Less Alcohol - January 2019 - One Day at a Time

Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
Do you want to drink less?

Do it because it's a lovely thing to do for yourself! I bet punishing yourself hasn't been working. Be kind to the person you will wake up as.

Join us in drinking less (whatever that means for you) one day at a time as we continue to support and learn from each other.


Remember that we are here for you and care about you. Check in with us when you have time and let us know what you need!

  • Join us at any time - this is a day to day challenge.
  • Set your own goal - this thread is about drinking less and you decide what that means to you.
  • There are no scheduled check-ins - post as often or as little as you want or need.
  • AF is an acronym for Alcohol Free. For others commonly used on this site see - https://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/1069278/acronyms-and-terms-for-new-mfp-members-v-6/p1
  • To follow this thread easily, bookmark it by clicking on the star at the top right of this thread.


Getting Started or Starting Over - The Early Days
  • Some people find it easier to set small attainable goals at the beginning to help boost confidence.
  • If you have been drinking daily the first days will be some of the hardest and drinking again will feel like a cure but it delays the relief that only time can provide.
  • There will always be a reason to delay the start/restart of your journey.
  • For those ready to commit to being alcohol-free permanently, the videos on YouTube by Craig Beck will help. He also has a program you can join.
  • You may experience mood swings and anxiety during your first two weeks. It is suggested you try and focus on the benefits of your goal.
  • Cravings are said to last only 6 minutes, so find something to distract you like arming yourself with alternatives: tea, mocktails, activities, etc.
  • You may find that filling the time you drink with other activities like exercise or hobbies can be a helpful distraction.
  • If you find them tempting try and avoid events/outings that will have drinking for a time.
  • Don't let pride or shame keep you from asking for the help you need.
  • Sometimes talking it out or posting your thoughts/feelings/struggles may help you work things out for yourself.
  • It is okay that you don't always have all the answers.
  • Some days will be easier than others.
  • You may have initial/increased sugar cravings.
  • You should never take a day that you have lived up to your goals for granted.
  • Celebrate the smaller victories too. Less alcohol is still less alcohol even if your goal was zero at that moment.
  • Once you begin sticking to your goals for one day to many days you should believe you are capable of the same and more because you are.
  • Annie Grace (This Naked Mind author) has a free program on her website (https://www.alcoholexperiment.com/) called the 30 day experiment which can be joined anonymously.
  • Failure is not giving in and drinking. Failure is to stop trying to accomplish your goals.

Life with Less Alcohol
  • It can be helpful to educate yourself with books and web research (Some suggested books and links listed below).
  • There is no benefit to comparing yourself to others because this is a personal journey.
  • You may often feel conflicted. You will know that there are numerous real benefits to sticking to your goal while at the same time think that alcohol is an important part of stress relief, relaxation, celebration, etc.
  • You may feel punished by not drinking or drinking less but that feeling usually fades with time.
  • Sometimes drinking less or quitting will strain friendships that centered around alcohol.
  • Having a list of reasons to stick to your goals handy for yourself can be helpful. Some lists have included remembering how bad it feels to have a hangover, excess/unwanted calories, having a racing heart during the night, sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression.
  • It is a good idea to have a plan for how you might deal with various tempting scenarios before engaging in a social situation.
  • Self-Reflection is an important part of the journey. Once we figure out why we drink we can hopefully use that information to form new habits and make better and more mindful decisions.
  • Sometimes doing something nice for yourself like a little reward for a success makes the journey easier.
  • You will see many helpful suggestions and ideas that work for some people. However, finding what tactics work for you may involve some trial and error.
  • It is not uncommon for certain activities that were once combined with alcohol to trigger temptation. Many have said that outdoor activities in warmer weather made alcohol very tempting.
  • Many that have spent time with no alcohol after drinking again realized that it doesn't enhance experiences like they once believed it did. Some have said they no longer like the taste.
  • Don't forget how sticking to your goal has made your life better and remember it to motivate you again if you fall off your path.
  • If you begin drinking daily again whether planned like a vacation or unplanned you may once again face a struggle to get it under control.
  • For some people it is easier to not drink than it is to moderate drinking. Others have found moderating impossible.

Reported Benefits of Less or No Drinking: (Results may be incremental, and/or they may vary)
  • Improved sleep after 2,4,7,10,& 60 days
  • Improved skin/complexion after 10 days
  • Improved ease in weight loss. Not only from the savings of alcohol calories but some report making poor food choices after drinking.
  • Increased energy after as few as 2 days
  • Increase in other fun activities. Some have found that daily drinking became their main recreational activity and their world was decreased in size.
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduction of high blood pressure
  • Lower resting heart rate
  • Less Acid Reflux
  • Significant financial savings
  • More creativity
  • More productivity
  • Better relationships with family

When Alcohol Is Used for Avoidance by @Orphia:
  • We drink to ease the stress of the working day, to avoid it.
  • We drink to avoid anxiety in social situations.
  • We drink to avoid making decisions about not drinking.
The Takeaway on Avoidance:
  • Our problems don't go away if we avoid them. We need to learn to face them.
  • I've learned that not drinking makes the problems often go away (e.g. drinking out of worry about drinking).
  • Having a clear head makes our problems seem much smaller.
  • Having a clear head makes problems easier to solve.

