FFor many, Dry January provides an opportunity to start the year off right and form new habits for the months ahead.
A new study by low-alcohol company CleanCo shows that 30% of UK drinkers have taken up the Dry January challenge – and are giving up alcohol for the whole month.
Experts from the brand, founded by ex-Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, teamed up with psychologist Dr Becky Spelman to identify the nine typical Dry January personalities.
From The Halfway Hurdler – who starts the month long before he slips back into his old ways – to The Flake, who could tell the strange lie if he’s really been drinking – here FEMAIL reveals the most common traits and tips from Dr. Becky for how to succeed.
Experts from CleanCo, founded by ex-Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, have teamed up with psychologist Dr. Becky Spelman to identify the 9 typical Dry January personalities (stock image)
1. The Halfway Hurdler
People who successfully start dry January often fail halfway through.
Going the full distance takes time and effort that we don’t always have, but we can still achieve a good first half.
Why? Well, who makes the rules anyway? You do. And if you feel good after a fortnight sober, it’s worth doing it even without the extra two weeks.
And then, rather than falling back into old habits, why not consider moderating your alcohol intake or mixing up your routine with non-alcoholic alternatives.
How to moderate: Do you feel a hint of regret at the premature arrival? Reframe your mindset to reduce the risk of fortnight fallout.
Make it personal and goal-oriented and share your ambitions with friends, family or colleagues.
2. The Acolyte
Pairing up can make many tasks easier, so it’s common to jump into Dry January to support a friend, partner, or relative.
However, being an altruistic partner or friend who has their buddy’s back can ignore their own situation and recriminations can start if they let the side down.
How to moderate: Given that the Sidekicks didn’t decide to take on Dry January for themselves, this “ride or die” tactic may mean that self-motivation is actually scarcer.
A simple way to stay on track is to introduce a reward system.
A real or virtual perk advent calendar will give you a “door” to open each day, while ticking off the days until the end of the month.
Ultimately, each of us is responsible for our own behavior, and in some cases, we will get the results we seek on our own terms.
Think about why you chose to get into Dry January in the first place and create a tangible list of goals as a way to motivate yourself.
It may help to think of the challenge as two blocks of two weeks, rather than the entire 31 days, and, if you usually “reward” yourself with a drink, look for another incentive or treat.
Plan your free time so you don’t end up in a pub.
3. The banker
Powered by the financial gains of not drinking?
Christmas spending costs an average of £1,108 per household in the UK, according to YouGov, and being paid by December 24 means we often have to put our money to work the following month, so now is a great time to recalibrate finances. .
How to moderate: The banker can see that Dry January is a great opportunity to regain control of his portfolio.
Wasting funds on non-essential items can easily lead to a big loss, so take stock of your monthly spending habits with a breakdown of your consumption.
Use the anticipated savings as motivation and actively put the saved money into a designated jar as a February 1st reward for your determination and drive.
4. The Seasoned Pro
It’s not your first rodeo, nearly 20% of respondents are on their fifth or sixth consecutive dry January.
You’ve been here before and learned how to overcome the obstacles and temptations that come with quitting alcohol for a month.
You even look forward to starting it every year.
How to moderate: The Seasoned Pro takes on Dry January in its stride, but can also learn from useful data.
Tracking your personal health creates a clearer picture of the outcome. ‘Try Dry’ is the official, free Dry January app that counts money, calories, and units, while keeping a tally of your best dry streaks.
Use the information to refine your successful strategy.
5. The Weekend Wobbler
From warrior of the week to wobbler of the weekend, Saturdays and Sundays can prove the loss of the best intentions.
It’s most common among 35-44 year olds, but hats off, as most get back on the proverbial horse on Mondays.
According to the study, 57% of Weekend Wobblers admitted to not having reached the end of Dry January.
6. The snowflake
Prone to weird fibs, the Flake is good at convincing himself and others that he’s a committed Dry January’er, while succumbing to the occasional slip-up.
Most of the time, they are between 25 and 34 years old and have a “just for them” attitude, they are often reluctant to admit that quitting smoking is more difficult than they thought.
How to moderate: We are inundated with pressure to be competitive. Doing things to impress others is not a recipe for success.
Be responsible to yourself by keeping a drink diary to record the true count of what was consumed, rather than what we would like to admit.
Eight percent of respondents say their motivation tends to decline when they are alone.
Fill your time with other activities or spend more time with friends and family to strengthen your bonds with loved ones and give you fewer opportunities to give in to temptation.
It doesn’t have to be face to face, a phone or video call can give us the contact we all need.
How to moderate: When the game gets difficult, you can always switch players.
After working hard all week, it’s inevitable that you want to relax and de-stress.
Those of us who equate drinking with relaxing would benefit from finding another way to unwind, whether it’s a physical activity like yoga or hiking or a mental break like meditation.
To satisfy cravings for the taste and sensory experience of your favorite drink, CleanCo is the easy cheat.
It’s designed for people looking for a similar alcohol alternative that delivers the same taste, smell, and feel of your chosen alcohol, without the sugar or calories.
So you can enjoy unlimited, guilt-free cocktails all weekend without fear of Monday.
A dazzlingly brief display of commitment, she roars into life and swoops down.
Not surprisingly, with their active social lives and fewer responsibilities, the youngest drinkers in the under-24 category tend to give up after just 72 hours.
How to moderate: Whether you found these three days easy or not, Dry January is a marathon, not a sprint, and it takes planning.
A little preparation can eliminate common pitfalls.
Empty the fridge of beer and wine and put any leftover cans or bottles somewhere less accessible so they’re out of sight and out of mind, and the prospect of a lukewarm lager or a mulled wine is less appealing than a cool, crisp refreshment. Moderation is always better than excessive alcohol consumption.
8. The Life Changer
A month without alcohol? No sweating. It’s easy to continue until February or even March.
This character loves a challenge and not only succeeds, but makes it seem easy to form new habits.
Before they know it, they’ve recalibrated their relationship with alcohol.
How to moderate: With an abundance of mental courage, this type of person can think of anything.
However, as a Dry January veteran, see if you can lend your support to others who are up to the challenge.
Is it easy not to drink? That’s great, but people drink for complex reasons, so try not to judge those who aren’t so good at abstinence.
9. The SorryNotSorry
“Cold Turkey” is for Boxing Day – not for January, arguably the darkest and darkest month in the Northern Hemisphere.
The idea of total abstinence in the heart of winter does not always make sense if the first urge is to squat.
Based in sun-starved Scotland, this 45-54 year old cohort refuses to give up creature comforts at this time of year, and who can blame them.
How to moderate: Instead of entertaining the idea of total abstinence, try moderation.
Going from three glasses to one and drinking a large glass of water between alcoholic beverages can make all the difference.
Dry January isn’t for everyone, but you can still move the dial in a positive direction in the New Year.