4 Reasons Why A Drinking Log Can Be A Powerful Tool To Cut Down Your Drinking


A Drinking Log? Powerful Reasons Why You Should Have One

If you’re struggling with cutting down on alcohol, then maintaining a drinking log is one of the best and most effective things you can do. Explore the benefits of having a drinking log and how it can help you change your relationship with alcohol.


  • The main purpose of keeping track of one’s alcohol consumption is increasing awareness. Some habitual drinkers pick up a drink by default.
  • A drinking log can provide valuable information over time, giving insight into one’s particular drinking patterns.
  • Keeping a drinking log helps a person see any progress they’ve made more clearly.

I work with many people who want to cut down on their alcohol use. Once in a while, someone will ask me whether I have a magic trick that can help them curb their drinking quickly. I may not have a magic trick, but I do have a simple but powerful tool—a drinking log.

A drinking log? I know, it sounds way too simple and quite time-consuming. If you are feeling skeptical, I assure you, you are not alone. Most people do at first, but hear me out.

There are four reasons why I would recommend a drinking log to anyone who wants to curb their drinking.

Related: 20 Things People Realize When They Quit Drinking Alcohol

4 Reasons Why You Should Have A Drinking Log

1. Reducing Alcohol Intake

For some people, the simple act of tracking every drink they have helps them drink less. Writing down a drink is a conscious act that breaks you out of the autopilot of pouring one drink after another.

By actively writing each drink down, you are slowed down between each glass and become aware of how many drinks you are having. During that split-second pause, you may think, “Is it a good idea to have a third drink?” or “If I have another one, I will have to log it.”

Surprisingly, the thoughts and brief pauses may be enough to stop you from picking up the next drink.

Maintaining a drinking log can help you reduce your alcohol intake
4 Reasons Why A Drinking Log Can Be A Powerful Tool To Cut Down Your Drinking

2. Cultivating Awareness

Have you ever opened a can of beer after work out of habit or poured yourself a second glass of wine on autopilot? Habitual drinkers find themselves picking up a drink by default without full awareness.

When people lack awareness of their actions, they have little control over their behaviors. A drinking log is a simple tool to help you cultivate greater awareness of alcohol use. Awareness of a behavior is the first step toward modifying it.

With awareness, whether or not to take another drink could become a choice. (Don’t get me wrong: It may still be a difficult choice.)

3. Providing Information

A drinking log’s most potent benefit is its invaluable information over time. Having all the information about your alcohol consumption in front of your eyes will allow you to develop insight into your relationship with alcohol that you would never otherwise realize.

For example, you may notice that you almost always start to drink around a similar time every day. Perhaps you realize that you tend to over-drink in specific situations or when around particular people.

You may find out that you only become argumentative when you have more than three drinks. Such insights will guide you in developing the best strategies to change your relationship with alcohol in the future.

Related: The 4 Pillars Of Sobriety: Navigating The Stages Of Quitting Alcohol

4. Helping You Monitor Progress

Last but not least, the drinking log will help you monitor your progress as you reduce your alcohol intake. Change often happens gradually; sometimes, without evidence, it isn’t easy to see how far you have come.

For example, you may still be drinking whenever you go out, but having one or two drinks is very different from three or four drinks.

When you keep a log, you can see how your alcohol consumption changes over time. One of my favorite ways to track the progress is to create a graph over time. An easily visualized progress can be gratifying and motivating.

Cutting down on alcohol is hard work. It requires you to let go of instant gratification for long-term benefit. Keeping track of your progress is one easy way to help you focus on the positive and pay attention to your progress.

Maintaining a drinking log can help you keep your drinking in check
4 Reasons Why A Drinking Log Can Be A Powerful Tool To Cut Down Your Drinking

Feeling Skeptical?

A drinking log is a simple tool; however, sometimes, it can be easier said than done. If you are feeling skeptical about starting a drinking log or feeling unsure about whether or not you want to make changes in your alcohol consumption, you are not alone.

Join me on my Sober Curiosity Conversation, where you will feel heard, understood, and supported.

The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to decide how much to cut down, or even whether to cut down at all, just because you start to keep track of your alcohol intake.

Related: Shining Light In The Darkness: 30+ Famous Quotes About Addiction and Recovery

Although some people find themselves drinking less simply by keeping a log, drinking less is not the goal of your drinking log. The only purpose of keeping track of your alcohol consumption is to increase your awareness.

Ready to drink less without living less, visit my website and grab your free 7-Day Sober Curiosity Toolkit. Check out Jeanette Hu’s blog for more such informative articles.

Written By Jeanette Hu
Originally Appeared On Psychology Today
habitual drinkers
4 Reasons Why A Drinking Log Can Be A Powerful Tool To Cut Down Your Drinking

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