You’ve told you friends and your colleagues, you’ve downloaded the app, you’ve removed the leftover Christmas booze and there is no going back on doing a dry January now… But is there anything else you can do to make staying dry in January even easier? Well, yes, actually. Lots of research has been done into what keeps people motivated when crying wolf on the booze, and we’ve mulled it all over (no pun intended) and put it into a list of helpful ways to make this dry January a little bit easier for all involved.
Remember the reasons why
The first working Friday of the month is well behind us and if you have managed to avoid the pub with colleagues until now then you’re dong well. But how long can it last? Creating a list of the reasons why you have decided not to drink this January can help focus the mind and make you resist temptation if and when it comes along. Make the list somewhere easy for you to reread, if you’re a smartphone user pop it in your notes, or if you’re a little more traditional then put a pen to paper and scribe the reasons and stick it somewhere you will see it.
Without suggesting you’re an acholic who needs to go to rehab in London, we can all fail to resist temptation at times and this January you need to make sure this doesn’t happen by planning ahead. Research finds that if we are bored, we are more likely to revert to our old habits, similar to the way in which an ex-smoker when under stress will crave nicotine more as they know it calms them. So, make sure you stay busy this January, fill those fun day Friday’s which are usually spent wining and dining with friends with non-alcohol related activities. Go to the cinema, go shopping, go to a friends but don’t take any booze take alternative soft drinks which you can enjoy. A fancy smoothie or a favourite pop drink can allow you to still have a glass in hand – just a non-alcoholic one!
Friends with benefits
Doing Dry January with a friend, colleague or loved one can make all the difference. You can inspire and encourage each other and have someone to turn to if it gets a bit tough. Better still, get the whole gang involved. Not wanting to let others down and feeling inspired by what others are achieving are both great ways to stay committed. People who join with a friend are much more likely to succeed. If it’s a friend you’re competitive with, even better.
Remember no one is making you do dry January but yourself. You are the one who has decided not to drink in January and are the one who’s going to feel brighter, better and richer after a month without alcohol.
Still want a drink? Then how about aiming for a damp not dry January? Why not cut out the “Oh-go-on-then/wine-o-clock/oooh-look-free-booze” drinks and just have one of the drinks you really want. Take a pause before each drink to work out whether it’s for enjoyment or just habit. That way, not only will you cut down, but it’ll give you a new appreciation of the drinks you do decide to have.
Record your achievements
Record what’s new, what’s different, what’s better every day. You can look back at previous entries and see just how far you’ve come and remind yourself just how much you’re achieving. Making time each day, even just a couple of minutes to remind yourself of your alcohol-free journey will really help you to see it through to the end. It might even encourage you to do it again in 2019!