New Year's Eve: How you can ace dry January

New Year's Eve drinking planned? How you can start 2021 without a drop of alcohol

New Year's Eve: Hand turns dice and changes the expression "Ikeep drinking" to "I quit drinking"
(Image credit: Frank Harms / Alamy Stock Photo)

New Year's Eve is upon us and it's a great time to think about starting 2021 with a healthier lifestyle. And for those of us who have indulged in one too many gins or chocolate liqueurs a Dry January might sound appealing.

But how do you kick-start it with good intentions that last right through 31 days? After all, only half of adults who decide to take on the challenge of Dry January actually end up completing the month-long detox by going alcohol-free.

To ensure you won’t be tempted to crack open the merlot wine after a stressful day at work, David Brown from Nocktail shares his top tips on how to ace Dry January...

“Every year for many, Dry January always feels like the perfect time to quit drinking for a month. It’s after the alcohol binge over the Christmas festivities and on the other side of a new year… new year, new me right? But this year feels different. As we get closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, there’s no better time to recalibrate our lives and make 2021 the year of self-love and improvement.” 

How to succeed at Dry January:

  • 1. Hold yourself accountable - Team up with a mate, do it with your family or perhaps raise some money for a cause you care about. 
  • 2. Fill the void that alcohol once was able to do – find some lovely alcohol-free substitutes (the options available now are mind-blowing), most of the time you’ll be able to find something almost identical to your favourite alcoholic tipple… just minus the booze. “
  • 3. Track your progress - I love the app ‘I Am Sober’, it counts your sober days, motivates you with milestones and also shows how much money you’ve saved – which will change your life and perhaps even convince you to keep going beyond the golden mindful drinking month of the year. All in all, don’t see it as a challenge but as an empowering and positive lifestyle switch up.”

If that advice isn't enough to see you through, life coach Zoe Mallett shares her top tips for moving your mindset around giving up booze....after all, dry January will look different for everyone...

  • List down your top three reasons for taking part in Dry January - These can become your goals. Throughout the month there may be occasions when you want to give up and you start asking yourself why you decided to do this in the first place. Understanding your reasons then looking and thinking of them like goals may help you push through the moments of ‘weakness’. 
  • Visualise the end - Zoe says, “Now, let’s take ourselves forward to the end of January. Put yourself in the mindset that you completed the entire month without one drop of booze. How does it feel looking back at the last month having not had one drink? Do you feel proud? 
  • Reflect post-January - There will be some valuable insights into who you are. What were your proudest moments? Have you learnt anything about your relationship with alcohol? What was the biggest insight from this experience? Can you take any learnings into your everyday life? Then celebrate your small win, relish in your accomplishment!”
Selina Maycock
Selina Maycock

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 14 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently looks after all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life.

Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. Having spent the start of her career working on local newspapers and online, Selina spent six years as Acting News Editor and Entertainment Reporter at the Scunthorpe Telegraph where she dug into hard news stories, conducted interviews, covered court reporting, features, and entertainment, whilst going to gigs in her spare time.

Whilst at the paper she was awarded an O2 Media Judges' Special Award for helping a terminally ill cancer sufferer realise his dying wish and marry his childhood sweetheart through a successful newspaper campaign. Things like this are close to her heart when it comes to using journalism to make a positive difference in people's lives.

Selina later branched further into all things celebrity to became a Showbiz Writer at Heat magazine, covering red carpet events, showbiz parties, and various launches before going freelance for two years. One of her biggest celebrity achievements - aside from generating celebrity exclusives - was interviewing Take That (including Robbie Williams) and bumping into Simon Cowell so much at events she told him 'I'm calling you my showbiz dad!'

In 2017 she joined TI Media as a senior reporter on Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, Woman's Weekly celebrity desk before branching online in 2020 when Future gave her the opportunity to focus on digital-first.

When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.