What helps us change our behaviour? The benefits of drink tracking.

Have you ever wondered, “what is it going to take for me to make a move towards changing my relationship with alcohol?” This is a question that experts in the field of Psychology and Behavioural Medicine have been exploring too.  

“What helps us change our drinking behaviour?” 

When you first decide to start reducing or quitting alcohol, it can be difficult to know what is going to be the most helpful. There are a wide range of apps, digital tools and support to choose from. Firstly, let’s take a look at some strategies backed by science. 

4 techniques for change identified by behavioural scientists

1. Feedback about consumption

Receiving non-judgmental feedback on your alcohol behaviour can help you develop more awareness about what is working and not working for you. This awareness can increase your motivation to make healthier choices, which can ultimately lead to positive change.¹

2. Self-monitoring 

Self-monitoring is an effective behaviour change technique to reduce alcohol consumption. It increases mindfulness and self-awareness of drinking behaviour and supports motivation to make changes. Researchers suggest that the self-awareness that is developed during self-monitoring is a critical skill for initiating and maintaining behaviour change.² Monitoring our behaviour helps us keep track of the things we want to make progress on. For example, tracking our number of drinking days, alcohol-free days, or even tracking our thoughts, feelings and drinking behaviour are brief interventions in themselves.³

Some members of our Daybreak online community like to read over old posts to remind themselves how far they have come in changing their drinking and their thinking about their relationship with alcohol. 

3. Goal setting 

As we all know, setting a goal can help us stay focused. When we are aiming for something that we don’t currently have, it helps to have a target to focus on. Focusing on a goal identifies what we want and what we don’t want, and therefore helps us identify those pesky bad habits and triggers that get in the way of achieving our goals. 

4. Taking Advice and Easy steps to change 

There is a lot of accessible advice out there. Finding easy steps to change is a meaningful way to take all the advice and make it work for you personally. There are many ‘little things’ that help people shift their perspective and behaviour, like ‘taking one day at a time (ODAAT)’, initially steering away from places where you are likely to be tempted to drink, substituting alcoholic drinks with a sparkling water and a slice of lime, having an exit plan from triggering situations, and practicing self-compassion when experiencing a setback and having a support network.  

We at Hello Sunday Morning wanted to incorporate  all these techniques into a digital tool that could help you along your change journey with alcohol. We also used feedback from the community to guide us.

With the support of our partners, nib Foundation, we are very excited to be launching our new Hello Sunday Morning Drink Tracker! 

About the HSM Drink Tracker

The Drink Tracker is a science-backed brief intervention tool to help you track your alcohol consumption. It also provides you with the opportunity to set personal alcohol behaviour change goals and measure your individual progress. In the Drink Tracker, you can self-monitor by counting the number of drinks consumed and monitoring your alcohol-free days. This is an important technique for at-risk drinkers, individuals uncertain about whether they are drinking within lower risk limits, or those ambivalent about change. 

The Drink Tracker includes the following features: 

  • Goal setting
  • Self-monitoring and feedback
  • Visual tracking of number of standard drinks and/or Alcohol-free days
  • Feedback of progress through a visual calendar and graphs 
  • Sharing of goal achievements with the Daybreak community 
  • Reminders to keep tracking your drinking 
  • Editing and resetting functions 

We know that setting a goal and then sharing it is even stronger for behaviour change. We also know that people are more likely to complete a shared goal⁴. Having a drink tracker within the Daybreak app and community is especially beneficial, because members can receive realtime peer support, and share their goals with the community.  

Having a community that provides compassion, motivation and accountability can be a powerful motivator. Naturally, we also feel more motivated to stick to our goals when we receive support from others. Additionally, we feel more motivated to change after seeing the progress of others also. 

Ultimately, there are many things that can help us move towards our goals. At Hello Sunday Morning, we are invested in supporting our members to find their own pathways to change their relationship with alcohol. No matter what stage of the change journey you are on, we hope you find some inspiration within our Daybreak community and from our dedicated team along the way.  

To good health,  

The Daybreak Team 


¹Behavioural Insights Team (2020) Literature Review of Behavioural Insights to Reduce Alcohol Consumption 


²Garnett et al (2019). A systematic review and behaviour change technique analysis of remotely delivered alcohol and/or substance misuse interventions for adults

³Burgard M, Gallagher KI. Self-monitoring. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. 2006;10(1):14-19.  

Howlett et al (2022) The development of Drink Less: an alcohol reduction smartphone app for excessive drinkers 



Add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • I’m currently using the UK-based app ‘Try Dry’ which my GP and psychiatrist also use to monitor my drinking. I’m looking forward to switching to the HSM tool.

    By Cath
    October 1, 2023
  • I think this will be a game changer for me, accountability! I am looking forward to the Drinker tracker becoming available.

    By Karen
    October 3, 2023
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. To find out more about how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.