Kate's Blog

2 Things To Try Before Dry January Ends

Did you take part in Dry January this year?

No matter what happened this month – whether you nailed it or struggled through it – I have some thoughts on what to do next.
In fact, there are two things I recommend you do before February arrives.
These two things will help you learn and grow, no matter how you’re feeling (or what you plan on doing next!)
I explain all in this video:

Perhaps you had a rocky Dry January and ended up ditching your commitment to being alcohol free. Maybe you stuck to your goal but you’re not sure what to do now. No matter what went on, here are the two things to do next:

Get curious about the tough times this month

If you drank (or nearly did) be sure to explore what happened with curiosity. Don’t make the mistake of blaming your circumstances – e.g. lockdown, covid etc. It’s never really about that stuff. The trick is to work out how you were feeling just before you drank. 
Were you overwhelmed? Bored? Scared? Anxious? Craving comfort? Once you start getting clearer on the feelings you find difficult to manage – and which trigger you to drink – you can start asking much more useful questions. 
Lockdowns do end. Covid will (eventually) pass. But there will always be things in your life that trigger difficult feelings. This is the real work of sobriety: learning how to manage your feelings, sit with them, and let them pass.

Write a short review of your Dry January

Write it down factually – you’re being a scientist here, not a judge. How many days were you alcohol free? Note down how you’re feeling physically and mentally. Also write down 3 things that went well this month. Get it recorded in black and white before you forget. 
Next, decide what you want to do in February and write down why. This helps you move forward with intention. If you’ve had a Dry January, but you promised yourself that you’d go back to drinking on 1st February, and you still want to do that, record that.
Set a reminder on your phone, for a month from today, so you can come back, repeat this exercise and revisit your notes. This bit is crucial. Comparing how you feel month by month helps you make informed choices and learn from the past.

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. 


50 Responses

      1. Hi Kate, I have a colander on the wall, since 4th January, i insert a Red Cross every morning when I get up, this makes me really satisfied, and ready for the new day, I am 22 days free of alcohol and I free great, I did have a few evening I felt like a glass, but I sat with the feeling and it did subside….I am grateful for dry January…

      2. Hello Kate Bee,
        You were the first Sobriety Class I stumbled upon and I wanted to let you know that your snowy video I received in my inbox was excellent and your delivery is so sweet and on point. You helped me tremendously in the beginning of my aFree journey a few years back and I wanted to share that I am now alcohol free(5+months) and it truly began with the kind wisdom you shared in your online course. Thank you.

  1. I am proud to say I did not drink since day 1 of the class . There were several days during January after I completed the lessons that I had no desire to drink at all but I will admit there was some tough days too. It just so happens to be one of those days today for me where everything just seems to be going wrong and the thought of just having a drink did cross my mind . I knew in that moment I had to be strong and I knew if I gave in, I would be so angry at myself. I remembered from a previous lesson that cravings don’t last long so I took a moment , looked through happy photos in my phone and realized all the things I have to be grateful for and look forward to . I know drinking won’t allow me to truly be happy and reach my goals . Three things that went well this month for me was waking up every morning with a clear head instead of a headache , realizing I am more calm and present in the moment , and it’s been great to really focus on self care and make this a priority.

    1. What a nice list of things that went well for you this month! Well done for sticking with the tough days Mikhaila – those are the moments where you make huge progress in the long run 🙂

  2. Sober since Jan 1st and feeling more energetic already! I have been sharing this journey with my 30 year old daughter which has really helped keep me on track. I have decided to keep going throughout February too. Thank you Kate for the motivational videos – they really help

    1. I signed up for dry January but only did about a week and then carried on drinking and deleted the app ,I carried on in Feb too.but finally decided to commit to a break and had my last drink on 17 th of feb
      I’m aiming for 100 days eventually to see how I feel.and the way I feel now i dont want to go back as feel better
      Thankyou kate

  3. I’ve told everyone I was doing Dry January even though I knew I was at least committed to 6 weeks by signing up for this course. The beginning of this month was very challenging with the cravings but I didn’t crack! Today is 25 days AF and I feel great! Bring on Fab Feb AF! ❤️

    1. Woo hoo, I’m pleased to hear that Nanci! Just look at how much has changed in such a short time – I’m excited to see what the future holds 🙂

  4. Hi Kate – I didn’t manage a whole dry January – but did manage 18 days so far, which is a lot of progress for me. The tools you talk about in this video make a lot of sense, and I am going to try them. Thanks!

  5. Hi Kate- October 2020 grad and still AF after nearly 14 months. Hooray! I will do this exercise (still tending to my sobriety). My comment is totally superficial but I had to say you are making this miserable winter look great- the pink coat is certainly a bright spot! It’s supposed to snow here later today, maybe we will take a walk in it!

