Congratulations! You've successfully completed a whole month without a drop of alcohol. Your liver is cheering, your skin is glowing, and you're probably more productive than ever. But now that the challenge is over, how do you make sure you continue your new routine and don't fall back into the trap of old habits?
Before we get into the tips, I'd like you to take check of where you're at right now. Are you desperate for a drink? Are you counting down the days until the weekend? Did you white-knuckle it through the whole 31 days and you can't wait to 'celebrate'.
I've been there. When I've done Dry July in the past it has been through sheer willpower. Every weekend was a challenge and I couldn't wait to get to day 31 so I could 'reward' myself for all the hard work.
If any of the above resonates with you, you may be a Grey Area Drinker and I'd suggest you continue on your sober curious journey for a little longer.
If you're looking for some simple things you can implement today, I've got you covered with these 5 tips:
Take some time to journal about the month that was. Try to let your mind be free and write whatever comes up for you. Ask yourself about your expectations leading up to Dry July versus how did the actual experience played out. This will give you some insights into the stronghold alcohol may have one your life.
During your reflection rank these areas of your life out of ten; your sleep quality, your mood, your energy, your mental clarity, your ability to handle things outside of your control, your connection to others. Keep these scores handy because it's nice to have them as a reference if you decide to start drinking again.
2. SET NEW GOALS
You've just proven to yourself, you can do hard things. 31 days without drinking is no mean feat, you should be very proud of yourself. But now it's time to step it up. What else could you achieve? What else would you like to accomplish?
3. STAY CONNECTED
Over the past 31 days did you find new friends on a similar path? Or many you influenced some of your close friends to start looking at their drinking too.
Stay connected to the people, accounts and groups who have helped you get this far. We can't help but be influenced by those around us, so if you want to continue on this healthier journey you need to keep following accounts that share the message you want to hear.
4. DISCOVER NEW HOBBIES
When you take something out it is important to put something else back in. The biggest thing I noticed when I cut back drinking was all this additional time I had.. hence starting Smug AF Cocktails! There is No Way I would have time for this business if I was still drinking.
What are you going to do with all your new time?
5. BE MINDFUL WHEN DRINKING
If you decided to go back to drinking or become a mindful drinker, like myself, there are a few things to be aware of. Having a drink every now and then can be a slippery slop and you'll need to check in with yourself regularly to make sure you're on track with your goals. Have someone you trust (and whom you can take feedback from) keep you on track. Give them permission to call out any old habits if they notice them sneaking back in.
Dry July is an impressive achievement but this is just the beginning towards your goals of a healthier and more purposeful life. Embrace the positive changes you've already accomplished and I look forward to hearing all about your future success. You've got this!