If there is a single word that is overused these days, it is awareness.
I am just as guilty as the next person of paying a significant amount of lip service in the name of “raising awareness.”
And I will concede that raising awareness is an excellent start no matter what the cause is. From the dangers of alcohol use to global warming to political issues, and so on—raising awareness is great as a first step.
The issue is that often we do not think past our goal of raising awareness. There is no plan for what happens next.
So, we’ve made people aware that an issue exists. What tangible and realistic steps can they take now? What can someone actually do with the knowledge they have gained to exact change in a way that feels good to them?
The challenge is you can’t offer one-size-fits-all solutions to the issue. These issues and the way people will address them are unique to each individual. As such, resolutions must also be able to adapt to them and their needs.
Quite a conundrum, right?
I know I can’t offer solutions for every problem that faces society today, but I can do my best to not just raise awareness but also provide steps to take action for the causes I am most passionate about.
In my case, that is talking about alcohol and just how truly problematic it has become in our culture. I don’t want people to just know that it is a danger when it comes to our physical health, our careers, relationships, parenting, productivity, mental health, and so on. I want people to have that realization and wonder, “What can I do to change that? What steps can I take to change the role alcohol plays in my life?” and for them to have options so they can take action in the way that works best for them at that point in time.
Raising Awareness and Taking Action
I began with a completely amateur PDF that contained all my research and all of my knowledge. I just wanted people to know. When that stopped being enough, and I wanted people to be able to change, The Alcohol Experiment was born. Over 250,000 people have changed their relationship with alcohol by taking part in this completely free 30-day break from alcohol.
Yes, it raises awareness but it also meets people where they are in their journey and gives them tools and resources to take action.