How to Get Sober, Stages of Change

I’m sharing a few tips for how to get started with any new habit including ditching the drink. I am starting a new habit of walking in the morning. This is something I’ve been considering for a while. For months I would say to myself “I should really get up and do that,” and then I would not get up and do that. Relatable?

I did this while drinking too. It is part of the contemplation stage of change.

The stages of change model describes the process individuals go through as they make behavioral changes. The stages of change include:

  • Precontemplation or as I like to call it, blissfully unaware. In this stage you are unaware or resistive to the idea of change.
  • Contemplation. This is when you are starting to think about making a change. This stage can last a long time. In my case with alcohol it was years if not decades. For my new walk routine, I’ve probably been thinking about it for 6 months. I recognize the need for change, but I still have ambivalence about it. For your sober journey this is the stage I would call sober curiosity. With alcohol I was of a conflicted mind. I wanted to quit drinking, but I didn’t want to quit drinking. I wanted to stop drinking, but right now I want a drink. Its the things that make you go hmmmm stage.
  • Preparation. This is where you become more determined to do something. For my walking routine it was when I finally set out my warm walking clothes and set my alarm. For your alcohol free journey it may look like signing up for a digital program like my Jumpstart Course, joining a community like my Insider Membership, or gathering resources. In this preparation stage you might be reading books or listening to podcasts about sobriety. You might stock your fridge with sparkling water or cancel the wine tasting event you planned on attending.
  • Action! This is where you take the steps to modify your behavior. This was me putting my shoes on and getting out the door. This is you turning down a drink. This is you not stopping at your local wine shop. This is you going to bed instead of sitting in your drinking corner.
  • After successfully making a change you enter the maintenance stage. Some change models include termination as a stage when you stop the behavior. Relapse could be considered…



Heather Lowe Award Winning Sober Coach

FREE SOBER SECRETS GUIDE Certified Recovery and Life Coach, BSW, PHR, Certified Facilitator of Addiction Awareness, SheRecovers Coach