Just over a year ago, I was at the airport, returning home from a business trip to London and feeling like crap from the night before. It hit me that l'd been drinking more than I had ever intended.
I realized I desperately needed to reevaluate my relationship with alcohol. In London, I had heard of a new tradition, a government-sponsored initiative called “Dry January." In short, you pledge to take the month off booze while also raising money for charity. Although I would be spending January in the States, I decided to give it a try. I hoped it would help me transform my overall drinking habits.
I quickly realized that approaching the challenge as if it were an “alcohol diet" would be torture. Instead, I need to change my mentality — focusing not on giving up alcohol but on what’s so great about not drinking.
Not only did I succeed in not drinking that January, but I haven’t had a drink (or even wanted one) ever since.
My mentality has changed from “I don’t get to drink” to the empowering realization that “I don’t have to drink.” Years of drinking convinced me that it was a vital, necessary part of life. The truth is I never actually needed alcohol to enjoy myself, or relieve stress. I only thought I did.
More than 2 million people around the world, including celebrities like Anne Hathaway, made it their resolution to ditch the booze in January and it’s easy to see why. Here are just a few of the ways a Dry January could also transform your life: