and how to make Sober September different
When it comes to sobriety challenges like Dry January and Sober September, I’m a bit of a pro. I did my first and last Dry January nearly four years ago in 2017. I say “last” ironically as it was the catalyst for me to give up alcohol for good.
Since then, I’ve become an advisor and mentor to ambitious, high-achieving individuals who want to change their relationship with alcohol. Many of them begin their journey working with me as a part of a 30-day alcohol-free challenge. Each month, I see an influx of optimistic souls who hope to transform their relationship with alcohol using the challenge 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 embark on a sober month 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 an 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 challenges like Sober September…and how you can get it right.
Mistake #1: Using a break from booze as subconscious reinforcement. Let’s face it, if you’ve decided to take a break from alcohol, you probably not one of those 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 proof that you can control your drinking. Unfortunately, this justification will…