Feeling better? How to make your dry January stick

How to
your dry
Hints and
tips from
Club Soda
Cut down . Stop for a bit . Quit . Stick
Club Soda is a growing movement
of people changing their drinking.
You can join whether you want
to cut down, stop for a bit, or
quit. Club Soda is also for people
who want to join the movement:
those who have already made the
change and want to stick to it, or
who want to help others. It really is
up to you.
Club Soda has everything you need
in one place. You can set your own
goals, track your progress and talk
with others from all over the world
doing the same. Use our members’
discounts to find new things to do
with your free time and energy. Plus
if you need extra support, we have a
great list of experts to help give you
a boost.
It’s free to join.
P.S The advice in this booklet is good
all year round. Not just in February.
Five ways to make your Dry January stick
Set your goal and
make it real
Simply writing down what you plan to do
will help you achieve it. Just taking a piece
of paper and scribbling “I will not drink
tomorrow” is a start (you can even throw
the paper away straight after if you don’t
want anyone to see it). Adding more detail
is better. You can set a quitting date in
advance, be specific about how much you
will or won’t drink, and put down anything
else you can think of. Include what you will
do instead, or what other goals you hope to
When you sign up to Club Soda, we help
you set your goal. Our goal setting and
review process was designed by our expert
member Andy Jaeger. You can keep your
plans to yourself, or share it with other
members in Club Soda. In two minutes your
future could very different.
Check in weekly and
set your battle plan
Once you’ve set your goal, it helps to track
your progress regularly. This is good for
keeping an eye on how you’re doing, and
whether you’re moving towards reaching
your goals. It is also an opportunity to
reflect on the past, and prepare for the
future: What has been easy and what
has been difficult? What could you do
differently? Is there anything else you need
to change in your life?
Club Soda prompts you once a week to
check in, and see how you are doing - its as
easy as clicking a button.
A bit of a
(things have not
gone to plan)
Spring in
my step
(my goals are on track)
Be a social animal
Good news, you don’t have to sit in a
darkened room on your own. A whiff of a
fine merlot will not turn you into a gremlin.
In fact staying the wonderful fun-loving
human being you are is important to
success. You may just need to try some new
things and be more ambitious about the
things you do with your time. For example:
Find interesting events where drinking is
not the star of the show. After all, you can
now drive to and from an event a bit out of
town if you have wheels. Here are our top
events in Cambridge (our blog has lists for
other places). MeetUp and Eventbrite are
two useful resources for finding new things
to do.
• It may not surprise you that exercise,
yoga, dancing, walking and even
gardening feature high on the new
passions of energised Club Soda
• We want to give you the power to still
go to your usual haunts and order a
lime and soda (or whatever your new
favourite tipple is). Have a local? Ask
them to get in what you want to drink
(what’s the worst that they can say?).
• You could mix up your pub visits by
coming to Club Soda pub socials run by
our members. Having one non-drinking
night a month in the pub will help you
stay strong the rest of the time.
• Chat to others with similar goals in the
Club Soda online rooms. Find useful
tricks and helpful tips, and your common
goals will encourage you all.
Put nice things in
your mouth
Giving up alcohol may cause big changes
in your body that you didn’t expect. So you
may want to think about your diet as well.
Some of your cravings will be psychological
(you are used to holding a glass in your
hand and sipping something) and some will
be physiological (you are quaffing far less
calories and less sugar).
So plan nice things to eat, such as your
favourite foods, the best quality chocolate,
or other tasty treats. Stock up your fridge
and cupboard. Club Soda member Fiona
went a little crazy for gummy bears when
she first quit. She assures us she is now
through this phase.
Discover new drinks. Whilst some swear by
juice and soda in the pub, your thing may be
a heady of mix of ginger beer, lime and fizzy
water. If you are used to having a pint glass
in your hand, then ask for your drink by the
pint. Laura likes to take her own, posh teas
with her into a pub, and ask for hot water in
a pint glass.
Make it a voyage of discovery. We have
many non-alcoholic drinks ideas. The good
news is that the alternatives are getting
better and better all the time. Non-alcoholic
beers are a million times tastier than they
used to be (top tip: you can trust German
quality here as well!).
Take care of yourself
Cut yourself some slack if you aren’t always
perfect, or if you don’t reach your goals
straight away. We know from our experience that it can take several attempts, and
trying many different approaches, to fully
change your drinking. But we also know that
every step, no matter how small, will help
you to get there.
And we want to shout from the rooftops
that you should never feel guilty, but
instead be nice to yourself. If you are gutted
that you did not do so well this week, then
take a nice bath, watch your favourite
movie, go for a massage. Even doing a little
bit of mindfulness can be a reward, as well
as a great aid in supporting you achieve
your goals. Guilt won’t help you succeed,
but taking care of yourself will.
… and ask for help when you need it
Some people are lucky, they are able to
change their drinking just on their own.
Good for them! Some of us need a bit more
support, perhaps from our family, or a few
friendly people at Club Soda online. And for
some of us, a bit of an extra boost may be
Use the Club Soda rooms to find out what
helped other members with similar goals to
you. You can use the ask the expert rooms if
you have a specific question.
You could also talk to experts who know
about these things. There are, for example,
life coaches, nutritionists, many kinds of
therapists, yoga instructors, and so on, who
have specialist skills. Club Soda experts and
perks gives you discounts on people that
can help (experts), and that you can use to
reward yourself (perks). The list is growing
all the time, so have a peek and see if there
is something there that will make you feel
good. It may be just that little bit of extra
help you need.
About Club Soda
We know we would run out of fingers and
toes if we were to count the number of
websites, clubs, apps and tools that promise
to help you lose weight or run a marathon.
But if you are even just a little bit worried
about your drinking, there is not much out
there to support you. And none of it looks
like much fun. When Laura decided to
change her drinking, she looked online but
couldn’t find what she needed in one place,
which is why she started Club Soda.
Club Soda is designed around you.
Behaviour change is the backbone of the
Club. As we grow, we can provide more and
more tools for you to pick and choose from,
that you feel will support you. An important
behaviour change tool is spending time with
other people doing the same thing, which
is why we are also doing events; after all we
(mostly) get drunk together, so why should
we get sober on our own?
You can read more about the behaviour
change science that guides what we do
How we fund
Club Soda
Our online site is free to join for all. From
March we will start charging a small
monthly membership fee for certain
features, and for special access to our
events and discounts. With a little help from
Bethnal Green Ventures (a pretty cool social
business accelerator programme), we have
some cash to help us find out a bit more
about what you want. To date we have
developed Club Soda using our savings, and
a small Cabinet Office loan.
If you like what we are doing, want to help
a socially-minded business and invest in
yourself and the future of Club Soda, there
are a few ways to do this:
You can pay for your membership upfront.
Founder Members can make a one-off
payment now, and get their membership for
the whole of 2015 for just £25. This offer is
valid until the end of March.
We are also looking for investors. We are
SEIS approved. Let us pitch to you and tell
you more.
We are building Club Soda from the ground
up with a bit of help from our volunteers.
They develop local events, find local experts
and perks, and promote what we do. You
can find out more here.
Club Soda is supported by: