Like me, you may have drinking less or going alcohol-free as your New Year’s resolution. But how do you make New Year’s drinking resolutions that stick? I think it was probably on my list for at least 10 years, before something finally changed. We asked the Club Soda team and some of our friends for their best resolution tips. They share their thoughts on this podcast on how to set those intentions for the New Year.
Even if it’s not about drinking, taking on new challenges at the turn of the year can be difficult. It’s the coldest time of year, and we’re probably feeling a little bit poorer. And this year, we’re feeling like we’ve been starved of human connection as well. So it is that weird time of year to set so many resolutions around renewal and newness. Here is the advice from some of the people I have met over the last year. Great tips on moving forward and making those New Year’s resolutions stick.
Positive intentions and resolutions
Positive intentions are so much happier and motivate us so much more than things which are about restriction or self-denial. So look back at 2020, harvest from all of the good stuff, and then bring some of those things into your new year.Dru Jaeger
Dru Jaeger, programme director at Club Soda. He has written our courses on How to Drink Mindfully and How to Stop Drinking. You can also take our free three-day course How to Change Your Drinking for a taste.
But if you actually make a resolution of, “No matter what, I’m going to show up with self-compassion”, every time you make a mistake, that will change your life a lot more than “I’m not going to drink”.Annie Grace
Annie Grace is known for her This Naked Mind books and programmes. She also features in our 2021 book review. You can buy her new book from Amazon UK // Amazon US // Amazon AUS.
If you don’t want to have a New Year’s resolution, or a list of things, why don’t you theme the whole year, and then come up with practices that you can put around that concept to let that idea breathe for you all of your 2021.Maz Compton
Maz Compton is the author of the Sober Rebellion and all round superstar from Australia. Buy her book from Amazon UK // Amazon US // Amazon AUS.
Turn off your phone, grab your magazines, and your glue, scissors, glitter, and colouring pens, whatever it might be, photos of yourself , and get creative.Janey Lee Grace
Janey Lee Grace is not only a pop star and TV and radio personality, but also the author of several books on healthier living. Her latest book is coming out in February, but you can already order it from Amazon UK.
New Year’s drinking resolutions that stick
If I’m not drinking, I will plan a month full of activities that don’t involve alcohol, such as playing sports, or maybe driving go-karts. I also think in that same way, it’s important to hang out with like-minded people.Hilary Sheinbaum
Hilary Sheinbaum is the author of Dry Challenge: How To Lose The Booze For Dry January, Sober October, And Any Other Alcohol-free Month. Buy the book from Amazon UK // Amazon US.
Maybe this year you want to bring mindfulness into the glass. You want to try something different, but you still want to have an amazing experience. Have something delicious, just be a little more mindful.Camille Vidal
The amazing Camille Vidal from La Maison Wellness is always our first stop for mindful cocktails. Check out her amazing YouTube channel for drink ideas.
I’ve made these choices in my life to look forward to. I choose my days over my nights. It was something I decided to do when I gave up drinking is to enjoy my days, and forget about the nights so much. I can come home and watch Netflix and go to bed, that’s fine.Victoria Vanstone
@drunkmummysobermummy Victoria Vanstone has some great Christmas advice on her blog. Originally from Brighton, she was a self-confessed ‘party animal’, who hadn’t been sober in 20 years until she fell pregnant at 35.
I’ve made resolutions at random times, like when I first got sober. I find that much easier to stick to rather than saying, “Oh, just because it’s 2021 this is going to change about me”. I’m not perfect. I relapsed so many times. I fought with this for 15 years. I was in rehab five times. Now I’m two and a half years sober.Claire William
Claire Williams is a Club Soda community admin and someone who has worked hard to change her drinking.
If you congratulate yourself and reward yourself for committing to something that’s going to be for your benefit, i.e. going alcohol-free or reducing your alcohol intake, then you’re far, far more likely to stick to it.Marcus Barnes
Marcus Barnes is a writer, DJ and artist who has written for Club Soda as well as The Guardian. He wrote to us about being sober in Ibiza with his drinking buddies.
