How to Stay Sober After Dry January

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Dry January is a great time to focus on yourself and your commitment to being sober. But you might have some questions about what to do after Dry January is over. Here are some things to think about.

Reflect on Your Dry January Experience

After Dry January, look back at what you've accomplished. Maybe you started a new hobby or put a meditation practice in place. Maybe you did better at work or rekindled friendships that alcohol had harmed in the past.

There are always reasons to celebrate and to recalibrate. Evaluate your month and take note of the improvements you want to sustain, and the areas you want to improve. There's no reason Dry January can't roll into Fabulous February!

Reaffirm Your Why

"It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living.” - Eckhart Tolle

We believe that getting and staying sober is one of the most courageous and incredible things you can do. That alone is motivating, but don't forget to revisit why you started in the first place. Keeping your "whys" conscious will give you even greater strength on the difficult days still to come. 

A lot of people see January 31 as the real start of their journey to recovery. It's not an ending of Dry January, but a beginning of a new way of living that can change and improve the rest of your life. 

Set Goals and Reward Yourself

"If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, you do not have a goal - you have a wish.” - Steve Maraboli.

Long-term sobriety is possible after Dry January. To keep your momentum going, set manageable short-term goals, which can make them feel easier to attain. Set goals you feel comfortable with, such as making it to the next day without drinking, starting a gratitude list, or even sharing in a meeting

You can also set bigger goals you might have wanted to accomplish during the time that drinking was holding you back. No matter what goals you create, be sure to reward yourself for achieving them, both the big and the small.

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Solidify Your Routine

During Dry January you might have set a temporary routine so you could avoid triggers or take up time that would have been used to drink. Now that you've made it through Dry January it's time to solidify your routine and your boundaries to help with future success.

If you've picked up a new hobby you like, stick with it. If you don't enjoy the changes you've made, now is the time to make adjustments to make this transition more enjoyable and help maintain your sobriety. If there are people in your life who aren't respecting your new choices, it's also time to set clear boundaries with them that can help with your recovery.

Don't Be Too Hard on Yourself

It can be hard to become (and stay) sober, especially right at first. While it's important to work hard on your recovery journey, you also don't want to be too hard on yourself. You're not a failure if you have a bad day, or if you're struggling with the changes you're making.

Instead of feeling bad if you make a mistake, stop and consider how often you've done things right. Also, take the time to see what might have led to a mistake, so you can look for ways to reduce the risk of it happening in the future. Consider attending a sobriety support meeting, and sharing, so you can hear the ups and downs of others’ sobriety journeys and learn from their stories.

This is your journey, and it's something you're capable of doing through Dry January and beyond. But, while this is your thing, remember you don’t have to do this alone. Connecting with a community that understands your journey, and where you can share experiences and celebrate successes is critical to your recovery. So, If you are in need of a sober community to keep you on track, we can help. Learn more about our online alcohol support groups here.

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