7 tips for a successful Dry January

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Well happy New Year! Whew, where did 2018 go?

No matter, we’re moving onward and upwards to have the best year EVER. If you’re thinking of binning the booze during January - but not sure where to start, I have a few tips for you. These have helped me SO much over the last six months to develop good habits when it comes to navigating social situations, stressful days and everything in between.

  1. Be Prepared - behind every great goal there is a well, thought out plan that helps you stay on track. The best parallel I can think of is meal planning. If you’ve bought your groceries, downloaded your recipes and mapped out what you’re having for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then you’re well on your way to following through on your goal of cooking more at home.

    In terms of Dry January, think about:

    • how you will tell others you are not drinking, and practice saying it out loud.

    • how you will handle a stressful day or celebration ahead of time - so you aren’t surprised when that day comes during your challenge

    • other things you enjoy for self-care and stress management. Alcohol is a huge reason to squash emotions and pass the time - so what will you replace that with?

  2. Research non-alcoholic drinks and have fun testing recipes. I’ve really enjoyed trying new teas, coffee drinks and experimenting with simple syrups and mineral water. There is no excuse for someone saying “I don’t know what I will drink” - there are plenty of options these days!

  3. Plan ahead when attending an event. Again, this goes back to being prepared and putting a lot of thought into how you will handle situations during the month of January.

    • Think about what you will order ahead of time (and practice saying it out loud)

    • Imagine who you are excited to see or what experience you will relish in as a sober, clear-minded individual

    • If you are going to a friend's house or hosting your own event, bring your own mixers or have ingredients on hand to create a fun drink.

  4. Visualize yourself succeeding and think about what that looks like.

    • What does success look like for you?

    • Imagine yourself enjoying your day will less anxiety, better health, making good decisions about food choices, waking up full of energy or improving the relationships around you - all with your new and sassy sober self!

  5. Change your perspective: Don't think of yourself as losing alcohol, but as gaining something else (energy, clear skin, clear mind, etc). Don’t think of Dry January as something you have to do, view it as a fun, adventurous journey where you are adding to your quality of life and learning new things about yourself along the way!

  6. Create distractions: If you're giving up alcohol for a month, use that time to do something new, like trying a new fitness class or cooking a new recipe. I cannot tell you how many books I’ve been able to read over the past few months, simply because I’m not passing out after a few glasses of wine at 8 p.m. (I even learned how to create an online course during this time!!!!)

  7. Find a support network or an accountability partner:

    • Instagram and Facebook offer a community of people sharing their own sober journeys.

    • Pinterest provides a lot of sober inspiration.

    • Check out a local meeting to connect with others in person.

    • Or write out what you're thinking and feeling. There is so much power in keeping a journal and getting those feelings out on paper!

Did I leave anything out? My wish for you in the New Year is that - if you are struggling with alcohol or if you are wanting to experience life without reaching for a glass of wine for every occasion - you find the support, encouragement, inspiration and motivation you need. All the best. xox Kim