Dry January is the chance to kick start a healthy new year by giving up alcohol for a whole month. Having started as a public health campaign by Alcohol Concern in 2011, it’s now in its eighth run, and with five million Brits signing up in 2017. But how do we make this resolution stick? Signing up is the easy part. It’s great to want to give your body (and bank balance) a break, but those bleak days in January can sometimes make it seem like an insurmountable challenge. Here are our top tips for making it a success, according to BMI healthcare…
Tell your family and friends
Making your intentions known is the first step to an alcohol-free month. It’ll help explain why you’re not having a glass of wine at dinner, or joining your mates for your usual Friday-night pint. Not only will you get nods and smiles of encouragement, you may even inspire others to join you!
Don’t stock alcohol at home, and avoid places or social gatherings in January that will tempt you to drink. This can be difficult after the excesses of the festival season, but just think how much good you’re doing to your body. If you have to attend, volunteer to be the designated driver – that way you can easily refuse a tipple.
Why not put the money you would normally spend on alcohol aside, and see how much mounts up? You can then treat yourself to something totally alcohol-free! There are plenty of ways to remain stimulated when you’d normally be having a drink: go to the cinema, or arrange a nice day out with friends. Cutting out alcohol shouldn’t be a punishment; you’ll only be successful if you make yourself feel good along the way.
Monitor your progress
There’s nothing more satisfying and rewarding than seeing those successful days of the new year ticked off. Follow your progress with this handy calendar from Alcohol Concern, or use their app. If the prospect of an entire month is daunting, give yourself even shorter goals to get through it.
Cutting down before cutting yourself off might be the best way to make Dry January a roaring success. To see what you’re capable of before the pressure’s on, try not drinking for a whole week. Your body won’t be in total shock once the new year rolls around, and you’ll already have started to feel the benefits of reduced-alcohol intake.
By BMI The Sloane Hospital
Main image: Something & Nothing
Hettie is the editor and co-founder of DOSE. A keen runner, she’s also partial to a blast of high-intensity and hot yoga. A country girl at heart, she divides her time between London and the lush rolling hills of North Devon. When she’s not jetting off on her next adventure, Hettie can be found in a candle-lit alcove with a laptop, a spaniel and a full bodied Malbec.