I had a conversation with someone last week about how they did Dry January and felt great but were unsure of how to move forward.
They didn’t want to fall back into their old drinking habits but also were not committed to sobriety for life.
Here’s the thing. They very well may fall right back into old habits.
30 days is an amazing start to redefining your relationship with alcohol AND it takes more than that to change years of patterns.
There’s a reason America has a drinking problem. Alcohol is highly addictive and highly accepted.
So if you are someone who did Dry January and unsure what to do next, it’s totally normal to feel that way.
Here are my tips for those of you who are feeling great after Dry January and are unsure how to proceed.
1. Extend your sober·ish experiment - Add on 10 days, 14 days, another month. Commit to that and allow yourself to say on that day you’ll decide what the next chapter looks like for you. You can do anything for 30 days.
2. Redirect your focus - If all we focus on is the punishment of not drinking, we won't change. Instead think of what you are gaining. How are you sleeping? What is your energy like? How is your anxiety? How does your body feel? Refocusing and collecting that data helps build the case for what's next. I always suggest journaling and capturing that data for reflection.
3. Plan Ahead - Dinner with friends. Check out the restaurant menu and see if they have AF options. If they don’t, have a plan of what you’ll drink. Bring your own special drink to someone’s house. Shoot a text beforehand letting people know you won’t be drinking. Stock your house with sparkling waters, mocktails, lemonades etc. These are all things I have done and currently do.
If you want to extend Dry January, you know that it feels amazing to take a break from drinking. We don’t have to commit for life but we can commit to another 7, 14, 30 days to continue to see how we want to move forward.