Dry January: 7 tips to avoid falling off the wagon


Many Brits are opting to go 'dry' this January – but with any new challenge, staying on track can be hard. Here's how to make sure you succeed

group of friends toasting drinks

If you have decided to lay off alcohol in January – otherwise known as Dry January – you’re not alone.  

UK charity and organisers of the annual campaign, Alcohol UK, found that 30% of men and 26% of women (excluding non-drinkers) would like to reduce the amount of alcohol they consume in 2024. 

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, given one in five adults said that they drank more in 2023 than the year before. 

But having a month off the ‘sauce’ can help you sleep better, improve your hydration and save you money, as well as calories.  

So, whether you want to have a dry Jan, or maybe a damp Jan, here are seven ways to make sure you don’t fall off the wagon.  

Seek support

If you want to be supported throughout Dry January, you can sign up to the campaign through Alcohol Change UK, which will cheer you on throughout the month.  

Participants can download the app for updates or sign up to coaching emails during January to help keep you on track.  

Create a mantra

Set yourself a daily reminder of why you have decided to give up alcohol. It could be as simple as a Keep a post-it on your fridge or computer screen.

This keeps you reminded that you are doing Dry January and make you less likely to accidentally fall off the Dry Jan wagon and help to remove temptation.

Buddy up

If working out with a friend means you push yourself harder and are more likely to stick to your workout sessions, the same can be said with doing Dry January.

People who take part with a family member or friend are more likely to succeed. If one of you feels a wobble, the other is there to help you to keep on track.

Go low

Switching to non-alcoholic drinks, such as mocktails or alcohol-free beer means that you can still enjoy your favourite tipples without the alcohol.  

By doing this, you’re less likely to feel like you’re missing out from having your favourite tipple.  

Tot up the savings

86% of Dry January participants said they saved money, according to Alcohol Change UK. The average cost of a pint in the UK stands at £3.95, a 4% increase compared with 2021. 

And, if Brits have around 4.4 pints a week, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, that could save you more than £17 a week.

So, if you do decide to tot up your pennies, put the money you into a savings fund and reward for yourself at the end of the month.

Resist temptation

If you're someone that reaches for the bottle at the end of a stressful work day, try not to have alcohol in your home. Instead, do something to mix up the end of your work day.

Go for a walk or do some form of exercise to take your mind off wanting a drink.

Go out sober

If you’re ditching the alcohol but afraid you’ll miss going out, try going to an alcohol free bar.

Derby’s Yada and Nottingham’s Cafe Sobar are reimagining cities’ nightlife with their alcohol-free menus, while The Brink The Brink in Liverpool is helping its visitors to nourish their body and spirit.

At Vitality, we’re all about encouraging our members to make small positive lifestyle choices that can make a big impact to their lives.

That’s why we offer partner benefits and rewards with a range of big brands when you get healthy. 

Log into Member Zone or visit vitality.co.uk to find out more.

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