After cocktail-filled Christmas parties and a New Year’s Eve spent doing champagne toasts, it’s no surprise “dry January” often seems like a good idea. Skipping out on alcohol for 31 days sounds easy — but all it takes is a tough day at work before that glass of wine seems like a great idea.
Here, four tips on how to not only survive dry January, but make it fun, too.
FIND A FRIEND
When alcohol is available everywhere — from movie theaters to mini golf courses — willpower can suffer. But any new habit is easier if you’ve got someone to hold you accountable. Enlist your partner or a friend to go on the journey with you and check in with them as the month progresses. When you’re tempted by a cocktail party or work happy hour, and you don’t think you have the willpower to say no, invite your partner-in-crime to come along or see if they’d like to do a fun, alcohol-free activity instead.
MASTER THE MOCKTAIL MENU
As ubiquitous as booze has become, mocktails are also an emerging trend. If you’re at a restaurant or bar where they mix craft cocktails, chances are the bartender will happily improvise something non-alcoholic for you. You can also make your own at home. Just beware of indulging in too many — the alcohol might not be present but extra calories and added sugar from juices and mixers are.
TAKE BEFORE-AND-AFTER PHOTOS
Alcohol does a number on you — from your sleep to your skin and body — so take photos of yourself at the beginning of the month and then retake them every week until the month is over. If you want to take it one step further, print them out and note on the back how you’re feeling in your body. How’s you energy level? Any bloating? Are you sleeping better? When you track a noticeable difference week over week, you’ll find new motivation to keep on going.
BASK IN ALL THAT EXTRA CASH
Drinks definitely eat into a budget, especially if you’re a fan of boutique wine or craft cocktails. Calculate how much you’re saving by not drinking this month and do something fun with that extra money — like a spa day or a fancy dinner. There’s even an app for keeping track of how much you’ve saving called I’m Done With Drinking. It might just inspire you to recalibrate your spending in the new year.