Finding your "why" during Dry January can set you up for success. Before you begin any kind of self-imposed challenge, it’s always helpful to find your motivation. For most people, the reason for going alcohol free is highly personal and somewhat unique to each individual.
Here are some reasons people have shared with me over the last few years:
- Curiosity: Would I feel better? How hooked am I? Would I find it easy or hard?
- Overall Health & Wellness: With or without the science, most people know alcohol isn’t a component of healthy living.
- Irritation With the “Habit”: Some feel slave to a nightly drink or two and ask themselves, “Do I have this under control or is IT controlling me?”
- Seeking to Improve Sleep: We all have interrupted sleep with or without alcohol, but anyone who has over indulged (even slightly) is likely to be familiar with the sudden pounding heart/sweats and/or anxiety at 4am. For some, this is a stand alone reason for quitting drinking. It’s that unpleasant!
- Focus on Nutrition/Mindfulness of Healthy Eating: Alcohol has low nutritional value. Removing alcohol can put the focus on healthier food choices.
Feeling “Held Back” by Alcohol: Some people feel alcohol is standing between them and better productivity, creativity and generally leading a richer life. They think of all the things they could be doing if they were not under the influence.
- Using Alcohol to Soothe the Stressors of Life, Despite Negative Consequences
I highly encourage you to identify and articulate your own reason for participating in Dry January before you begin. You may need to remind yourself why you began the challenge as the month progresses. If you need an extra nudge, you can listen to this recent podcast from Dr. Huberman, a neuroscientist who studies brain development, brain plasticity and neural regeneration.
Drop a comment if you would like to share your reason for going alcohol free this month and as always, happy sipping!
Margaret is a Certified Professional Life Coach, Certified Professional Recovery Coach and a Certified She Recovers Coach. She holds a B.A in Psychology, a Masters Degree in Education and has worked in the field of Education for over 30 years.
If you feel you may be struggling with substance use disorder, visit Get Help at Canada.ca to find the resources closest to you.