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From the Guardian newspaper, which incidentally has always been a great source of stories about alcohol, recovery and how society is possibly changing its viewpoint on it, including this article comparing the fall in smoking with a fall in drinking over the last 10 years – https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/23/time-please-is-drinking-becoming-as-socially-unacceptable-as-smoking

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Why Not Give Up Drink For Lent?

Why Not Give Up For Lent?As Lent starts tomorrow, now could be a great time to take the plunge and see if you can’t go the next 40 days and nights without drinking any alcohol.

What have you got to lose?

You don’t have to be religious.

The only thing you need to be is a drinker (and one who, secretly, wants to give up).

Most of us needed an excuse to give up, and this one happens to be one of the best as you can say you’re doing it for religious grounds.

People tend to give you space, and respect your wishes even, something that isn’t normally possible if you give up any other time during the year.

Certainly, Lent is traditionally a time to give up something or abstain from a luxury, including drinking or smoking.

Finding a time to give up is one of the hardest things. That’s why occasions like this can be the spur that we need. It’s the thing that gets us moving.

So will you do it? If you’ve felt inspired to give it up for Lent, please write in the comments box below and let us know how you get on.

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Make Today the 1st Day of the Rest of Your Life

Make Today The First Day Of The Rest Of Your LifeOK, so the new year resolutions you set just a few weeks ago, seems like an age away. Maybe you got through January, just, and you’re beginning to think if living a sober life is actually for you.

It’s one of the hardest months of the year. Most people don’t have much money so in a sense giving up drink is made easier as there’s less people going out.

Perhaps you’ve experienced this with your friends. However, it whilst it makes it slightly easier to give up, there were probably tugs to get you to join in with drinks at the end of the month on pay day.

It doesn’t matter if you stumbled and had a drink. Why should that stop you from trying again? You know in your mind that you want to leave all the baggage that comes with drinking, behind, and that you know in your mind that giving up drink is what you really, really want to do.

Then, there’s nothing stopping you from making today the 1st day of the rest of your (new sober) life.

It’s all about keeping moving. Don’t dwell on making mistakes. If you had a drink, a sip even, don’t let it get into your head, move on.

The early days are hard.

Giving up drinking isn’t easy.

I found that the best thing to do was to go out for long walks. Just head out to the country, or to the park. Anything to get fresh air. Give your head some fresh oxygen, to help it make better decisions.

Always, after coming in from a long walk, I’d feel better and have a more positive outlook on life. I could almost leave all those worries behind me and kind of re-focus.

You can’t do this sitting on the sofa, watching TV.

Nope. If you try that, you’ll end up wanting a beer with it, and before you know it, you’ll be back to your old ways. To be honest, we’re all creatures of habit. This is why, when you give up drinking, you need to find new habits to do, in order to replace the old ones.

You’re never too old to start. I knew in my early 20s, that drinking wasn’t for me. But it took me another decade to get my act together. I gave up so many times in that period. Swore to myself I’d never have another drop. But it wouldn’t last. I’d give up. I didn’t have the drive and energy that I found in later life, to really go for it.

But, no matter what, we all have the ability to say to ourselves, go for it, do it, make this one count. Make it count today and use today as the springboard to get you heading in the direction it is you want to go.

Giving up drink has given me loads of confidence. Quietly, I know there are so many things I can do now I’ve climbed this particular mountain.

It’s a great feeling.

Have you found it too?

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If you’re thinking of stopping drinking and are looking for inspiration have a look at Alcohol Concern as they are running the Dry January campaign. There’s still plenty of time to get involved. I can vouch for all three stats here – but according to Alcohol Concern, 79% of people who take part save money, 62% slept better and 49% lost weight.

There are loads of resources on their website, with stories from those who have taken part and gave up drinking, together with apps to help you control your drinking and information leaflets to help inspire you to do the same.

It’s not too late to join in, and if you think that it’s too late to make a start, it isn’t! :o)

No matter when you chose to give up drinking, especially binge drinking, you’ll find that you can totally transform the rest of your life.

Information Links:
https://twitter.com/dryjanuary
http://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/dry-january

P.s. You don’t have to be in the UK to do this, use their resources to take part where you live!

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Choosing Your New Year Resolutions

What Are Your New Year Resolutions Going to be?It’s New Year tomorrow and I’m still deciding on my New Year Resolutions. I’ve scoured the internet and found some of the top 10s, whittled down my list to one or two. Next year I’m definitely going to try to be fitter, happier and spend less time online and more offline.

After a quick Internet search, I’ve found some of the most popular resolutions from around the web:

  1. Lose weight, join a gym
  2. Eat more healthily, give up the snacks and take outs
  3. Improve confidence, and have a bigger smile
  4. Give up smoking, save your health
  5. Be more active, get more energy
  6. Meet more people, have a spring clean
  7. Change jobs, get out of the rut you’re in
  8. Drink less, even try to give up completely
  9. Lower stress, worry less, especially about work
  10. Get offline more, do a digital detox

[Source: 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them]

New Year Resolutions have been happening since the year dot. Like most of us, we use them to set goals, learn languages, to get us moving, stop procrastinating or for some, to make life changing changes.

10 years ago I started my New Year Resolution early. About 10 days early. I’d tried to give up drinking, or at least cut down, many, many times. I’d set myself New Year Resolutions, but somehow I could never really get passed the first week or two. This time though, I wrote it down and posted it on the shaving mirror. I told my family that I was giving up drink and was done with getting hangovers anymore.

I think writing it down was one of the things that helped me most.

Because it worked.

Apparently, according to the statisticsbrain.com website, you’re more than 10 times likely to succeed in your goal, by simply making it your New Year Resolution. Do yourself a favour and write it down, put it in a public place, let others see it and work towards your goal.

Other times motivation comes out of the blue. The sudden death if AA Gill, a journalist at The Times, from lung cancer two weeks ago reminds me once again that you can’t assume anything. Making it to retirement isn’t a right, or a guarantee. His diagnosis to his passing took just a few weeks. Some people don’t have as long as that even. He gave up drinking at 30, but continued as a smoker for a mother 15 years or so.

Life is too short.

If you’re thinking of giving up drinking, then why not join with Cancer Research UK or Alcohol Concern, both of whom are doing Dry January events at the same time as raising funds for their charities.

Joining in with an event will help motivate you and keep you on track.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck, write and let us know what you’ve chosen to do and tell us how you’re getting on.

Happy New Year!