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:


  1. Delay Tool: Start drinking one hour later than you normally would.
  2. NA-N-Between Tool: Add one NA drink between each alcoholic
  3. Quit Early Tool: Stop drinking 1 hour earlier that you normally would.
  4. Make-believe Moderate Companion: Ask yourself what your
    moderate drinking companion would do, then do that.
  5. Abstain for 1 day: One day has so much power in it.
  6. Drink 1 drink for the day: Just got have a drink? Have “A”
  7. Drink one Less Drink: Decrease your drinks by 1: Less is less
  8. 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
    drink you.”
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
    Because….YOU are!
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. The Trigger Transformer: Transform a trigger by reacting in
    a new way that doesn’t include drinking.
  14. The Buddy-Up Tool: Find someone who has the same goal
    as you and Buddy-Up to help both of you achieve success.
  15. 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.).
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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!
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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
  30. Hope! Don’t lose it. If you misplace your own, borrow it
    from someone else until you find it again.
  31. 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.
  32. 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.