online recovery forums, information websites, recovery blogs, recovery podcasts, YouTube videos, and online meetings. If you devote a few hours every day to this type of material, it will almost certainly give your motivation a boost.

7. Start Planning for Your New Life in Recovery

What would you really like to do with your life? What are your dreams? Just thinking about all the great options you would have once you become sober should be enough to get you excited. This sort of daydreaming can be very positive, but you will also need to have realistic expectations. Sometimes, what life in recovery provides us with is even better than what you originally planned, but it takes time for the benefits of sobriety to accumulate. The key is to feel excited about your new life, but also to hold your expectations lightly.

8. Write Letters to Your Future Self

If you are still unclear about your reasons for getting sober, you could try writing a letter to your future selves of 1, 5, 10, and 20 years. Do you still want to be struggling with an alcohol problem in 20 years? Where would you really like to end up in the future? By thinking carefully about this question and writing a letter to yourself, it could really help to improve your motivation now.

9. Take a Leap of Faith and Enter a Rehab Programme

An inpatient treatment centre provides a therapeutic environment, meaning that by just being there it should help to increase your motivation. This is because you would have access to therapists and support groups. Spending time around other clients who are trying to reach the same goal as you can also be very inspiring; there can be a real sense of camaraderie in this type of programme. One of the other benefits of being in a rehab facility is that it means you would be able to fully focus on getting better as you will be away from the usual temptations and stresses. There is also the fact that by entering treatment, you have made a firm commitment to sobriety, which can also have a motivational effect.

10. Join a Recovery Fellowship

The most popular recovery fellowship for those trying to escape drinking is Alcoholics Anonymous, but if you would prefer something a little less spiritual then there are also options like SMART Recovery. There are many benefits to joining this type of support group, and it is definitely be a good way to enjoy increased motivation. It would also be possible for you to learn from others to see what they did to break away from addiction.


It is not unusual for individuals who can see beyond the denial of alcoholism to still struggle to reach sobriety because of low motivation. These steps can help increase your determination to quit, allowing you to start to enjoy a much better life going forward.

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