Planning and Learning
Helllooo.. how are you today? Everyone feeling thankful? I love Thanksgiving time – we actually plan for it to be a holiday we do not travel on – I get up early, get my workout in, maybe clean a little, shower and get in my comfies to relax (well – as much as I am able to relax..lol), sit on the couch, watch football, read – oh yeah – and cook of course. I will plan to have a little pinot G with the hubby – but here is what has changed from previous years. We used to have this super fun tradition of meeting up with friends and having some drinks and appetizers pretty early in the day. So we would start early and then just keep enjoying wine throughout the day, which would typically lead me to falling asleep after dinner and not feeling so hot the next day. Now – I still enjoy some wine – but I do it so much more conscsioulsy and planned. I used to think Plan? What? How could that be fun? Lol.. But I have to tell you – by planning in advance I lose all the negative chatter of what I shouldn’t have had to drink. It makes it so much more fun!
Thanksgiving actually tends to require a bunch of planning right? Like what is on the menu, who is bringing what, what family members have to be separated lol..
And if you haven’t already figured it out… Planning is what we are talking about today my friend. It is an important tool as you learn to uncreate the desire for drinking alcohol. Honestly – after you get the drinking less down the planning tool can be used in so many aspects of your life – we will get into that more in later episodes.
Today we are going to discuss the importance of your pre frontal cortex. This is the part of your brain where you make conscious decisions.
It is the most evolved part of your brain.
When I did a little clickety clock to ask the Googles..lol… it is considered to be the region that orchestrates thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals.
Simply put, it is where, when utilized properly, you can make your dreams come true.
Why is this important for drinking less?
Well, remember – in episode one we discussed how drinking has become delegated to your lower brain – some say lizard brain. And because our lower brain likes to be efficient and comfortable, over time we have created neural pathways that don’t really serve us – like the desire to over drink.
So the key is – you have to direct your brain, on purpose, using your pre frontal cortex, to decide in advance what you want to drink, in order to create new pathways.
The plan in advance tool should be done 24 hours in advance of your drinking. You can replace the desire for alcohol with something else but it requires practice.
Remember – the thought pattern for wanting the drink, is something that has been practiced for years. Beating yourself up doesn’t get you there any faster.
So please – always remember to be compassionate with yourself as you learn these new tools.
It is important to start where you are at.
Here’s what I’m talking about –
Decide 24 hours in advance what you are drinking and be very specific. Have a thought-out plan now to make sure you are deciding with the managing part of your brain – your pre frontal cortex.
When I say realistic I mean – if you are just starting to learn this plan what you are currently drinking. Seriously – if you are having 2, 3, 4 glasses a night begin by writing that number down 24 hours in advance.
This is only the first part of learning a skill you will refine in the future. This tool will help you be very conscious and in control about your decision.
Make sure you fill this out 24 hours in advance of any drinking.
And honor your commitment to yourself. If you don’t already have a copy of what the drink plan looks like go to www.mindfulweighs/freebie – remember – weighs is w-e-i-g-h-s as you are weighing decisions in your life, and download the free guide on how to drink less tonight.
What you want to include in your drink plan is the following:
The Date you will be drinking – 11/25
What you will drink – be very specific – I will have Mezza Coronoa Pinot G
How many drinks – I will have 3 glasses
Why you have decided to drink – Because I will be at a party and want to have wine with family and friends.
Make sure you write it down. Slow, deliberate practice – and repetition will allow you to begin building a new neural pathway that doesn’t just act on automatic decisions in the moment.
Ensure your decisions ahead of time are non negotiable. If you wrote down 2 you have 2. You may want more, but you make a commitment to yourself, using the part of your brain 24 hours earlier that knows you want more in your life than the false pleasure of the alcohol your lower brain tells you in the moment.
Think about this – your brain is like a toddler in a kitchen with a knife. The toddler is totally harmless, and thinks she is just running around having fun – but you need to get that kid under control or else you will end up with an outcome you don’t want.
This is very similar. Your lower brain is just acting as it is designed. But you can manage that using your pre frontal cortex.
It will take more energy and effort, but I promise you – doing it will make all the difference.
Ok – that will do it for today. I am so thankful you are along with me on this adventure. Let’s circle back next week – until then – have a fabulous rest of your week and we will chat soon – take care!