How to Be Kind to "Tomorrow You" by @Orphia
  • Instead of lumbering myself with guilt, headaches, and poor nutrition hangovers in the morning, I think of think how nice it would be not to feel that way tomorrow.
  • I worry about "me" and don't want "Tomorrow Me" to feel awful.
  • Instead of thinking alcohol is something nice to have *now*, think of *NOT drinking* as something nice we can do for the person we are when we awaken in the morning.
  • Do you bank calories for a festive occasion? (Handy tactic, I might add.)
  • We can bank a good mood for when we wake up.
  • We need to have sympathy for "Tomorrow You" and be kind to her/him.
  • Don't look at a day without alcohol as a punishment for being bad or having no willpower.
  • Not drinking is a lovely, sympathetic gesture towards the person we are now, and whom we will wake up as.
  • You’d be kind to a stranger. Be kind to Tomorrow You.
A Sharing Site for Women:

General Information/Blog Sites:

Sobriety Blog:

The Thirty Day Experiment:

Ten Things That Helped Me Quit Booze:

The Neuroscience Behind How We Make Decisions:

Summary of Book on Addiction:

Article on the Difference Between Being an Alcoholic and Really Liking to Drink:

To the Mom questioning her drinking habits:

Guided Meditations:

Overnight Cold Brew Iced Tea:

Mocktail Recipes:

  • The Naked Mind by Annie Grace
  • Alcohol Lied to Me by Craig Beck
  • Rational Recovery by Jack Trimpey
  • The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by Catherine Gray
  • The Liars Club, Cherry, and Lit by Mary Karr (3 different publications)
  • Kick the Drink...Easily by Jason Vale
  • Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp
  • Being Sober: A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting To, Getting Through, and Living in Recovery by Harry Haroutunian
  • The Easy, Illustrated Way to Quit Drinking by Alan Carr
  • Alcohol Explained by William Porter


Credit and Thanks to the MFP Less Alcohol One Day at a Time participants for their willingness to share their insights and resourcefulness in finding this information.

MFPLARD 07.28.18 Version 2.0 (compiled by @NovusDies ; revised 28 Dec 2018 by Orphia)



  • MissMay
    MissMay Posts: 3,281 Member
    Thank You @Orphia for creating our January 2019 thread.

    Ready to bring on the new year and all it has to offer.
  • Will_Run_for_Food
    Will_Run_for_Food Posts: 561 Member
    Hoping for a dry January this time around!
  • MissMay
    MissMay Posts: 3,281 Member
    Orphia wrote: »
    I wonder if lurkers in the Challenge section are put off by something I've noticed:

    The "sober" thread has a lot of replies due to being a perpetual thread, not monthly, plus it has chatty regulars.
    I dislike the word "sober" even after not drinking nearly a year, and I'm sure others would feel the same.

    I think these factors might make alcohol regulation seem too difficult and extreme to people who are scared to try.

    But our monthly Less Alcohol threads have resulted in so much success for many. I wanted to point that out for hesitant readers.

    Don't fix us if we are not broken

    I perfer the monthly break down of this thread. Sometimes I think about a comment or fact I heard from another poster here and with the monthly break down I can go back to the exact month I recall it in and scroll through and find the comment. I also dislike the term sober, because it has so many meanings and not the one I believe they aim for over there which is total and complete abstinence of alcohol.

    Like the movie Field of Dreams. "Build it and they will come".

    Any how this is just my thought.

    By the way congratulations on your up coming one year anniversary with beating alcohol. We are very proud of you @Orphia.
  • NormInv
    NormInv Posts: 3,285 Member
    Orphia wrote: »
    I wonder if lurkers in the Challenge section are put off by something I've noticed:

    The "sober" thread has a lot of replies due to being a perpetual thread, not monthly, plus it has chatty regulars.
    I dislike the word "sober" even after not drinking nearly a year, and I'm sure others would feel the same.

    I think these factors might make alcohol regulation seem too difficult and extreme to people who are scared to try.

    But our monthly Less Alcohol threads have resulted in so much success for many. I wanted to point that out for hesitant readers.

    good point....i started in this thread and then went to the other while still coming back here...
  • Orphia
    Orphia Posts: 7,097 Member
    edited December 2018
    NormInv wrote: »
    I am hoping to do dry January after being on day 29 of Dry December....it will be a new achievement for me

    Yay, @NormInv !!! You're certainly going to love achieving a Dry December!

    Thanks, and thanks @MissMay. Yes, I like our format. I don't want to change it.

    Whether it's having regular alcohol-free days, or aiming for a whole month, it helps to never to say never.

    One day, or month at a time is a very SMART goal. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
  • wigi41
    wigi41 Posts: 42 Member
    Hi all, i am in for January, as well. I also wanted to add another resource that I recently read and found interesting, informative and thought-provoking, and that I think might resonate with some others here, too: “Sober Curious” by Ruby Warrington.
  • MissMay
    MissMay Posts: 3,281 Member
    whitpauly wrote: »
    And I don't care for the word "sober" that much either Orphia,sounds kinda depressing for some reason that's why I mostly say AF that way it sounds happier,could be Alcohol free or [email protected](# :D

    🤣 so true......
  • cupotea
    cupotea Posts: 89 Member
    I am hoping to cut back drastically (or cut out altogether) on my alcohol consumption next year, starting with Dry January, but secretly aiming i'll keep it up after that.