Dry January diaries

January 2020 | 7 minutes

Every week, our Dry January diarists let us know how they're getting on with their challenge.

In the run-up to Dry January, Scott, Eleanor and James let us know how they're preparing for their dry month, and what they're looking forward to.

Scott

Scott diary
Scott in December 2019
Monday 30 December 2019

The festive week was a good one, we didn’t have a particularly boozy Christmas day. We started with bubbly at breakfast time but spaced out festive drinking with consuming mountains of turkey and mince pies. Our two-year-old daughter also kept us busy playing games and building LEGO which was great fun.

Boxing day however, was a different story. I went over to my sister’s house to see my side of the family and the wine and conversation was flowing freely. I didn’t feel quite so amazing on the 27th but I was really happy to have seen all the family during the festive season.

We managed to squeeze in four different family gatherings over the Christmas week, and all involving eating, drinking and celebrating. I nominated myself as the designated driver for two of them which was good practice.

For Hogmanay we’re heading up to the North to a little village close to Buckie. We’ve rented a little cottage and we’re planning to see in the New Year with good food and good company.

I’m looking forward to starting Dry January, and being a bit of a techie I've already downloaded the Try Dry app to track my progress. I’ve set myself a goal of doing a different 30-day challenge every month of 2020 starting with Dry January. With my wedding and stag night alongside multiple friends’ weddings all booked in before June 2020. I’m hoping Dry January will help me start the year off on the right foot. It may even help me feel a little fitter and save a little money too.

James

Gilbert Photo
James in 2019
Monday 30 December 2019

With two days of 2019 left, I am getting ready for Dry January 2020. I rarely drink at home so my preparation consists of setting expectations with friends and psyching myself up for the challenge ahead.

I have done Dry Jan before and been through plenty of “you’re not drinking?” conversations. Although it was difficult at first, it doesn’t worry me at all now. Dry January gives me a huge boost and I’m not discouraged by others.

I am always nervous about the ‘not drinking’ part of Dry January. The thought makes me feel claustrophobic; trapped without alcohol for a whole month. Again, the first week or two will be hard, but I have done it before and I know I will get through it.

Angst aside, there are plenty of things about Dry January I am looking forward to: better sleep, more energy and focus, and a better mood, for starters. Through a month off the booze, January is transformed from miserable and grey to being full of hope and optimism. This year, I want to make the most of my increased productivity by:

  • Meditating every day
  • Exercising three times a week
  • Playing football once a week
  • Not scrolling through apps on my phone before I get to work

These are ambitious targets given my current sloppy lifestyle but they are right there, in writing; I have committed to them now! The same goes for Dry January, too.

Best of luck to all the other Dry Jan’ers!

Eleanor

26 December 2019

10 years ago if someone told me I’d be doing a month without booze I’d have lit another cigarette, poured another glass of wine and laughed you out of the room. It’s fair to say Wine and I are very good friends. Wine has always been there for me - celebrating, comforting, fuelling rebellion, giving confidence, companionship, and ultimately, terrible hangovers.

It’s this last one that’s starting to overrule the more favourable traits of our friendship. I’ve (finally) managed to stub out the cigarettes and take up running. Running makes me thirsty, but the familiar arms of Wine are making me feel, post run, a bit sick. So, I’ve decided that while I’m training for a long multi-terrain race, Wine and I shall part company.

Did I mention that running makes me thirsty? Will I be such good friends with orange squash? Will all the money saved on booze be spent on fuel driving all my drunk friends home? Oh gawd, I’m worried I’m going to turn into that woman who hasn't got anything to say and starts yawning at 10 o’clock. Despite a change in hobbies in the past decade, it seems I might not have changed much after all.… Bring on Dry January!