Whether you’re taking part in Dry Jan this year, or you just need a little top-up on the best advice for sticking to your alcohol-free goals, we have you covered.

While of course we support someone going alcohol-free at any time of the year, January is one of the most popular times to give up the booze for a few weeks to give our bodies (and bank accounts!) a bit of a break. But just because there are more people going dry during January, doesn't mean you won't face temptation. That's why we thought we would give you a little refresh on the most useful tools and tips for sticking to an alcohol-free challenge. 

Top tips for staying alcohol-free

  • Out of sight, out of mind
  • Always be prepared
  • Have alternatives at the ready
  • Set your intentions and display them
  • Celebrate the benefits

Out of sight, out of mind

If you were on a diet, you wouldn’t sit and stare at a chocolate cake or an ice cream sundae all day, because you know that temptation would likely eventually cause cracks in your resolve. 

So why would you tempt yourself thats way with alcohol during an alcohol-free challenge? 

It’s much easier to stay on track if you don’t have any alcohol at home for the duration of your challenge, so either get rid or ask a friend to keep it until you’re finished. You never know, you might feel so good at the end that you don’t bother asking for it back!

Equally, if you know you're likely to be tempted into drinking if you were to visit the pub, organise social plans that avoid these places or suggest activities that aren't centred around alcohol so you're less likely to feel swayed.

Always be prepared

Good advice for life in general, but especially when going alcohol-free. Think about the month ahead—what social plans do you have in the calendar? What activities, events or occasions will you need to contend with? Even if you end up having to isolate (an unfortunately common thing to consider these days!), are you likely to be invited to boozy FaceTime calls? 

Of course you can’t plan for everything, but you can consider what might crop up, such as persuasive friends, toasting in celebration, or craving that perfect pairing to your favourite dish. In some cases, you’ll be able to prepare in advance, like phoning friends to let them know you’ve decided not to drink because you’re on a challenge. Getting your pals onside ahead of time can really help to ease the social pressures in the moment!

If you haven’t got firm plans in the diary yet, then this is your chance to explore some alcohol-free activities, and organise gatherings where drinking isn’t the primary focus. Just because you’re ditching the booze for a bit, doesn’t mean you can’t still be out having fun and socialising!

Have alternatives at the ready

With socialising in mind, it can be good to consider your go-to alternatives if you’re faced with ordering drinks somewhere. Often, if you have a glass in hand, people won’t even question what’s in it. And it can help with that awkward feeling that you should be holding something. 

If your usual tipple is a G&T, one option is to hold the G and have a premium flavoured tonic. If cocktails are your thing, then most bars and restaurants have a mocktail section of the drinks menu, or you can ask what other non-alcoholic drinks are on offer. Good bartenders will be happy to get creative and make you something interesting off-menu.

If you’re looking for home-based options, or when visiting friends and family, then have a look at the myriad options available next time you’re in your local supermarket. There’s plenty to explore, so have fun experimenting!

Set your intentions and put them on display

Never underestimate the power of your whys. There’s a reason you started on this alcohol-free challenge, whether it was for charity, a health reset or just to see what you’re capable of. 

Each person’s reasons will be different—it’s a very personal choice, so leverage that! 

Write your intentions for the challenge down on paper, and detail the reasons you want to achieve this goal—then keep it close! In moments when you’re feeling weak, pull them out and remind yourself of what you’re here to do.

Celebrate the benefits

A positive mindset is a winning mentality, and it won’t be too tricky to stay positive along the way once you start to see and feel the benefits of not drinking. Celebrate each small win, reward yourself for milestones, and make sure you take notice of all the improvements you start to experience. 

It can be helpful to write these down too—the compliment you got on your newly glowing skin, how much easier it was to get out of bed when your alarm went off this morning, or even just how much more connected you felt to those around you. 

Along with your whys, you can refer back to these daily wins to reinforce your sense of progress, and use them to push you onwards. 

Best of luck!

Not that you need luck, of course; you’ve got this in the bag! Enjoy your time alcohol-free—it’s a unique experience that helps you understand yourself a little better. 

And don’t forget, there’s an entire global community of others sharing this experience with you, and here to help, support and guide you through. Let’s do this!


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