A long weekend can kick-start many of our alcohol triggers. The combination of a bank holiday and sunshine can derail the best of intentions.

But just a quick reminder before we get started — the buzz you will get from sticking to your healthy intentions will far outweigh any buzz from the booze.

Just imagine how empowering it will feel when you spark up the BBQ, throw on the shorts and have a great time — without drinking?

And what about when you wake on Sunday or Monday and feel fantastic?

Perhaps for the first time in a long time, you will maximise every second of the bank holiday, rather than trading one “big” night for a weekend of lethargy and regret?

How great will it feel to be super “social” in the evenings and then even more social in the mornings free from anxiety and tiredness?

Finally, imagine that trying something different this long weekend and ‘not’ drinking you might just transform your life. How cool would that be?

Below are 7 of the best hacks that will help you stay on your alcohol-free adventure:

1. Note down all your reasons ‘why’ you want to take a break

Some amazing research has shown that writing down your thoughts is great for changing habits while improving wellness.

List all those reasons why you want to stay alcohol-free this bank holiday weekend. Ask yourself why are you taking on this alcohol-free adventure? What has led you to this point?

What are the consequences if you do drink?

What are the massive advantages you will gain if you don’t drink?

Dig deep to unearth as many reasons as possible to add extra power.

Use paper, an iPad or laptop, whatever suits you best, but note all your reasons down. For a motivational boost put your reasons ‘why’ where you can see them as a daily reminder.

2. Expect the unexpected

It sounds over the top, but we know when it comes to going alcohol-free, winging it doesn’t work. Create the mindset of an athlete planning for a race and always expect the unexpected.

Who knows what might happen over the weekend. The long lost friend who arrives on your doorstep, looking to catch up over a few drinks or a sudden stressful moment is sent to trip you up.

So let’s be ready in advance for these moments:

When the unexpected happens, and it will, give a rye smile and remember this post, because you knew this was coming.

Then take a deep breath and make the choice that fits with your goals.

If you need some quick motivation remind yourself of all those reasons ‘why’ you decided to quit in the first place.

3. Always know exactly what you’re going to drink & have a backup drink

It’s key to know exactly what you’re going to drink. You are about to fight years of social and psychological conditioning, and you need to be prepared, or old habits will take over.

Phone the venue to find out if they stock alcohol-free alternatives. Non-alcoholic larger is a brilliant choice because in the words of Louis Walsh —

‘It looks like a beer, it tastes like a beer and reminds me of a young ‘alcoholic beer.’

Or if its a house party, even better, bring your own alcohol-free alternatives.

People leave you alone once they see something that looks alcoholic. This saves you explaining yourself and having your rubber arm twisted. If no look-a-likes are available, create your own.

Perhaps order a soda water with lime, then add a mixing straw. It’s a dead ringer for a vodka lime and soda.

Get creative and always make sure you have a drink #1 and backup-drink #2 planned, just in case!

4. Use visualisation to prepare like an alcohol-free athlete

Just like athletes use visualisation to prepare for competition, you should rehearse your alcohol-free event in your mind.

The beauty of visualisation is that you can rehearse as many times as you like in your head. This is why athletes use this technique. They can’t physically run the 100m a thousand times, but within minutes they can mentally rehearse a thousand races.

Training your mind with your new alcohol-free skills will have your armed and ready for any alcohol-free action.

When you hear the starter’s gun or the bar person’s words your mind and body will know exactly how to react. You will take on your alcohol-free challenge and win.

5. Bring the fun factor and love your alcohol-free social life

The ridiculous notion that you can’t have fun without alcohol is total nonsense. Even if you’re not feeling the party spirit, throw yourself into the alcohol-free action and bring your social A-Game.

If you have to — fake it until you make it.

When your physiology is upbeat and vibrant, your mind will soon follow.

Friends will be amazed, and so might you, that you can have tons of fun, be the social butterfly without a drop of alcohol. This often results in the greatest of all backhanded alcohol-free compliments:

‘Are you sure you’re not drinking?’

6. Get ‘The 28-day alcohol-free challenge’ book

Our book — ‘The 28-day alcohol-free challenge.’ is the perfect accompaniment to any alcohol-free adventure. It’s like a pocket guide to your best self as it takes you on a day by day journey. Showing you how to smash your alcohol-free challenge and love life the process. Each day tells what you need to know when you need to know it.

If you need some quick motivation, you can order the book on kindle, audible or from all good bookstores and online by clicking here.

7. Stay accountable

Daily accountability is so important to lasting habit change. That coach like feeling that you must stay true to your goals or you will have to face your mentor and let them know you have slipped is a powerful motivator.

It’s kinda like having your very own personal gym instructor watching over you making sure you turn up and train every day.

At OYNB we have a daily interactive accountability post that we encourage all our members to interact with, so we all know if they are still on their AF adventure or not. This helps create that coach-like feeling of someone watching out for you making sure you stay on track. This simple daily check-in works wonders.

Call to action

I have created a free guide to the 4 greatest mindset tricks that will transform your relationship with alcohol.

If you use this guide you will be able to stay alcohol-free in any situation.

Click here to get your free guide to the 4 best alcohol-free mindset tricks

PS — If you want to know more about my alcohol-free adventures I am LIVE on Instagram and Facebook almost every morning at sunrise — before work!

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