Top Ten ways to make your dry January a huge success
Abstaining from alcohol during the month of January is becoming more and more popular. Call it what you will – a dryathlon, dry january, drynuary – this challenge can seem both exciting and frightening. As making a dryathlon work is a lot like making a new exercise regime work, I thought I’d weigh in with some advice. So, if you are interested in successfully completing one of these challenges, here are ten tips. (For the record, I haven’t done a January dryathlon, but I have given up for Lent (which is 40 days) the following: meat, wheat, alcohol, dairy and caffeine.
Sign up for a charity dryathlon
Accountability can help you through to day 31. And public accountability – for a good cause – may encourage you even more. Otherwise, create your own private charity pledge and remind yourself each day what good cause will be benefiting from your efforts.
Don’t start with a stinking hangover
You’re going on a little trip. You’re leaving alcohol behind for a while. Alcohol will still be there when you get back. You don’t need to start the trip, carrying alcohol in your bloodstream like so much unnecessary handheld luggage. Plus, you should start as you mean to go on
Decide why you’re doing this
Be clear. Don’t try to fool yourself with vague notions of ‘it’ll do me good’. Write down beforehand your reasons why and keep that paper close to you. This is so that your sobriety-addled brain at Day 14 doesn’t succeed in convincing you that you had no good reasons for starting this.
Don’t make it more than it is
It’s only four weeks. On average you get about 4238 weeks in your life.
Connect with similar friends and keep reminding each other how well you’re doing
This is what social media is for. Bragging. Seek the right mindset by talking to others who are doing it themselves. Or perhaps read online the experiences of those who have succeeded before you. But definitely avoid the naysayers.
Have a reward for getting through
That isn’t alcohol.
Exercise alongside your dry month
Accelerate the weight loss, take advantage of the newly-found energy reserves and increased sleep by following an exercise regime. Plus, the experience of feeling fitter and healthier will encourage your abstinence.
Eat well alongside your dry month
Increase the cleansing factor of your dry month and accelerate weight loss even more.
Have distractions to hand
Books and box sets are a good start. Spring cleaning chores, new (complex) recipes to try out for dinner. Put up some furniture, unpack a box from your last house move (you’ve still got one somewhere, don’t you?)
A key drive forwards from one day to the next is to plan your moves. Where you’re going to be, social events, things to do at home to distract yourself etc. Idle time leads back to familiar bad habits so get out a calendar and book yourself solid for 31 days.
Help yourself achieve great things this month with a Training Plan from Muddy Plimsolls.