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How To Keep a New Year’s Resolution To Quit Alcohol

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With January rapidly approaching, it might seem like everyone has a goal to improve their life in the new year. And giving up alcohol is a great way to achieve that—especially if you want to feel your best in 2023. 

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Maybe you’ve noticed that you don’t like the person you are when you drink. Or perhaps you use alcohol when you’re stressed and want to find better ways to cope. Whatever the case, reducing your drinking can benefit countless aspects of your life, from your mental health to your relationships and everything in between. 

So, how can you succeed in your New Year’s resolution to quit drinking? Read on for some of the best tips, strategies, and resources to help you stick to your goals.

Why Giving Up Alcohol Might Be a Good Resolution

If you’re not sure whether a New Year’s resolution to get sober is right for you, here are some signs that it could be:

  • You’re drinking more than you’d like to
  • You regularly wake up hungover 
  • You often feel anxiety after drinking
  • You don’t sleep well and feel tired throughout the day
  • You feel sluggish or brain-fogged at work
  • You feel like you can’t socialize without drinking

By cutting out alcohol, you can get better sleep, have more energy, and even improve your mood day-to-day. Plus, you can save money and learn to be more confident in social settings without booze.

And if complete sobriety isn’t a goal you want to pursue in the new year, there are other options you can try, too. For example, you could explore sober curiosity for the month of January, or even try mindful drinking to help yourself become more conscious of alcohol’s impact on your life.

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How To Stick With It

Once you set your mind on a New Year’s resolution to quit drinking (or cut back), it’ll take grit and determination to stick with it. To make things easier, here are a few tips that can boost your success:

Set Clear Goals Around Your Drinking 

How many drinks are you comfortable consuming per week? Zero? One or two? Whatever the case may be, now’s the time to be extremely clear about your moderation or sobriety goals. In addition, you can take some time to reflect on alcohol’s current role in your life, and how you want it to change in 2023.

Setting goals around how you want your life to look after you cut back can also make a difference in your success. Ask yourself:

  • Do I want to try any new hobbies or activities after cutting back? With your newfound energy (and money saved), it’s a great time to try a new sport, join a class, or even tackle a new business idea.
  • Is there anything else I want to improve or work on? For example, maybe you want to advance your career, be a better communicator, or forge deeper relationships with your friends and loved ones.

Arm Yourself With Support From Family and Friends

No matter what your past with alcohol looks like, quitting or cutting back can be an isolating journey. Fortunately, research has shown that social support may improve your resilience to stress—and in turn, this could make it easier to stick with your new habits.1

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So, be sure to connect with trusted friends and loved ones about your goals. Talk to them about ways they can support you, ask them to hold you accountable, or simply keep them in the loop as you tackle your New Year’s resolution. You could be surprised at the difference it makes!

Plan How You’ll Deal With Alcohol in Social Situations

Once you decide to cut alcohol out of your routine, it can be tricky to navigate social situations where people are drinking. After all, alcohol is seemingly everywhere, and it might feel like you’re the odd one out when you’re staying sober. 

So, if you find yourself in a scenario where alcohol is present, here are some tips to help you stay on track:

  • Always hang on to a nonalcoholic beverage to ward off drink offers and keep your hands busy.
  • Keep a mental list of responses handy in case anyone asks why you’re not drinking.
  • Have a friend you can talk to, text, or call if you need some extra support.

Practice Self-Compassion

Whenever you make a lifestyle change, it’s essential to practice positive self-talk. After all, replacing old habits can be tough, and slip-ups are a normal part of the process—especially when you’re quitting drinking.

So, how can you practice self-compassion in the new year? Here are a few tips:

  • Treat yourself like a friend you really care about. Reassure yourself, listen to your thoughts and feelings, and encourage yourself to work through challenging situations and emotions.
  • Normalize the fact that mistakes are a part of life, and they can help you grow and learn.
  • Practice self-acceptance and love in the present moment, knowing that you’re working towards a healthy, happy future.

Getting Support

Aside from connecting with family and friends, you can build a support system full of peers aiming for the same goal that you are—to experience life without the harmful effects of drinking. 

The good news is that there are many free places to connect with others and find support.

  • SMART Recovery offers secular, free, mutual support meetings to help members find self-empowerment in their recovery journey.
  • Moderation Management is a national support network that hosts meetings to help those with problem drinking.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous hosts alcohol support meetings around the world. It’s founded on the traditional 12 step process, and it’s all about creating a space where those who identify as alcoholics can support each other.
  • Women for Sobriety is a non-profit that offers women support in recovery from substance use disorders, including alcohol use disorder. They offer both in-person meetings and an online community.

Recovery Support in Your Pocket

If you could use some all-around support in your New Year’s resolution to quit drinking, Ria Health can help. 

Ria is an online program that connects you with recovery coaching, anti-craving prescriptions, and more—all tailored to your unique needs. And the best part is, our program is 100% accessible from your smartphone, so you don’t have to rearrange your life to sign up.

Book a call today to learn more about how the Ria Health team can support your goals in 2023.

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Written By:
Alicia Schultz
Alicia is a Minnesota-based freelancer who writes for Ria Health and various other brands in the health and wellness space. Beyond addiction and recovery, she also covers topics relating to general well-being, mindfulness, fitness, mental health, and more. When she’s not writing, you can find her relaxing with her three-legged cat, trying new workout routines, and spending time with her loved ones.
Reviewed By:
Evan O'Donnell
Evan O’Donnell is an NYC-based content strategist with four years’ experience writing and editing in the recovery space. He has conducted research in sound, cognition, and community building, has a background in independent music marketing, and continues to work as a composer. Evan is a deep believer in fact-based, empathic communication—within business, arts, academia, or any space where words drive action or change lives.
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