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I just googled “Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions”.  For starters, there is not just 5. The shortest list starts at 10.  Not surprising.  We get very enthusiastic in the days following Christmas and preceding New Year’s Eve.  There is a deep and abiding belief that the as the clock ticks over midnight on the 31st, we get a clean slate and can start writing our story over.

And we do.  We most certainly get the chance to do this.  Unfortunately, we also run out of steam days or weeks in.  It is almost expected that our New Year resolutions will not linger any longer than a snowflake in hell.  Easy!  Make them, break them, who cares – right?  Maybe you do.  Maybe deep down you want this to stick.

The top 5 of many lists include health and wellbeing goals – lose weight, exercise more, quit smoking, get organised, live life more fully.  You might be also thinking – drink less.  If all this merriment has not sent you over the edge, a long-time nagging feeling around your alcohol consumption has probably had this goal on your radar for some time.

Let’s take a quick look at why resolutions have developed such a bad reputation.   Despite the best of intentions, many people struggle to stick to their plans. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, over half of the people who set a goal for the new year will fail!  Yikes.

What can you do?

Firsty, be realistic in setting your goal.  If you want to reduce your acohol consumption,then set achievable targets for how many night a week or a month you will drink.  Secondly, make plans around that.  Ensure you have alcohol free drinks on hand which will satisfy any cravings.  Put systems in place that will work for you and help you give this habit the flick. Third, assess and be clear on your “why”, it has to be stronger than your ‘why not’.  As any seasoned drinker knows, if you don’t have a compelling reason not to drink, then it really is a case of why not.  The goals which are intrinsically motivated have a far higher chance of sticking. Finally, be kind to yourself.  It will be a journey and yours will be different to mine.  Falling off the wagon is OK.  But give yourself the grace to get back up again and continue on. It often takes a while to quit successfully, so don’t feel too bad if your first attempts don’t work; just stick at it.Finding an accountability buddy, telling family or writing it down and having it visible every day will also help.

I personally find the word ‘resolution’ too binding and final.  So, this year I am setting ‘intentions’ around my health.  25 years ago I gave up smoking, nearly 12 months ago I gave up drinking.  This one intention, has delivered a raft of other benefits which have been happy by-products of being alcohol free – like setting up a business (definitely leading a fuller life), losing weight (a little, but more on that this year) and being more present with people I love and like. This year, I plan to put more of my health in the spotlight and work on being more intentionally active.

Drop a comment below and let me know what your plans for 2022 are. If you are planning to intentionally reduce the role alcohol plays in your life, browse the shop here.

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