5 Common Dry January Mistakes

Amanda Kuda
8 min readJan 1, 2021

If you’re jumping on the alcohol-free train for the month of January, here are common pitfalls you’ll want to be aware of.

Martini glass spilling out glitter
Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

I did my first and last Dry January in 2017. I say “last” ironically as it was the catalyst for me to give up alcohol for good…so technically every January is Dry January now.

Since then, I’ve become an advisor and mentor to ambitious, high-achieving women who want to change their relationship with alcohol. Many of them begin their journey working with me as a part of Dry January. Each year, I see an influx of optimistic souls who hope to transform their relationship with alcohol using Dry January as their magic bullet.

Of course, it can be done — I’m living proof. However, what it’s important to know is that my case is actually a rather unusual one, most people who start Dry January barely make it through the first weekend. And, for the few that complete the month-long sobriety challenge, even fewer get what they’d wanted out of the experience. And there’s reason for that: most people go into Dry January (or any alcohol-free challenge) with jaded expectations and hopes that have been misguided by media outlets and wishful thinking.

As someone who has consciously watched this process unfold, I’m here to set the record straight for you by sharing what most people get wrong about Dry January…and how you can get it right.

Photo by Candice Picard on Unsplash

Mistake #1: Using Dry January as subconscious reinforcement.

Let’s face it, if you’ve decided to take a break from alcohol, you probably not one of those moderate, take-it-or-leave-it drinkers. While you might not be in danger of addiction, you’re most likely drinking in excess whether it be in small amounts throughout the week or as a binge on the weekends. Either way, I’m willing to bet that you’ve questioned your drinking. If so, there’s probably a tiny part of your subconscious that’s looking to reinforce that you don’t have an actual “problem”. And, if you can withstand a month-long break from alcohol, it can serve as…

Amanda Kuda

Seeker. Writer. Elective Sobriety. A 30-something sharing my journey of personal development, spiritual growth, & authenticity. IG: @amandakuda.