The start of a new year can be a great time to assess your goals for the year ahead and work out what you might like to change heading into a fresh new year. If taking a month off for Dry January is on your list of new year’s resolutions, here’s a few things to help set you up for success:
Take time to reflect on your ‘why’ – If you’d like to create a positive change in your relationship with alcohol, it’s important to understand the reasons ‘why’ you drink in the first place. What is alcohol actually doing for you? How is it helping you? What are the root causes that drive you to drink? What are you using alcohol to escape from? What parts of yourself or your life are you hoping to avoid by drinking?
Get an accountability buddy – accountability can play a critical role when trying to change an ingrained habit. If you don’t have a real-life cheerleader in your corner, find an online support group where people genuinely cheer you on, celebrate your wins with you and will help dust you off and get you “back on the horse” if you fall off. There are so many wonderful supportive pockets of the internet so start by following accounts that resonate with you.
Know your triggers - People generally drink to either decrease negative or increase positive emotions; to cope (forget about my worries), to be social (to celebrate) or to conform (to fit in). Becoming more aware of the triggers that make you feel like drinking and disrupting these patterns can be helpful. For example, on a Friday after work you would usually pour yourself a wine while cooking dinner. Plan for this by changing the ritual. You could continue with your ritual and swap out the wine for an ETCH, or change up your routine all together by heading out for a walk, booking in for a breathwork/art/exercise class.
Switch your mindset – the key to enjoying time off drinking (whether it’s for a month or longer) is to reframe your thinking and switch your mindset from a place of deprivation to a place of abundance. Think of all of the positives; the money you are saving, all of the extra time you get. Have fun and enjoy the experience. You are giving up one thing but you are gaining so much more!
Be Patient with yourself - Changing the neural pathways takes time, while a month is a great start, to make meaningful change in your relationship with alcohol takes time…so be patient and kind to yourself.
ETCH = Every Time Choose Health
You might like to read our blog Top FIVE tips to help you THRIVE through a Sober Month