Back in June 2019, Moderation Management hosted their first ever “Moderation Month”, in the form of a Private Facebook Group. Each day, the admins posted a new moderation tool for group members to learn, discuss, and apply to their moderation journeys. The group was a resounding success and eventually became what is now our Moderation Management Private Facebook Group, with over 5,000 members. Here is the list of tools they shared that first month:
- Delay Tool: Start drinking one hour later than you normally would.
- NA-N-Between Tool: Add one NA drink between each alcoholic
- Quit Early Tool: Stop drinking 1 hour earlier that you normally would.
- Make-believe Moderate Companion: Ask yourself what your
moderate drinking companion would do, then do that.
- Abstain for 1 day: One day has so much power in it.
- Drink 1 drink for the day: Just got have a drink? Have “A”
- Drink one Less Drink: Decrease your drinks by 1: Less is less
- TTYD Tool: Talk to your drink. When you’re about to grab that
drink that is going to put you over your limit, ask it, “What’s in it
for me if I drink you?” Then ask it, “What’s in it for me, if I don’t
- Play The Movie To The End Tool: What will happen if you
drink that next drink? How will it change tomorrow? Next week?
Next month? Do another reversal and play the movie to the
end if you don’t drink that drink.
- The Self-Mark-up Tool: Today, you are going to raise the
value on yourself by showing the rest of the world that you are
a top-of-the-line item. We tend to treat the items that we value,
the ones we spend more time or money on, with more care. So
today, spend a little more time on your make-up or your hair.
Spritz on the cologne. Iron your shirt or put on your favorite
outfit. Treat yourself to a pedicure or a massage. Show the
world and yourself that what’s on the inside is worth the price.
- Surfboard Tool: Surf the Urge. Sometimes, especially in the
beginning, you can’t avoid those monster waves of urges,
you’ve got to learn to surf them. Just like a wave builds in
intensity and height, so do urges, but if you can ride it out until
it crests, it quickly loses its intensity.
- Walk away from the drink tool: Leave your drink on the
table while you mingle at a party or while you tuck your kids
into bed. Give yourself a break.
- The Trigger Transformer: Transform a trigger by reacting in
a new way that doesn’t include drinking.
- The Buddy-Up Tool: Find someone who has the same goal
as you and Buddy-Up to help both of you achieve success.
- Hire Some Help Tool: Tell one person you care about and
trust that you are decreasing your drinking and you need their
help. Ask them to be there when you feel yourself weakening,
to answer the phone, to take you for a walk and talk, to slap you
on the back when you turn down that drink another friend is
trying to tempt you with. You will be so surprised how quickly
they will jump to your defence when others try to sway you to
revert back to your ways. People love to be needed. (Not a
good idea to choose your favorite drinking buddy for this role.).
- Take The Lead Tool: We are more likely to succeed at
reaching our goals if we empower ourselves by taking the lead
and asking others to follow us. We have taken the responsibility
of setting an example for others. More pressure? Sure. But
tons more incentive to succeed, too. We are more apt to do for
others what we haven’t been able to do for ourselves.
- The AF Hangover Tool: The instructions for using this tool
include: Do not drink the night before; Sleep as late as you
want; Stay in your pajamas, or onesie, or favorite pair of sweats
all day; Do not comb hair, brushing teeth is optional; Pancakes
with lots of butter and syrup for breakfast; Keep the shades
pulled down; Pick out a season of something to binge watch;
Do not feel one twinge of guilt!
We all need days like this sometimes, even if we’re sober (At
MM, successful moderation is sobriety, too.). Sometimes we get
so busy staying busy so we don’t drink, we need to slow down
and feel the benefits of being lazy and slothlike. The AF
Hangover Tool can be a great incentive to not drink the night
- Yet Obliterator Tool: The next time you find yourself using a
“Yet” as a reason to drink more than you know you should,
obliterate that thought. I haven’t gotten a DUI yet. I’ve never lost
a job, yet. By doing this, you not only remove a stumbling block
from reaching your goal, you obliterate your chance of every
achieving one of those cataclysmic “Yets” that could forever
change your life in a negative way.
- The GPS Tool: Let’s map our journey out. Where do we
want to go tonight, how are we going to get there, what do we
need to pack to take with us, do we have enough gas in the
tank? Where do we want to be at the end of the week, what
kind of obstacles are going to be in the way and how do we get
around them? A month? 3 months? A year? We may not reach
our intended destinations by these mileposts, but we need to
stop once in a while and take stock of where we are. Are we still
on the road? Have we gotten stuck? What do we need to get
unstuck? Backed up? Do we need a push from our fellow
travelers? Is it time to head off in a new direction? Without our
GPS tool, it’s easy to get lost and keep going in circles.
- The Toothbrush Tool: That’s right, your simple toothbrush,
doesn’t just fight cavities, it fights cravings by getting that
lingering taste out of your mouth so your brain doesn’t keep
expecting more. Brushing your teeth at night, sends a signal to
the brain that you are done imbibing, whether that be of sugar
or wine or whatever your poison-have you ever drank a glass of
wine right after brushing your teeth? Blech!
