Trying to stick to your new year’s goals? Here are some tips for success.

If you set an intention to do some things differently this year, now is a good time to review how you are going and give yourself a little high five. 

In our last article, we talked all things goal setting: how to set clear goals, understanding your ‘why’ and working out what support you need to set yourself up for success. 


Nailing your new year’s goals? Reward yourself without alcohol 

Celebrating the wins, big and small, can keep you on track. Let’s face it, change can be hard, even when you are really motivated. A little self recognition of your persistence and commitment, even if the outcomes have not been perfect can help keep you motivated. 

As you make changes to your relationship with alcohol and your drinking habits, think about how to reward yourself (without alcohol!). What makes you feel good? Is it counting the money you’ve saved? Or allowing yourself that little feeling of smugness as you watching your drink free days mount up? Or if you are trying to lose weight maybe some new clothes as a reward. 

Whatever it is, big or small, the best rewards are the ones that bring you joy. That joy gives your brain a little burst of dopamine and helps you stay on the path. 


Watch out for the goal disruption effect 

The goal disruption effect is sometimes referred to as the ‘f@#k it effect’. It’s when you are going along happily meeting your goals and then have a slip up. It’s tempting to say ‘f@#k it, I might as well just give up’. 

You should be very pleased with yourself if you can 100% meet your goals, but the reality is that most people who are trying to make changes will slip up now and then. It’s normal and it doesn’t mean failure. Every time you slip up you learn something. Take that learning into the next stage to reinvigorate your commitment to your goals. 

It can help to make a plan ahead of time in case you slip up or start to experience cravings or the urge to give up on your goals. Think of it like a fire drill. Having a plan for a fire doesn’t mean you want a fire to happen or that you think a fire will happen, it’s just a safety net in case it does. 


Look after yourself 

Looking after yourself can help reduce stress and support success. Create an environment that brings you joy and contentment. The Danes call it ‘hygge’. Establish a routine, fill your space with things that make you happy, keep things tidy, take a bath, watch a sunrise, learn a new skill, buy a fancy water bottle that you love using. 

Staying hydrated, healthy eating, good sleep and exercise can make it a lot easier to stick to your drinking goals. Practice stress reduction techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, yoga, or deep breathing. 


Get inspired for change with the right supports 

Having a support system is a big part of successful life changes. Share your goals with friends and family who can offer encouragement and understanding. Join our Daybreak community for non-judgmental support and motivation. 

Reading stories from people who have successfully changed their relationship with alcohol can also be uplifting, motivating and a great source of inspiration. There’s a confidence in knowing that if someone else can do it, so can you. 

Sign up for Hello Sunday Morning’s newsletter for some great short stories each fortnight (scroll down the page a bit to the sign up section). If you want something a bit more substantial, Daybreak members love the following books: 

  • Alcohol Explained, by William Porter 
  • The Alcohol Experiment and This naked mind, by Annie Grace 
  • Last Drinks, by Maz Compton 
  • Drinking: A love story, Caroline Knapp 
  • Sober Curious, Ruby Warrington 
  • The Accidental Soberista, by Kate Gunn 
  • We are the luckiest: The Surprising magic of a sober life, by Laura McKowen.  
  • High Sobriety, Jill Stark 
  • The unexpected joy of being sober, Catherine Gray 
  • Glorious Rock Bottom, by Bryony Gordon 

Whichever way you decide to celebrate your wins, we hope you find a special way to reward yourself. 

Best wishes to you from the Hello Sunday Morning Team


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