What type of Dry January drinker are YOU? From the ‘Weekend Wobbler’ who slips up on a Friday to ‘The Flake’ who fibs about how much they’ve had, expert reveals the 9 personalities – and how to stay on track
For many, Dry January provides an opportunity to kickstart the year in the right way and embrace new habits for the months ahead.
New research from low-abv alcohol company CleanCo shows 30 per cent of British drinkers have taken on the challenge of Dry January – and are swearing off alcohol for the entire month.
Experts from the brand, founded by ex-Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, have teamed up with psychologist Dr Becky Spelman to identify the nine typical Dry January drinking personalities.
From The Halfway Hurdler – who starts the month off well before slipping back into old habits – to The Flake, who might tell the odd fib about whether they’ve really kicked the drink – here FEMAIL reveals the most common traits, and Dr Becky’s advice for how to succeed.
Experts from CleanCo, founded by ex-Made in Chelsea star Spencer Matthews, have teamed up with psychologist Dr. Becky Spelman to identify the 9 typical Dry January drinking personalities (stock image)
1. The Halfway Hurdler
People who have a successful start to Dry January often fall short at the halfway point.
Going the full distance takes time and effort that we don’t always have, but we can still put in a good first half performance.
Why? Well, who makes the rules anyway? You do. And if you’re feeling great after a sober fortnight it’s worth doing even without the extra two weeks.
And then, rather than slip back into old habits, why not think about moderating your alcohol intake or mixing up your routine with non-alcoholic alternatives.
How to moderate: Feeling a tinge of regret at the premature finish? Reframe your mind set to reduce the chance of the fortnight fallout.
Make it personal and goal oriented and share your ambitions with your friends, family or colleagues.
2. The Sidekick
Buddying up can make many tasks easier, so embarking on Dry January to support a friend, partner or relative is common.
However, being a selfless partner or pal who has their buddy’s back can overlook their own situation and recriminations can begin if they let the side down.
How to moderate: Because Sidekicks haven’t decided to take on Dry January for themselves, this ‘ride or die’ tactic can mean that personal motivation is actually in shorter supply.
A simple way to keep on track is by introducing a reward system.
A real or virtual advent calendar of perks will give you a ‘door’ to open every day, while ticking off the days to the end of the month.
Ultimately, each of us is responsible for our own behaviour and in some instances, we’re going to get the results we seek on our own terms.
Reflect on the reasons why you chose to embark on Dry January in the first instance and create a tangible list of goals as a means to self-motivate.
It can be helpful to view the challenge as two blocks of two weeks, rather than the whole 31 days, and, if you usually ‘reward’ yourself with a drink, look for an alternative incentive or treat.
Make plans with your free time so that you won’t find yourself in a pub.
3. The Banker
Propelled by the financial gains of not drinking?
According to YouGov, Christmas spending costs an average of £1,108 per household in the UK and being paid before the 24 December means we often have to make our money go further the following month, so it’s a prime time to recalibrate finances.
How to moderate: The Banker can see that Dry January is an excellent opportunity to regain control of their wallet.
Frittering away funds on non-essential items can easily chalk up a sizeable loss, so take stock of your monthly drinking habit with a breakdown of your consumption.
Use the anticipated savings as motivation and actively put the money saved into a designated pot as a reward for 1 February for your determination and drive.
4. The Seasoned Pro
This isn’t your first rodeo, almost 20 per cent of respondents are on their fifth or sixth consecutive Dry January.
You’ve been here before and learnt to navigate the hurdles and temptations that come with giving up alcohol for the month.
You even look forward to starting it each year.
How to moderate: The Seasoned Pro takes on Dry January in their stride but can also learn from useful data.
Tracking your personal health creates a clearer picture of the outcome. ‘Try Dry’ is the official, free Dry January app that counts cash, calories and units, while keeping a tally of your best ever dry streaks.
Use the information to finesse your successful strategy.
5. The Weekend Wobbler
From weekday warrior to weekend wobbler, Saturdays and Sundays can prove the undoing of the best intentions.
This is most common between the 35-44 old demographic, but hats off, as most get back on the proverbial horse on Monday.
According to the study, 57 per cent Weekend Wobblers have admitted not making it to the end of Dry January.
6. The Flake
Prone to the odd fib, the Flake is good at convincing themselves and others that they are a committed Dry January’er, whilst succumbing to the occasional slip up.
Most likely to be aged between 25 and 34 and with a ‘just the one’ attitude, they are often loath to admit it’s harder to quit than they thought.
How to moderate: We are inundated with pressure to compete. Doing things to impress others isn’t a recipe for success.
Be accountable to yourself by keeping a drink diary to record the real tally of what’s been consumed, rather than what we would like to admit.
Eight per cent of respondents say their motivation tends to wane when they are alone.
Occupy your time with other pursuits or spend more time with friends and family to strengthen your connections with loved ones, and give yourself fewer opportunities to give in to temptation.
It doesn’t need to be face to face, a phone or video call can give us the contact we all need.
How to moderate: When the game gets tough, you can always switch up the players.
Having worked hard all week it’s inevitable that you want to relax and de-stress.
Those of us who equate drinking with unwinding would benefit from finding an alternative way to relax, whether that’s a physical activity like yoga or hiking or a mental break like meditation.
To satisfy the cravings for the taste and sensorial experience of your favourite tipple, CleanCo is the easy cheat.
It’s made for people who want a like-for-like alternative to alcohol that offers the same full flavour, smell and sensation of your chosen spirit, without the sugar or calories.
So you can enjoy unlimited, guilt-free cocktails all weekend without any of the Monday dread.
7. The Firework
A dazzlingly brief display of commitment, it roars into life and fizzles away.
Unsurprisingly, with their active social lives and fewer responsibilities, the youngest drinkers in the under 24 category tend to throw in the towel after just 72 hours.
How to moderate: Whether you found those three days easy or not, Dry January is a marathon, not a sprint, and it takes planning.
A tiny bit of preparation can remove the common pitfalls.
Empty the fridge of beer and wine, and put any leftover cans or bottles in a less accessible place so it’s out of sight and out of mind, and the prospect of a lukewarm lager or warm wine is less appealing than crisp, cold refreshment. Moderation is still better than binge-drinking.
8. The Life Changer
A month off booze? No sweat. It’s easy to carry on until February or even March.
This persona enjoys the challenge and not only succeeds, but makes it look easy to create new habits.
Before they know it, they’ve recalibrated their relationship to alcohol.
How to moderate: With an abundance of mental grit, this type of person can put their mind to anything.
However, as a Dry January veteran, see if you can lend your support to others taking on the challenge.
Finding it easy not to drink? That’s great, but people drink for complex reasons, so try not to judge those who aren’t quite as good at abstinence.
9. The SorryNotSorry
‘Cold Turkey’ is for Boxing Day – not for January, arguably the darkest, gloomiest month in the Northern Hemisphere.
The idea of total abstinence during the depths of winter doesn’t always make sense if the primary urge is to hunker down.
Based in sunlight starved Scotland, this 45-54 year old cohort refuses to give up creature comforts at this time of year, and who can blame them.
How to moderate: Instead of entertaining the idea of total abstinence, try your hand at moderation.
Cutting down from three drinks to one, and having a big glass of water between alcoholic drinks, can make all the difference.
Dry January is not for everyone, but you can still move the dial in a positive direction in the New Year.