How to make Dry January® (and other New Year's resolutions) work for you

January 2023 | 7 minutes

So, you’ve signed up for Dry January® 2023 - fantastic! But maybe at the back of your mind, you’re getting that familiar uneasy feeling that the weight of a freshly made New Year’s resolution can put on your shoulders.

Let’s look at some common ways to deal with the expectations that come with starting a new challenge. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution to get in shape or signing up to Dry January®, you’ll find there are some common preparation techniques that can help get you off to a good start.

Be prepared

Feeling prepared can involve lots of different things depending on what kind of person you are. There are some simple actions that past Dry January® participants have vouched for to prepare for the challenge ahead, such as:

  • Chucking out the booze in the house beforehand to avoid temptation
  • Checking how your calendar’s looking for January and preparing yourself for any likely stressful days or pinch points
  • Making time to tell your nearest and dearest what you’re taking on, so you have your support network ready to spring into action if needed
  • Creating a game plan for managing your month off alcohol – with some strategies and tools to help you reach your goal.

Know who you're doing this for

At the end of the day, taking part in Dry January® is a chance to reset your personal relationship with alcohol. It’s all about noticing what’s different for you as you go through the month and seeing what you gain in your life as you progress with the challenge. This could be better sleep, improved mood or even improved mental health. The change starts with you but can have wonderfully positive effects on loved ones around you too.

Have a specific goal in mind

Luckily for Dry January® participants, you’ve already got this one in the bag. You’re aiming for 31 alcohol free days during January, and you can use great free tools like the Try Dry® app to log your progress, track your moods and write down how you’re finding your journey in the ‘Notes’ section of the Try Dry® app. If you haven’t got the app yet, be sure to download Try Dry® to your smartphone now.

Believe that you can

Easier said than done, we know – but remember that people who sign up to the official Dry January® challenge with Alcohol Change UK (that’s you!) are more than twice as likely to succeed. We believe in you, and we hope that you can see that same potential in yourself. Don’t let anything hold you back this January.

The Dry January Facebook Community Grouis another great free tool available to you that could help you feel better prepared for starting your Dry January® adventure. It’s a warm and supportive place full of people challenging themselves just like you. If you’re having a bit of a self-belief wobble, chances are the lovely bunch in this group will be able to put you back on track.

For more information and advice like this, we’d recommend checking out Lauren Booker’s Try Dry: The official guide to a Month Off Booze.

We hope you’re feeling a bit more ready now you’ve read through some of our top tips for making your challenge successful. With a little preparation and willingness, Dry January® doesn’t need to be another failed New Year’s resolution. So, the question is - we’re in, are you?

If you haven't signed up to Dry January® yet, it’s not too late!

Sign up now