Kate's Blog

5 Thoughts To Watch Out For After Dry January

It’s the last day of the month!

Whether you found Dry January hard or easy, there are a few common thoughts that tend to pop up at this point:
“If I can take a month off, does that mean I don’t have a problem?”
“Will I be able to control my drinking better now?”
“I miss the taste of wine.”
“At least I can get my life back and have some fun now”
“I couldn’t stick to Dry January, I’m such a failure.”

If you’ve been thinking any of the above, this video will help you untangle some of those thoughts and move forward with intention (no matter what your plans are).

Key points:

One month off doesn’t mean very much 

Most of us can do something we don’t want to do for a month, if we really put our minds to it (or have a point to prove). If you’re going to drink again, set a reminder on your phone for the 28th February, so you can see how you’re feeling about your drinking after a few weeks have passed.

Dry January won’t have ‘reset’ you

After a month off, your tolerance to alcohol will be lower, so you won’t need as much in order to feel the effects. This can initially make it seem as if you’re ‘controlling’ your intake better, but you aren’t really. Your tolerance will build back up again.

Do you really miss the taste?

Most of us had to work to acquire our taste for alcohol, which means we also lose our taste for it over time. Don’t be surprised if your favourite wine seems different now. If you’re disappointed by the taste – but decide to force it down anyway – take note of that. 

Sobriety isn’t about putting your life on hold

Many people get through Dry January by staying at home and avoiding anything fun. That’s a pretty boring and unsustainable way to live in the long term. Why not make February the month where you experiment a bit more?

You’re not a failure if Dry January went wrong

I crashed out of Dry January in 2013 – I just couldn’t do it. But in April 2013 I tried again and I’ve never gone back to booze since. If you’ve struggled this month, the best thing you can do is explore why. Learn from it and work out what you might need some help with. 
Looking for help and support to stop drinking and actually feel good about it? My online course will show you how. Click here for more details.

Hi, I'm Kate

I founded The Sober School to show you there’s another way out of your shame that doesn’t involve AA or rehab. 


42 Responses

  1. I appreciate your no nonsense message here Kate, you seem to know exactly what I’m thinking! I struggled at times this month and have not done Dry January perfectly. But I’m staying committed to this and aiming for an alcohol free February.

    1. Thank you Kate for an excellent motivational video to stay sober. A friend rang and told me he was starting today being the 1st February to do a month sober so I’m going to aim for three months, maybe Anzac day which would make it closer to four months.
      I am so happy I discovered your blog.
      Sincerely, thank you.

      1. Sounds like a great plan Jim – it will give you time to test drive sobriety and find out what it’s really all about. Go for it! 🙂

        1. Hi. You’ve been a part of my life for a while now. I listen to all your blogs each week. I stopped drinking wine early Sept last year. Had none up to Xmas but switched my drinking wine to cider. In the first few weeks I could manage on one or two bottles or cans a day but since then it’s gone very downhill and I’m drinking one bottle of wine a week plus between three and six bottles or cans of strong cider every day perhaps having one day off a week but only because I was feeling the effects from too much the night before!! I have just added up how many units I actually drink on an average week and it’s nearly 100, sometimes more. The recommended amount is 14 per week. I am totally ashamed of myself. Please help xx

    2. Just found this site. Having read some.if the blogs, I feel you are inside my head. I didn’t even attempt dry Jan but my goal is to do it this month. So far I have had 2 great days and 2 not so great days. Now its friday and I’ve been arguing with myself in the shower. I go back to a blog I read about not drinking this weekend and how good it will feel Monday when I can say I remember the whole weekend and did things I wouldn’t normally do. So…..that’s my goal for this weekend.

  2. Thank you for these tips! They all resonated with me. I have been a “Dry January Drop-out” in my past. I stayed sober this year. My hope/goal is to stay sober for this entire year. I feel the most ready I’ve ever felt towards willingly taking on sobriety (I’ve had mandatory sobriety because of a DUI in my past). Thanks for your videos–they really help!

    1. Congratulations on your successful Dry January Elizabeth! I’m wishing you a very happy, alcohol-free year ahead 🙂

  3. Dry Jan wasn’t too bad because I like rules but Feb on the doorstep has made me feel uneasy because I don’t know what I want. I’m not rushing to drink again but do have my birthday this month and might want a drink. You are right about the tolerance creeping up. I’ll see how it goes for now.

  4. High Kate, I am sorry to say that I am a dry January failure. I had lost my kitty earlier in the month and it broke my heart and the only thing I could do was to medicate my self with alcohol and drink my ass off.

    1. Hi Jean, I’m sorry for your loss – losing a pet can be so hard as they’re such good friends to us. However, I think it’s great that you’re here. You’re reading this blog for a reason… remember that drinking isn’t really changing anything and it doesn’t make the grief go away.

  5. Thank you for all of those thoughts. I have spent the month working my spiritual program by listening to Pema Chodron (Getting Unstuck) and using the technique Breathe in, Breathe out 3 times. I’m also reflecting on my part of my major resentment against my ex husband of 43 years. Phew! It will take time but with the clarity that comes with sobriety I’m hopeful that slowly I will learn to love myself, forgive my ex, and be a good role model for my two daughters. Thank you.

      1. Dear Sheena. Great, your first month AF. Why don’t you make yourself a great gift. Another sober month? Moderation doesn’t work, believe an ex-drinker. Even if you manage to drink only one or two on this day.Think about what you want to do at your birthday: celebrate yourself and knowing what had happened at your party or celebrate the booze? Just a thought.

