Whether you’ve given up or you never started in the first place, Dry January doesn’t have to be over for you yet! In today’s blog post, Annie Grace – author of This Naked Mind and The Alcohol Experiment – reminds us that it’s never too late to start; the right time to take a break from alcohol is whenever you feel you want to!
Missed out on doing Dry January? Great – you know New Year’s Resolutions seldom stick? It’s true, it’s been estimated about 80% of resolutions fail. Now that we’ve established that I’m going to let you in on a little secret: you can still take a break from alcohol. Now, next week, next month – whenever you choose.
In fact, the idea of taking a break from alcohol is so popular there are all sorts of events around it – Dry January, Feb Fast, Alcohol Free For 40, Sober Spring, Alcohol-Free April, Dry July, Sober October. It turns out the right time for taking a break from alcohol is whenever you feel called to do it!
If you’re ready to take a break from alcohol, it’s easier to go in prepared. Start with some reading material – The Alcohol Experiment is a great read as it takes you through day-by-day and allows you to really examine your relationship with alcohol and beliefs around it. There’s also online support and an online companion to the book at The Alcohol Experiment. I offer daily support via email there.
If changing your relationship with alcohol is your next goal, focus on that. Don’t try to be a jack of all trades when it comes to adopting a new lifestyle. No one can quit sugar, carbs, cigarettes, and start running marathons all at once. Instead, master one change and apply what you’ve learned to the next area. Building off small successes creates positive emotions around change and motivates you to keep going. Focus your mindset on what you’re getting. Write down the benefits as they appear and refer back to them when you feel discouraged.
Finally, forget about failing. You can’t fail at this. Any stumbles that take place along the way are learning experiences. We learn by making mistakes. Even when you’re committing to not do something. So if you have a drink, don’t quit. It may be cliche but there’s truth in ‘progress not perfection’! Take that experience, learn from it, and recommit to creating a healthier relationship with alcohol.
So gather your resources, plan your path, and pick your date. You’re about to start a grand adventure!
Annie Grace’s This Naked Mind, The Alcohol Experiment, and The Alcohol Experiment Journal are all extremely useful resources in re-evaluating your relationship with alcohol. Learn more here.