We made it! Another year in the books, and what a year it was. Take a minute to reflect on the triumphs and challenges you faced this year, and reflect on the fact that you are here now ready to start another year. Chris and Tyler are already hard at work planning for next year to bring you incredible content, reviews, and new opportunities to get involved in the community! 

The first and biggest sober event of the new year is Dry January! Every year people kick off the new year with incredible and inspirational health based goals from wanting to lose weight and tone up to get that beach body (looking at you Chris) to wanting to become more financially stable and conquer credit card debt. Other goals to set, and ones we truly value here at The NA Happy Hour, are those that impact our relationships with alcohol.

People will choose each year to go cold turkey or to simply drink less and become a mindful drinker during this time for all sorts of reasons. Regardless of your reasons to cut down on your alcohol consumption, we wanted to give our input on some ways to ensure a successful Dry January and start to your new year.

Goals:

  • Often with goals we try to be too ambitious and set goals that go from 0-100 in .5 seconds. These goals create high expectations that rarely pan out while leading to stress, disappointment and failure. The best thing for goal setting is making them small and incremental. Set a goal for the week: “I will only have 3 drinks this week.” This is an easily attainable goal that will motivate you into the next week and the next
  • Once this goal is met and it has become a habit and part of your weekly ritual, make some things more specific: “I will only have 2 drinks and they will be on non-work days.” Continuing to build on your prior successes is the best way to maintain stable and productive growth.

Celebrate the wins:

  • Even if it is a small win, it is important to celebrate it and give yourself the appreciation and admiration of a small victory. When we talk about celebrating though, that does not mean you can binge on eating or drinking. It means giving yourself a pat on the back, ordering healthier takeout as a treat, and watching another episode on netflix. Something small that allows you to relax and be proud of yourself.
  • The flip side of this is: Do not punish yourself if you do not reach your goal(s) for the day, week, or month. It’s okay. You’re human. You are supposed to mess up. This is a marathon not a sprint. You have bad days and you have great days! All of these come with their own feelings. I know this is calling the kettle black but forgive yourself. Be nice to yourself. You are your best advocate and your loudest cheering squad.

Plan of action and resources

  • Plan of action: When making your goals, ask yourself “Why?” Why do you want to accomplish these goals? What are you truly getting out of them? These are some of the most important questions to ask yourself. If you do not fully understand your “Why” it will be hard to stay motivated. When you think you have your why, I want you to go through an exercise called “The 5 Why’s.” An example for me would be:
  • Goal: I want to drink less alcohol.
  • Why am I drinking less alcohol? To be in better shape
  • Why do I want to be in better shape? To feel confident in my body and reach my fitness goals
  • Why do I want to feel comfortable (or why don’t I?) and reach my fitness goals? To gain an increased level of self confidence.
  • Why do I want more self confidence? To be able to chase after the life I truly want and no longer worry about judgment from others.
  • Why don’t you want to worry about judgment from others? I believe this will lead to a more positive version of how I see myself.

By the end of January 1st, I want you to write your top “why” on a sticky note and put it on your bathroom mirror, and on your monitors at work and on your phone each night when you charge it, Hell make it your phone background! Live and breathe it! Internalize it! DM us your Why if you want! We can do this together!

Find a community:

People who have set similar goals are the best kinds of people to share in the victories with and understand any potholes you might hit. We have been there. And we are there. Join facebook groups and email lists for communities you vibe with and I promise you will stay more motivated than if you were going about this on your own. You got two people here at The Happy Hour who are rooting for you! Send us a message with any questions you have, recommendations, or to just check in and say “hey.”

To a new year, let us raise our non-alcoholic beverages or our alcoholic beverages and ‘clink’ to improved versions of us, healthier relationships with alcohol, our friends, our family, and to positive personal growth.