In the bar at the rugby club on Sunday lunchtime, drying out in the bar after getting soaked for previous 2 hours and the number of references to ‘dry January’ couldn’t be ignored.

It seems as if every man and his dog is looking forward to completing ‘dry January’.  For many I guess this will be the end of the longest period of sobriety for 12 months and the welcome taste of alcohol cannot come soon enough.

Firstly, I would like to congratulate you if you have done this. If you acknowledge that you drink too much or too regularly or simply that going without alcohol is good for you that to have achieved one month solid is definitely something you should feel good about.

But as I looked around the bar my thoughts turned to February and wondered what benefit are these ‘dry Januaries’ actually going to get from the effort they’ve put in?

What happens on February 1?

I suspect that the vast majority will simply go back to their old behaviours of drinking too much & too often.  So why bother?

OK yes I get that even if it is not going to last then having a month without alcohol is better then having a month drinking too much.

But my questions is this:

If you know that you drink too much and going without is good for you, why only do it for a month?  Why not change for good?

You see for me I can’t stand the thought of wasting effort.  If working hard to achieve something just to let it all go again. I’d much rather achieve a little less but maintain it long term. It’s just like doing a diet with the express intention of putting all the weight back on once you’ve achieved your goal. Whether you intend to or no we all know that when every diet ends the weight is going to go back on.  Guess you just hope that not all of it does.

And that’s what I don’t get.

It’s a hamster wheel of short sightedness.  Following the masses because doing it differently requires a bit more effort. But I like more effort when more effort makes proper change, when more effort transforms lives permanently and when more effort helps you achieve something that really matters to you.

So as Dry January comes to an end why not have a think about what you’ve gained from completing it?

If it’s just a sense of achievement at achieving a goal linked with the thought that there’s less guilt associated with having a drink for the rest of the year then good for you. Cheers.

But if there’s a bit more than that.  If you feel good about yourself, feel like you’ve moved in a direction that you like or have seen a side to yourself that you quite like, then why not make the change permanent?

I’m not talking about becoming teetotal (unless you want to).  I’m talking about tapping into the change that you’ve already achieved and using it as a springboard for something else, probably something bigger and definitely something more noteworthy than a few weeks without a drink.

Achieve something that matters to you, moves you closer to the person you really want to be.

Today and for everyday of the rest of your life.

Carpe diem

Jim

P.S. If you would like some guidance on what the next step may be I’d be happy to help. Email me or call 0121 580 9598 and I will happily block some time out (at no cost to you) to kick a few ideas around.

P.P.S. If you’re not reading this in January but have recently made a short term change to improve your health that you’d like to make into a permanent change you are still very welcome to get in contact