        1. I guess this is aimed more at women Kate, but came across this just in time for me!
          6 months sober (2 lots of 3 months consecutively to reduce sugar without going on tablets) and had planned to return to booze now…..but you have changed my mind! Thank you. I am looking firward to also saying ‘nine years sober’……

          1. Glad to have changed your mind there Paul! A good thing to work on would be this: “Why am I feeling tempted to drink again? What is it I think I miss?” There could be some good things to explore there.

  6. Thanks for these tips Kate. It’s just what I needed to hear this evening. This is my 4th dry January. Each year dry Jan gets easier, but then on 1st Feb I mindlessly slip back into my old drinking habits.
    Old drinking habits = excessive drinking. Most nights and way too much.
    Time for a much needed change and this years dry jan will be the springboard to do it.
    Thanks for all your blogs and posts – they really resonate

    1. No problem Emma. I hope you consider keeping things alcohol free in February. Sobriety gets better and better with time, and right now it sounds as if you’re missing out on the best bit each year!

  7. Hi Kate, I am in your class right now and it’s been wonderful to have the support of your team and the amazing women in the course. I’m learning so much; about booze, the industry and mostly, about me and why I have chosen to drink in the past. I thank you for this loving and compassionate way for women to take a “proper break” from booze and explore sobriety. Your course ends in 2 weeks and I am committed to AF February. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Laurie – I’m so pleased you’re enjoying the course and getting so much out of it! It’s been a pleasure to help you on this journey ❤️

  8. Thanks for the uplifting video. I have not been consistently sober this month but intend to be next. It won’t be easy; but I have a better understanding of why I slip up and what strategies I need to support being sober.

  9. Hi Kate, I have been ‘successfully sober’ since the 9th January. I am taking each day as it comes so as not to focus so much on drinking or not. I hope I will continue my great work. I am a current student of yours. I thank you and your team for everything. As I have said before, if I ever do drink again, it will be my doing and nobody else’s. My fault and nobody else’s. With my current resolve it should be easy to refrain from the Horrible tasting crap!
    Many thanks again.xx

    1. It’s been a pleasure to see you go from strength to strength Collette and really settle into your sobriety. Well done x

  10. I started a dry January but did not complete it as planned. Here in Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society has a dry February challenge. I can pledge funds for the Society by staying sober….almost like a two for one….stay sober and raise money for a worthy cause at the same time.

  11. Hi Kate.
    I’ve been sober since August. I thought it would be so hard but it wasn’t. It was like i realized drinking doesn’t do anything for me so why waste my time, money and body on it.
    Thanks for the October course education. Very valuable. Dulce

    1. Great to hear from you Dulce and I’m glad you’re still enjoying sobriety! I’m wishing you many more amazing, alcohol-free days ahead 🙂

  12. I actually started in December. I had 27 dry days. Even though I drank on Dec 8, 23, 24 & 31 I was able to not drink on the other days. I was AF the whole month of January. I only struggled a few days.
    I plan to possibly drink wine on 2 special dates, Feb 7 & 14. Not quite sure yet. I had a dry January in 2004, but not since then. I have lost 10 pounds since 12/1/21. I know that you told us to go further into February before making a decision.

    1. This is an interesting point. I’m wondering why you would want to use a mind numbing, memory-stealing, cancer causing drug on two “special” occasions? What would be the benefit of that? It’s definitely worth journalling on this Barb. You’re not missing out on anything by being sober. The secret to successful sobriety is to work on your mindset around that – otherwise, you’ll always get stuck on special dates, birthdays, anniversaries etc. If you need any help with that mindset work, my online course is where we break this all down in detail: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  13. I didn’t do dry January but I’m aiming for a sober February (and hopefully onwards). My last drink was on 25th January and on 24th February it’s my best friends birthday with big celebrations planned. My goal is to enjoy those celebrations sober.

  14. I’ve not had a drink for 3 months !! I feel great my skin better I have more energy . I see things more clearly as in I’m more organized . I needed 3 months to realize I never want to drink again . My kids are so much happier. I feel more confident in myself it’s a win win and I can’t wait for the future everyone knows I’ve stopped drinking and it’s fine it’s worked out so well !!!

  15. Hi, I didn’t do Dry January but started my AF journey this week, which wasn’t planned and am thinking I may come unstuck as its my birthday on Friday. Any advice as to what to tell my girlfriends at my Birthday lunch other than unrealistic excuses such as ‘Im on antibiotics’ or make a big deal of not having a glass of wine over lunch? Id rather not start a conversation over not drinking or any alcohol free aspirations I may have….Thanks in advance – here’s to the first AF birthday in a looooong time!

  16. I didn’t even attempt dry January, I wasn’t in the right place, however the thought of sobriety is never far from my mind, I’ve tried, tried and tried again and surely one time will succeed, may try dry February, oops no that didn’t happen or dry from 3rd February

  17. I don’t plan on ever drinking again. I feel so amazing living AF. And even though I have had a few fleeting moments where I thought having a glass of wine would be nice the moments have been fleeting and I have moved through them. I have just gotten back tonight from a two day getaway at a lovely resort/spa where drinking has always been an integral part of the dining experience. I drank my cranberry juice /club soda and enjoyed the whole experience of being there so much. I can do this!! Thank you . I am 93 days Af. Your sober school program has been tremendously supportive.

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