6 Tips to Help You Follow Through on Your Dry January Goals
Considering doing Dry January this year, but worried it will wind up another failed endeavor — just like resolutions past? Well, have a little more faith. This year we are supplying you with the best tips to make Dry January stick (FYI, Damp January is also an option!). Whether you're cutting back on the late-night whiskey to improve your gut health or taking a break from Saturday afternoon Bellinis to increase your energy, staying focused on your goal is crucial. Here, we have several ways to help you refocus, even when the going gets tough. And in just a handful of weeks, you could be reaping the not-so-tiny health benefits of going booze-free — you might even want to keep going. So pour yourself a La Croix or kombucha in a wineglass, grab a pen and paper, and let's get to intention setting.
Write It Down
Whether it's your Facebook status, your Instagram story, a line in your goal-setting journal, a group text, or all of the above: put your intention out there. Make it loud and clear. Tell the universe this is your plan for January. Make a clear-cut statement that you're going alcohol-free this month, and nothing's gonna stop you.
Assemble Your A-Team
Surrounding yourself with the right people is crucial for a dry January, particularly if you're lacking in the willpower department. Tell your friends what your plans are so they know ahead of time not to pressure you, but also tell the people who are going to hold you accountable. Friends who will gently remind you that a Moscow mule doesn't sound good right now, but a muddled berry mocktail does. Align yourself with people who won't pressure you or make you feel uncomfortable. Attend social events with the same kind of people. Chat with friends who are living sober or aren't into boozy activities as much. It takes a village!
Clean Out Inventory
Try to eliminate the possibility of backsliding at home by removing what's off-limits. Gift your booze to a friend, put it some place out of reach, throw it away, donate it — you do you. The key is to reduce temptation.
Fill Your Calendar
If your schedule is typically packed with happy hours, find an accountability buddy and schedule workouts in place of post-work cocktails. If you're usually attending back-to-back champagne dinners with clients or colleagues or dates during any given week (first off, good for you), then perhaps January is your month for restorative yoga to help with sleep, or some cozy nights in by the fire to recuperate and recharge.
Stack your January calendar with sober activities so that you won't even have to think about the fact that you're missing out. Instead of focusing on what you can't have, just try something else, or give yourself something better to do. Go to the movies with friends, try a walking or running challenge, pick up a new hobby, or sign up for a painting or cooking class. You can also spend your time volunteering, planing a baking night for your friends, or attempting a new sport with your significant other.
Find a Substitute
Mocktails are all the rage right now and there are easy ways to substitute them or another alcohol-free beverage for your favorite cocktail. See these useful scenarios below:
- Social situation: If you're at a restaurant and everyone's getting margaritas, ask the bartender for a fresh grapefruit-lime juice with a salted rim. It looks exactly the same, trust. Out at a bar and feeling anxious about people pressuring you? CLUB. WITH. LIME.
- Home habits: If one part wine, one part Netflix is your standard recipe for a weekday evening, swap in a tea. It can be similarly relaxing and packed with antioxidants.
Remind Yourself of Your Goal
Always come back to your why. Are you doing it to boost your energy? Improve your sleep quality? Feel healthier overall? Hold onto that why. Then, when you want to cave after a bad day at work or your Tinder date ghosts you for the second time, remind yourself: Why am I not doing this? Why am I deliberately choosing to skip it? How will I feel when I achieve my goal? What emotions will I experience having completed this challenge? Worth noting: If you find that your why is because you're seriously concerned about your alcohol intake and are worried you may have an alcohol dependency or are abusing alcohol, you should talk to your doctor or seek out the appropriate support services listed below.
If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of addiction or alcohol dependence, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Helpline is a free, 24/7, and confidential service you can call for information and treatment referral. It's 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Plus, find other resources at samhsa.gov.