What I learned from my failed attempt at a Dry January

Updated: Jan 10

My husband and I love to party.

In Jan 2014, we attempted to go a month without booze. The plan was to close the curtains and stay home - we managed 19 days, then crumbled.

We were relying 100% on willpower and every day hoping the other would cave, so we could resume normal play and stop all this fun-monitoring behaviour.

At that time, I believed we drank too much and that it was dragging me down. I blamed my husband because he was always the last one standing. He took the blame; he didn’t suffer from guilt or self-loathing as I did.

Each month I would worry more about the effect our drinking was having on my health, our relationship and my day-to-day energy.

If you have started the year with the best intentions and crumbled at the first sign of discomfort, this is not a situation unique to you. Some may manage a few weeks, and then slowly, it creeps back in; if you give up trying and run back to how it was before, you are not alone.

Changing your relationship with alcohol is tricky - until you switch your thinking.

If you want the 2022 version of you to do more and be more - you need a way to ensure you don’t get sucked back to the habits you hope to change.

My programmes and coaching focus on what you desire rather than the habit you are seeking to shift. I have a five stage, on-line programme that you can fit in over a weekend and at £333 it will probably cost you less than you’d spend on a weekend drinking!

Join The Change Your Life Challenge

Instead of relying on self-sabotage to course correct when you fail to stick to a plan you never made, we carefully consider the steps that will motivate you to create lasting change in all areas of life. Once you have focus and clarity and know what you want from your life, we can take this new vision of your future, go upstream, and set the foundations for your success.

So, why should you listen to me?

I am Claire. In 2018 I was drinking 100 units most weeks.

After watching my good friend's health decline, I decided to stop drinking to support her and to take back control myself - her situation scared me; sadly, my friend died aged 52.

Until that time, I believed so much about alcohol that I now know isn’t true. I don't need it to relax, unwind, or to have a good time; I don't need it to connect with my husband or to feel sexy in the bedroom. .

So far, with this mindset and continued personal development, I have successfully managed three years without it, and the benefits from living alcohol-free far outweigh anything I could have ever imagined.

Here I want to share my top three benefits to inspire you to consider sober for more than just the month of January.

1. The number one benefit for me is that my decision has improved my relationships with my husband and children. My husband has been inspired to join me and he is now almost one-year alcohol-free. We are present on a new level; we feel a better connection to each other and to our two boys. People do change.

2. Weight loss, without all the additional calories from the alcohol and all the food that comes with it, my body is back to my teenage weight! In the first few weeks, instead of pouring a glass, I was reaching for cookies and chocolate to soothe my troubled soul. When I learned that a bottle of Rose has 120g of sugar, this made sense. It wasn't always easy but I successfully resisted the wine and welcomed those sugar cravings in the early days. However, I have since found solutions to my sugar cravings. I have replaced the sweet snacks with chocolate protein shakes, and I have more energy than I knew was possible.

3. I am using the energy, time and focus I have now to create a life I love. When I was drinking, I ran a property management business. Working from home meant I could earn money and be the Mum I had always wanted to be. Ten years later, I had no desire to grow in that industry and felt stuck with a decision I had made a decade ago. I had no routine; I was only reacting to what was before me. I was firefighting, and I felt my life was full of uncertainties. I relied on wine - I believed it was the one thing holding it all together; most days, I would wake up feeling grim. I was as exhausted getting out of bed as when I climbed in, my mood was low, and I often felt anxious and depressed.

I didn't think I could quit – AND back in 2014, I had no desire to. I loved to drink.

But I felt tired, exhausted, worried, and fed up. I was looking for answers because I was concerned about my drinking, but it was confusing because I was also worried about quitting. I feared failure; I feared finding out how out of control we both were. I couldn't imagine our life without it.

I had changes I needed to make in my career, my health and my relationship, but I didn’t know how. It's normal to feel fear; this is a significant life change. If your confidence is low and you have come to rely on it, it may seem even harder to imagine your life without it.

The world is changing, and we are living with a level of uncertainty. Lots of people want to quit their job or change careers. Many people are grieving and worrying about their health.

Remember, the alcohol you are drinking is a depressant, it doesn’t solve your problems, it just creates more.


The only way to control the uncontrollable is to be confident inside and be sure of yourself.

It took me a long time to realise that I had the power to change. But before I could change, I had to know what I would love instead?

Some people are motivated to move towards desire, and others get more excited about moving away from discontent.