If I can do it, so can you

It's just getting to be. Not drinking, I'm used to it by now. Of course: on the weekend I do feel like a glass of wine every now and then. But just as sweetly, I treat myself to the previously described homemade grape juice. Last Friday I had a night out with a bunch of girlfriends. One of them recently became single and since half of the group has the same status, we organized a Tinder night. I -as a married woman- let myself be swept along in the world of people on the lookout. And an experienced bachelorette explained what the terms in the accompanying text really meant. You can imagine: it was hilarious. With water. And tasty snacks.

No great loss, no difficult moments, no exaggerated reactions from my environment. Basically a boring story. But a story with hope. If I can do it, anyone can. I think intrinsic motivation is the magic word here.

Sounds like a mega success story, huh? Well, that's not quite it. I already told you in a previous blog that we wanted to 'do' Ik Pas in our municipality. The alderman would be the figurehead for a healthy lifestyle, and we as the Action Team would lead the campaign. And then I, as the most motivated of the bunch. But the alderman stopped doing it (by being alderman I mean). And I - said the madman - became the driving force behind the campaign. And that was difficult. We devoted an article to it on the intranet and the blue straps were proudly in my workplace ready to be worn en masse. But it remained silent. And I don't feel like trying to convince my colleagues to stop drinking alcohol. Not really. I was just talking about intrinsic motivation, didn't I? I believe in that.

The people who supported me drank little or no alcohol anyway. Super cool, not about that, but of course it doesn't help in the registrations. So we can safely speak of a flop. As I write this, I feel the disappointment. I had hoped for a massive enthusiasm. A bankruptcy of the local supermarket with regard to the crates of Grolsch (and of course a booming demand for 0.0, because I also wish that supermarket their profit ;-)) but unfortunately. Nothing, nada, none of that. Because no one signed up. Who did I do all this for? Can I have a little cry? Show unabashedly passive complaining behaviour?


But I am not me if the feeling is not quickly reversed. And sometimes in unexpected ways. Last Tuesday I was invited to Boxtel by Stapin, a company that is committed to behavioral change, in the broadest sense of the word. I was given boxing gloves and literally had to 'enter the ring'. Discussing is way out of my comfort zone. I do have an opinion, but going into a duel is difficult for me. It's easier for me to write than to argue. Yet I was tempted. With sloshing armpits and a heart that bounced off my chest, I stepped into the ring and defended the statement 'that the euphoria around Duncan of the Eurovision song contest was not exaggerated at all'. Pooh, some sweating. Fighting against the beer quay, with all entrepreneurs who were anti-song contest.

During the break I told the organizer of the event about my alcohol-stopping action and after the break I was unexpectedly called to the whole room and I was allowed to retell the story. “A great example of behavioral change,” the organizer said. With red cheeks I received a very thunderous applause. Geez, I wasn't just doing it for myself after all. Of course I don't know if someone will drink a drop less because of me, but if someone doubts to take this step, I'm sure I could give a very small push. A push to let them know that everyone can do it. Because if I can do it, so can you.


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