Everyone loves to put themselves on track for the New Year and kick it off with a healthier start. One of the most popular trends in the past few years has been “Dry January” which is cutting out alcohol for the month. After a few months of holiday drinking, it’s a great way to naturally detox, improve your liver functions and feel healthier from the inside out. I love that it doesn’t focus on weight loss, but you’ll still see an improvement in your appearance. These Dry January tips will help you stay on track!
The history of Dry January is fairly new. It really started after 2020 when families were at home more, for the national lock downs, and drinking more. Cutting out alcohol became a rising trend and now there are so many great zero proof alcohol options that are on the market.
Believe it or not, participating in Dry January doesn’t have to be boring or feel like deprivation. I’ve got some great tips to help you stay focused and I’ve used these solutions myself.
It’s up to you whether you want to add drinking back into your lifestyle come February, but your body will thank you for a little break – no matter what you decide.
7 Dry January Tips To Help You Stay On Track
Like any goal, you want to focus on one day at a time. There might be days where the challenge feels really easy and there might be times where saying no to alcohol is harder. Breaking the month-long goal into smaller chunks will help it feel easier to accomplish. Focus on week to week, day to day and and even individual events.
How Cutting Out Alcohol Can Improve Your Appearance:
- Your skin will have less swelling and look more hydrated
- You may shed a few pounds by simply not drinking your calories
- Your hair will have more lust and shine
I always notice that I feel more focused as well. You’ll naturally drink more water and feel less dehydrated. I love feeling less swollen and even my wedding rings feel better. When I drink heavily at night, there’s always a struggle the next morning with my rings.
Step 1: Build A Plan And Share Your Dry January Goals
Before the month even begins, look at your calendar and set yourself up for success. Writing down visual reminders will help you stick with your goal throughout the month. If looking at the entire month is intimidating for you, look at each individual week.
Share your plans with people you live with and socialize with. Ask them for their support. Remind them how important this goal is for you and how you’d like their help. Maybe you might need to replace some of your typical social outings with other things to do. The bar might be replaced by morning yoga for January – whatever you need.
Also, take a “before” photo. Look at your skin, the swelling in your face and a ballpark of how much you weigh. You’ll be amazed at the difference!
Step 2: Move Your Alcohol Out Of Sight
Avoiding temptation is hard when you’ve got easy access to alcohol in your home. Try moving the booze to a different area of the house where you aren’t constantly reminded of it. If you’ve got a liqueur cabinet with a lock, as someone to take the lock until February for you. This is a BIG step to set yourself up for success. It’s much harder (and more expensive) to go out and order alcohol – so start with removing temptation from your house.
Step 3: Look For An Alcohol Replacement
Sometimes the act of sipping is all we need. Find a new drink that you’ll enjoy and want to sip on that works with your social calendar too. It can be tea, soda, mocktails or even zero proof alcohol. Since you’re focusing on healthier choices overall, I’d pick water first – try a spa water recipe that’ll feel like you’re at a luxury spa. Next, aim for tea. Soda, juices and zero proof alcohol can be saved as a “last resort” when you’re most tempted.
If alcohol provides relaxation and stress relief, you need to look at the underlying problem and fix it. Understanding what stresses you, and why you need relief from it, is a big step to improving your life. Alcohol can only temporarily fix it – like a BandAid.
Step 4: Plan For More Exercise (Or Just Move)
I love to push exercise to help me with stress relief. A brisk walk everyday, getting a little sunlight, really improves my mood and outlook. Find what your body responds to for stress relief. Treat yourself to improve yourself! It might even be a bi-weekly massage.
Look at your calendar and schedule exercise like an appointment. Mix it up from your usual routine too. Exercise releases endorphins and you’ll find that will help you replace the endorphins you get from alcohol.
Print out a 60-mile monthly running challenge and color in your mileage by accomplishing two miles per day. It’s very doable and you can walk, run or bike it!
Step 5: Avoid Triggering Situations
Of all the dry January tips I have, this one might be the most important. There are certain environments (or people) that can trigger drinking. If you have a friend that you only socialize when drinking together, you definitely need to inform them about your month-long goals. Sporting events, bars, parties and happy hours can easily trigger drinking.
Even if you offer to be the designated driver, before an event, it may not be enough to avoid temptation. You have to actively avoid triggering situations or ask for alcohol to be gone by the time you arrive.
Fair warning though: it’s sometimes unpleasant to be around drinkers when you’re sober. I just avoid the events all together. It’s only 4 weeks of your life and you’ll feel so accomplished after it’s over.
Step 6: Find Support For Dry January Success
The best way to achieve goals is by partnering with someone else who has the same intentions as you. You might be able to convince a friend or family member to join in your endeavors. Together, you can find new social outlets and work together to stay motivated. Make a pact to call each other when tempted. Sometimes just talking through the temptation is enough to avoid it.
Step 7: Acknowledge Your Hard Work
If you’ve made it a whole month without indulging in alcohol, then you should definitely treat yourself for achieving your goal. Take that “after” photo and look at the difference. You’ll have brighter skin and look healthier.
Who you’ve accomplished dry January, it doesn’t mean making up for loss time. Find something else that you would love – like a new outfit or handbag. Maybe even an overnight staycation at a hotel you’ve always wanted to try. Write down how you’ll treat yourself at the BEGINNING of the month and keep your eye on the prize.
I hope these dry January tips help you reach your goals. When the month is over, take note of how you feel. Take note of how you look too. Slowly add back in alcohol if you feel like it’s something that you still want to enjoy in your life. You might even realize alcohol isn’t something you need in your life after all. Be open to your new outlook and feel better – from the inside out!