Want to make long lasting habit change? Upgrading your challenge can help you to achieve exactly that!
Many people start off their alcohol-free journey by dipping their toes in the water with the 28-Day Alcohol-Free Challenge, and you can experience plenty of benefits from this short break from drinking. However, if a lasting change in your relationship with alcohol is what you’re after, then you may wish to consider upgrading to a longer challenge.
The benefits of taking an extended break from alcohol:
- Improved sleep
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved relationships
- Heightened motivation and energy
- Save more money
- Increase your chances for making lasting behaviour change
We may not realise it, but our behaviours are one of the biggest influences on our physical and mental health. Our behaviour can ultimately determine the quality and length of our lives, which is why it is so important to create successful, long term, healthy behaviour changes in order to live life better.
Taking a break from alcohol can unlock a domino effect of improvements across every aspect of your life.
The science behind behaviour change
According to research, the time it takes for each individual to create lasting behaviour change can vary widely. For some, it may take a matter of weeks, but for others, it could take the best part of a year. This can be determined by a number of factors including how ingrained the behaviour was, motivation and personal body chemistry.
However, one of the reasons why attempts to change habits can fail is because the old neural pathway leading you to this habit in your brain never disappears, and once you begin behaving in the same way again, it doesn’t take too long for them to fall back into old patterns. This is why the longer you repeat the new behaviour, the more likely it is to stick.
Alcohol and behaviour change
If we apply this knowledge to taking a break from drinking, the length of time it takes to change your relationship with alcohol may depend on how intimate your relationship with alcohol was beforehand. For example, a light social drinker may find they can achieve lasting lifestyle changes within 90 days. For others, who may have had a more ingrained relationship with alcohol, breaking down old habits may take longer. However, this journey will be different for everyone, and how you choose to approach it is up to you.
Taking a break from alcohol: A timeline
While there is not a one size fits all process for what will happen when you go alcohol-free, there are some expected benefits that come along with being alcohol-free for a significant length of time.
After a week of not drinking you may begin to experience benefits such as improved sleep and increased energy levels. Your skin is likely to look healthier as the hydration levels restore. It is also likely that you will be making better decisions as well as benefiting from improved learning and problem solving – even your ability to be creative might improve.
After a month without alcohol you may be experiencing physical changes, such as weight loss or the sparkle returning to your eyes, however it is likely that most of the benefits your body will appreciate are going on on the inside. Vital organs such as your liver or stomach will recover and improve in efficiency, blood pressure can begin to normalise, your body will be more able to absorb the important vitamins and minerals in your diet and your risks of other health related issues will fall.
3-6 months after taking a break from booze you are likely to have saved a significant amount of empty calories, and even better, cash in your pocket to spend on things that are more important to you. The relationships with those around you may have improved as you have the patience and understanding to invest in nurturing them. You may feel more prepared to deal with stressful situations as you have learned new, healthy coping mechanisms and your anxiety may have reduced overall. Your motivation and productivity levels are likely to reach an all time high as you have reprioritised and refocused on your goals. Even your immune system is likely to have improved as it is no longer being temporarily knocked out or weakened by alcohol.
As time progresses, all of these changes cement and solidify as your body gets used to this new way of life. And if a long term reduction in your alcohol consumption is your ultimate goal, then the longer you spend taking a break from alcohol, the more likely you are to continue being mindful of this relationship with alcohol after you complete your challenge.
Don’t take our word for it
Cheryl decided to take the 28-Day Alcohol-Free Challenge, but soon realised she wanted to upgrade to 90-days in order to cement the positive changes she was experiencing.
“I started with a 28-Day Challenge, but quickly realised that it wouldn’t be enough so after about 3 weeks I upgraded to 90-days. I found that being alcohol-free gave me so much freedom. I’ve lost 1.5 stone, have much more motivation and sleep soundly every single night. Plus an added bonus is that I look in the mirror now with more confidence.”
Sarah started out her alcohol-free journey only planning to reach her 90-day milestone, but realised she wanted to upgrade to the 365-Day Challenge to keep on reaping the alcohol-free rewards!
“The outcome of my break from alcohol has been nothing short of amazing. I love being hangover free. Now that I’ve passed 90-days, I’ve extended my Alcohol-Free Challenge to 365-days so I can give myself more time to improve all areas of life. This has been the most effective, impactful, rewarding experience I could ever ask for.”
Benefits to upgrading your challenge
Besides all of the physical and mental benefits you can experience by taking a longer break from alcohol, by upgrading to the 90-Day and 365-Day Challenges you can also benefit from the added perk of lifetime access to our online global community. This allows you to check in whenever you wish to share any struggles or successes throughout your alcohol-free journey and beyond.
So if you are coming to the end of your alcohol-free challenge, and you are considering what your next steps might be, you don’t need to let this journey come to an end! You can upgrade your challenge and continue to get daily support and guidance to reach those milestones and secure your own list of alcohol-free benefits.
An entrepreneur and former senior oil broker, Ruari gave up drinking after excessive consumption almost cost him his marriage, and worse, his life. Going alcohol-free improved his relationships, career and energy levels, leading to him founding OYNB to provide a support network for others.