If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing any day of the year, not just on the first of January. So I’d rather wait for the inspiration to come to me, rather than try to find the inspiration in January.Jussi Tolvi
Jussi Tolvi is Club Soda’s resident behaviour change expert.
Affirmation jars and non-alcoholic drinks
Create a sober affirmation jar. It’s really easy to just grab an empty jar, it can be like a jam jar, it could be anything. I write down intentions and affirmations on pieces of paper, I fold them up, I put them in the jar. And then if I’m having a wobble, or a hard week, I will pull one out to remind myself.Millie Gooch
Millie Gooch is the founder of Sober Girl Society and author of the new Sober Girl Society Handbook. You can read more about that in our 2021 book review and buy the book from Amazon UK // Amazon US // Amazon AUS.
Making sure that in those moments where you would maybe normally have an alcoholic drink, you’re prepared to choose something different. The availability of alcohol-free drinks and the quality of those drinks now means that if you put the preparation in, you are always going to be able to choose something non-alcoholic, that is going to fulfil that need for you.Jessy Parker-Humphreys
Jessy Parker-Humphreys manages the Club Soda Guide, the best place to find low and no alcohol drinks and where to buy them
I like to make sure that I frame it for myself in a way that reminds me that I’m gaining something by doing this. I’m going to drink less or I’m not going to be drinking – for me that’s for my mental health, it’s so I can exercise more and get more from my body. It’s so that I can drink less sugar.Anja Madhvani
Anja Madhvani is the Club Soda magazine editor, drinks expert and woman of many talents!
Celebrations, shine and team work
No matter what your goals are in life, it’s important to celebrate, and to share, and to acknowledge when things have gone wrong, and pick yourself up and move forward.Josh Kelly
Josh Kelly is Club Soda’s events organiser and Queers Without Beers coordinator. A well as a dancer, model and gardener.
Give yourself the permission to shine every single day. Remember to focus on the positives. And not only on the negatives. It’s the mind’s default pattern to focus on the negatives because this is our mechanism to avoid risk and to avoid danger. So take a moment pause and focus on these beautiful achievement.Roxy from Morning Gloryville
Roxy is from our favourite sober ravers Morning Gloryville.
Rather than thinking about what you’re removing, ask yourself, what do I need for myself this year? What do I need to feel grounded, feel hopeful, to feel optimistic, to feel positive that this year is going to be better than last year?Ruby Warrington
Ruby Warrington is a sober curious warrior. Buy here new book Sober Curious Reset from Amazon UK // Amazon US // Amazon AUS and read more in our 2021 book review.
Find your friends and teammates that can help make this a group commitment. It is always easier to embark on a journey or on a New Year’s resolution when we have other people that can watch our back support us on such an important resolution for us.Joao Brites
Joao Brites is from AB InBev’s Global #smartdrinking team.
It’s not just January 1st
Nothing permanent is built on January the first, so avoid making over enthusiastic commitments at the very start of the year. Instead, dream, scheme and ease yourself in. Assess the amount of energy that you have for the coming year, and pledge to remain open to new ideas. And then plan loosely for the time being.Beth Kempton
Beth Kempton is author of Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year. Buy Beth’s book from Amazon UK // Amazon US //Amazon AUS.
One thing that worked for me to change my drinking wasn’t setting a big goal at the start of the new year, it was realising that there was no good time to give up drinking. I gave up two weeks before my birthday. Wherever you are in the year, if you’re thinking about it, decide that you’re going to start now because there’s no better time.Laura Willoughby
Laura Willoughby, founder of Club Soda.
Once you’ve made your New Year’s drinking resolutions that stick, you can also listen to our experts’ tips for mindful drinking or sober Christmas on a previous podcast episode.