    1. Well I do love a bit of bright pink! Congratulations on your sobriety Catherine – it is wonderful to hear you doing so well! ❤️

  6. AF since 1st Jan. I think its the anticipation of having a drink that I miss more than the drink itself. I hope to finish the 6 weeks at least and then see where you lead me.

    1. It’s great that you’ve recognised the difference between anticipation and actual desire for the drink itself Isobel. I look forward to looking at your next steps… soon!

  7. Ive been off the booze for about 4 months now , much happier all round and feel healthier than I’ve felt for decades. I worry about when the socialising starts again, hope i can stand up to peer pressure, I’m ok when home alone but will i be able to maintain this when confronted by social events?

    1. There are so many people who haven’t been able to quit drinking during this time because of the stresses of the pandemic. So how about acknowledging yourself for what you have achieved Lesley? You’ve done something amazing here! Celebrate yourself! The version of you who figured out how to stay off booze for the past 4 months will also work out how to socialise, when the time comes 🙂

  8. Kate, your blogs help so much! I am not 100% alcohol free, but that was not my goal either. However, since Nov 29th I has only a glass or few every couple of weeks, sometimes longer. I lost weight, my eyes are clearer, I have more energy. Whenever I am in the mood for a glass (without any occasion) I go here and read your blog and comments. I have to point here that these urges are happening less and less but I still enjoy your blog tremendously. Next addiction I have to brake up with is…TV 🙂

  9. Thank you for your tips and support. I have remained alcohol free.
    Part of my happy plan!
    I have journaled, increased the amount of water I drink, practiced yoga (daily) and got out into the fresh air every day walking. A month of self care and feeling great and planning to carry this forward next month too. Thank you ☺️

  10. I did almost 3 weeks and literally loved every minute. I loved the way i felt, the way i could sleep! and get stuff done.. despite the whole lockdown and single parent homeschooling 2 kids.. then i thought i deserved a drink last Monday.. which has now lead to basically drinking again!!! I need to re-start.. maybe I’ll try dry February.. help me do this please!!

    1. Hi Paula, it sounds as if you need some help with the mindset piece of this – you must have felt you were missing out on something in order to want a drink? Or to feel you “deserved” a drink. I’m happy to help you with this mindset work, which is really important for long term, successful sobriety. Here’s how we can work together: https://thesoberschool.com/course/

  11. Hi I’m a October 2020 graduate and comeuppance on my 6 months. I had tried to quit also many times. But with education and support and your course I am able to live completely AF. Thank you Kate.

  12. My husband is doing dry January with me for the first time and it is so lovely to be able to do it together and support each other. We both want to continue on to February but haven’t made a commitment.

  13. Hey, Kate! 😉
    I’m in your course and absolutely loving it! This is the best I have felt… in years, both physically and emotionally. Each day, I wake up and feel proud and happy because I am finally taking care of me, which allows me to be more for those I love. I look forward to the lessons, even if I do not get to them until evening. The women in the course are incredibly inspiring. I cannot believe I was so shy about taking your course. Just want you to know that it’s been a really BIG DEAL for me. Life changing. I wish you the best for your talk tomorrow at the Summit. You’re going to be a ROCKSTAR!
    Thank you for ALL that you do – making a difference! You’ve helped me kick-off my 2021 in a way I never imagined, alcohol free.
    Stay safe! Warmly,

    1. Thank you so much Susan! I’m so pleased to hear you’re enjoying it. I know that signing up is a big deal and you probably weren’t sure what to expect… but I’m glad it’s been such a good experience. It’s a pleasure seeing you go from strength to strength 🙂

      1. Hi Kate,
        I’ve recently found your story and am looking forward to start my own journey. I stopped drinking for over a year before and my problem is not everyday drinking but rather once a week or fortnight drinking too much then the depression and dread the following days is horrific. I forget what happens etc. Any information is usually for people who may drink more regularly. Yet I still find it difficult to stop totally. Any advice? Thank you H

        1. Hi there – all the information here applies to people who drink less frequently too. (The “this help isn’t for me” story is just a sneaky way for your brain to try and make you feel different to everyone else). If you struggle with alcohol, this site is for you. Read through the blogs for tips, and then head over to my home page to download the pep talk and wine o’clock survival guide 🙂

          1. Thank you so much for the reply. I’m determined to be alcohol free for my health. When I stopped before I always had it in my mind that I could reset and drink again. But that doesn’t work for me. Thanks again, H

  14. I didn’t do all of January but 3 weeks fell good in the morning but find it hard in the evening I only drink wine and now craving gin and tonics never drank gin im still craving but hope it will pass and the magpie on my shoulder will go away

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