Ten top tips to keep you motivated for Dry January

Roughly one in seven Americans took part in Dry January at the start of this year, and forecasts suggest that the figure will rise again in 2022. So, if you are preparing to take on the challenge, you are not alone.

Completing Dry January is the perfect first step towards developing a healthier relationship with alcohol in 2022 and beyond. Even for a social drinker, though, avoiding alcohol for a whole month isn’t easy. After all, there may be birthdays, social events, and other celebrations where you will be tempted to drink. With the right mindset, though, you can resist the urge. Keeping yourself motivated is the key to success. Here are 10 of the most effective ways to do it in style.

#10. Recognize the festive binge

Statistics show that Americans drink twice as much alcohol during the holiday season than they do during the rest of the year. After weeks of binges between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, your body will certainly thank you for the temporary sobriety.

A healthy relationship with alcohol can significantly enhance your quality of life, but excessive drinking will take its toll with a long list of symptoms. Your heart, kidneys, lungs, and pancreas can all feel the effects of the festive binge. Likewise, your sexual health and body size could see negative impacts. A 31-day detox will give your body a chance to recuperate and return to full health.

#9. Integrate it with your 2022 goals

A small percentage of people completing Dry January will plan to go sober forever. For the vast majority, however, the intentions are simply to establish a better relationship with alcohol while simultaneously starting the new year in style.

The most common New Year’s Resolutions include losing weight or getting fitter, improving career prospects, and achieving better mental health. Frankly, all of these aspirations can be supported by a Dry January. Therefore, ensuring that your mind is focused on enjoying a productive start to 2022 in all aspects of your life should keep you motivated in your bid to ban booze for 31 days.

#8. Count the days

When starting any significant challenge, focusing solely on the end goal can make the journey ahead feel like you’re climbing Mt. Everest. Breaking the process down into manageable bite-size pieces will work wonders for your mindset. Counting the days is key.

Taking Dry January one day at a time should be easy in the first week. After that, you’re already counting down the days to February. Downloading an alcohol consumption tracker is highly advised. Seeing the counter of days you’ve gone without a drink will keep you in a positive frame of mind and silence any temptation to drink. Besides, the software can be used to help establish a far healthier relationship with alcohol throughout 2022 and beyond.

#7. Get a non-drinking buddy

Dry January is a personal challenge, but that doesn’t mean competitors have to face the journey alone. If you are not 100% confident in your ability to keep yourself on the right path, teaming up with a buddy is the ideal solution.

Whether competing against a sibling, friend or colleague doesn’t matter. The desire not to let them down should provide an extra impetus. Likewise, you can drag each other through more testing times. Adam Shafran, DC has described the benefits of “diet buddy” for weight loss, and the sentiments are echoed in relation to Dry January. A network of support and accountability can make all the difference.

#6. Think about the financial savings

Dry January won’t just have a positive impact on your health. It’ll also have a hugely positive influence on your personal wealth. In truth, it is an immensely significant motivational tool following the expensive festive period.

When you consider the cost of a pint, it’s easy to see how most people spend hundreds of dollars on alcohol each month. This is especially true when you factor in taxi fares, cigarettes, and late-night food trips that are often associated with a night out. Whether saving funds for your summer vacation or getting ahead of your taxes doesn’t matter. Keeping an eye on the financial benefits is a calculated decision for all Dry January followers.

#5. Raise money for charity

Raising money for charity is shown to be a great way to stay motivated in a variety of challenges, such as training for a triathlon. Naturally, it can be a great motivational tool for a ‘dry-athalon’ too. In short, helping others is often the best way to help yourself.

Just over half of all Dry January participants make it an annual routine. In turn, this could become an ongoing solution to raise funds for a charity that you care about. Setting up an online fundraising page is easy and free. So, even if you only raise a few dollars, it will have a positive impact on the lives of people who need it most. The knowledge that you cannot afford to let those people down encourages the tunnel vision needed to achieve your goal.

#4. Reward yourself

Completing Dry January will improve your life in many ways but it still requires a degree of sacrifice. As such, it’s very important that you make the effort feel worthwhile. Personal rewards and treats are a fantastic solution that helps you stay focused on positive features.

Rewards can range from a takeout meal to a new outfit or tickets to watch your favorite show. The average person consumes 9.5 drinks per week. So, you may even want to include small treats each week followed by a bigger reward when completing the month. Everyone can appreciate the carrot versus the stick metaphor. If you respond better to the carrot, this will have a huge impact on your Dry January.

#3. Occupy your time elsewhere

When you no longer rely on alcohol-based social activities, you quickly realize how much time you have for other recreational tasks. As such, Dry January is a great time to rediscover an old hobby or form a new one. If nothing else, it provides a great distraction.

It’s not only the time spent drinking that you recover, it’s also the time that you’d usually spend in bed with a hangover. Even if you don’t usually report severe hangover symptoms, it can take up to 24 hours for blood alcohol concentration levels to return to zero. The opportunity to engage with artistic and recreational activities in a stronger manner will make Dry January a far happier time. Even if you intend to resume drinking in February.

#2. Avoid your triggers

Sometimes we drink when we’re happy. Sometimes we drink when we’re sad. Understanding the situations that lead you to drink and consciously avoiding them will give you a far better shot at staying sober for the duration of Dry January.

The triggers may be certain social events, such as watching your local sports team or the Friday night out with colleagues. Or perhaps it’s specific people. Either way, using a tool that helps you create clear tactics for completing Dry January will boost organizational skills and motivation alike. Most people find that stress is another trigger for turning to alcohol. So, any opportunity to reduce personal stress levels in daily life should be grabbed with both hands. Aside from aiding your challenge, it’s a move that can aid other aspects of your life.

#1. Remember it’s what you want

Finally, you haven’t decided to complete the challenge on a whim. Whatever the reason for wanting to achieve this goal might be, you’ve already taken the first step to a month of sobriety and better long-term relationship with alcohol.

Never look back, and Dry January will be yours.