The new year brings a time of reflection over the previous 12 month – and more recently, all those crazy holiday parties you’ve just attended.

Each event was full of friends, happy memories, laughs and Christmassy treats …and it was all probably washed down with champagne, cocktails, beers and ‘just one for the road’.

Maybe now you’re paying the price for drinking alcohol over the past month – feeling flat, listless and bloated, or maybe even a little worried about your alcohol intake, generally.

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If that’s you, then sober January could give your body the break it needs

Join the online challenge, or follow my three-step approach below, so you can feel better, fast!

What is Sober January or Dry January?

Just as the name suggests, sober January means abstaining from drinking for the month of January. Wikipedia says the Finnish government first launched a post-war ‘sober January’ campaign in 1942 as part of it’s war effort. The modern Dry January campaign first occurred in January 2013, initiated by the charity Alcohol Concern.

Dry January has it’s own webpage, with a sign-up challenge to stay booze-free for 31 days. Here’s the link!

You can set up your own sober January challenge – I’ve provided you with a handy, three-step guide below to help you.

Why go dry?

Many of my own clients say they feel significantly better after a few weeks without alcohol. The benefits of sober January might include:
– sleeping better and longer
feeling less bloated
– clearer skin
– lowering your weight and waist circumference
– more energy
– feeling clear-headed and more alert
– saving money!

There are many good reasons to go dry – these are just a few.

sober january_2Sober January – A trick of the mind?

Tom Sykes of The Telegraph says that the idea of sober January could give you the dangerous illusion that you don’t have a problem with drinking. That is, if you prove that you can go a month without alcohol, it may remove any guilt you have related to unhealthy drinking habits and mask some deeper issues.

If you suspect you have a drinking problem, the logical thing to do is seek professional help to confirm what’s going on for you.
– In the UK, you can visit the charity Alcohol Concern.
– In Australia, you can visit Drink Wise.

Maybe there is some truth in what Tom says. While a month off booze can be beneficial, it is also useful to think about your longer term drinking habits.

On the other hand, a month of abstinence can help to rewire simple bad habits and remove some of your regular drinking patterns. I’ve definitely seen this in many of my clients – a time-framed challenge helps them break the cycle and then, they feel so good they don’t want to go back.

You may like to try the three-step approach in my next article for your own sober January!

Setting up for success…

As a coach, I notice that most of my clients have some idea of what to do, but struggle with how to actually make change in some area. With some simple, non-judgemental observation, the how becomes a lot easier.

In other words, you can discover how to change your own habits by: becoming aware of how you behave right now, then noticing (without judgement) the triggers for unhealthy behaviour, then rewiring your unwanted behaviour.

Come back for Part 2 tomorrow!

Connect with Expert Melanie White.

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