- MIMD (Make It More Difficult) Tool: This is an adaptable
tool and can be adapted to any circumstance. Some of you are
already using it by not keeping alcohol in your house and only
buying the amount you’re going to drink that day or opening
the bottle and pouring the booze out until you only have the
amount you intend to drink. Some of us who co-habitate with
fellow drinkers might find dumping all the alcohol meets with
grave disapproval but you can still find ways to make access for
you more difficult. Tell your co-habitee they need to keep their
booze under lock and key for a while. Yes, we know how
persuasive we can be when we decide to break our promise to
ourselves and decide to grant ourselves that “one more drink”
wish but having to ask someone else if you can have it, makes it
much more difficult.
- The Contract: Write down what you want to achieve, how
much less you promise to drink. Make the contact for a day, a
week, a month and a year. Get a calendar and write down your
promise for each day and put that calendar where you and
others can see it. Did you know if we put that promise down on
paper, we’re less likely to break it? If we get other people
involved and make a contract with them to change our
behavior, it strengthens the contract even more.
- The Reward Tool: It’s time to treat yourself. Buy those
shoes you’ve been eyeing or that set of golf clubs or treat
yourself to your favorite activity. Of course, you could just give
yourself a pat on the back if that’s all you need to keep yourself
from the booze, but we think YOU deserve more than that!
You’re a Super Hero! When we drink, we get a reward, right?
We get that warm fuzzy feeling, that sense of enhanced
community with friends, that “I love you, I really do!” gushiness,
our devil-may-care sense of fun. No wonder it’s so hard to
reduce our drinking, it’s like putting all our toys back in the toy
box and locking it and throwing away the key. That’s why it is
imperative to reinforce our choice of better habits with a
reward, otherwise we’re going to go looking for that key to our
- The “I Can” Tool: The fact is, we can do anything we want. It
may suck. It may be hard. It may scare the crap out of us. It may
take learning a new skill or getting help, but we can do it.
Whenever we hear ourselves telling ourselves, “I can’t get
through this without drinking, we need to counter that with, “I
can get through without drinking, it’s going to be hard but I can
get through it.
- The Do Something Nice For Someone Else Tool: Today, do
one thing for someone else. It can be a stranger on a continent
on the other side of the world or it can be someone sitting next
to you right now. It can cost money, or it can cost time. It may
not make a noticeable change in our drinking habits, but it will
remind us that we are so much more than our problem, we are
worth fighting for.
- The Almighty Plan Tool: How many times have we gone into
an evening, or a weekend, or a wedding or a pub and simply
told ourselves, “I’m just going to drink less” only to wake up the
next morning with our oh-so-familiar companions: aching head,
sour belly and defeated soul? We failed to plan and, hence,
planned to fail. Don’t just plan in your head, get a pencil and
paper and write it down, maybe include an inspirational quote
or a list of reasons not to stray from your plan, tuck it in your
pocket, then, WORK YOUR PLAN.
- The Assertive aka Put Yourself First Tool: I can’t describe
this tool any better than Jame’s Prochaska does in his book,
“Changing for Good.” According to Dr. Prochaska, you have
certain rights, amongst them, the right to put your well-being
and happiness first, the right to have your desires to change
respected and the right to be heard. In the beginning, many of
us scramble together half-true or fabricated excuses to explain
to others why we’re not drinking, but we show a true intention
to change when we let others know, brooking no argument,
that we are “changing for good,” the good of ourselves and we
refuse to make excuses.
- The Divorce Tool: Perform a divorce between something
you automatically drink while doing. Grab a beer the minute
you walk in the door from work? Grab a nutritional drink to
rejuvenate yourself instead. Can’t cook without a glass of wine
dangling from your hand? Grab some water instead and save
the wine for the meal. Drink until you go to bed, keep that last
drink in the bottle or box and brew up some Sleepy Time Tea
instead. Break ups are hard but necessary when the
relationship becomes toxic.
- Accountability: Remember accountability is one of the most
powerful tools, when you declare publicly, or to even one other
person, that you are going to do something, you are much
more likely to accomplish what you said you would
- Hope! Don’t lose it. If you misplace your own, borrow it
from someone else until you find it again.
- Don’t Give Up Tool: The only failure comes from giving up.
You can take a break, you can regroup, you can try another
path or join another group, but as long as you don’t give up,
you will not fail.
- Bonus Tool-Act As If: This is actually a Cognitive Behavior Therapy technique. Today we’re acting “As If” we don’t have a drinking problem. When you’re feeling your most sick-to-death of counting and measuring and planning, dust off your acting shoes and “Act As If.” Act As If you’re that natural moderate drinker you admire. “Act As If” you just don’t feel like drinking today or you could maybe drink just one or two.