Memo 398: 5 Lessons That I Learned During Dry January

Happy New Year…again! January was a tough year but we made it. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that I challenged myself to a Dry January. This means that I had to abstain from drinking alcohol ALL month long. Yep, 31 full and entire days.

A few friends joined me along the way. Many were called but few actually made it! Shout out to those of us who put our will power to the challenge. I’m so proud of us.

5 Lessons That I Learned During Dry January

Often times, when you challenge yourself to accomplish a goal, you learn a few lessons along the way.

Here are a few key takeaways:

  1. Outside of socially drinking, I discovered that I use alcohol to manage stress. Throughout this process, I had to find new ways to deal with life’s annoyances. Instead of running to get a glass of something to calm my nerves, I talked it out or worked it out.

    After one particularly trying day, I found myself contemplating the gym class that I scheduled for myself. I finally decided to go and it was the best thing that I could have done for my stress. I, also, knocked out one of my other goals for the day.

    I live for a good two-fer.
  2. Once I flexed my will power muscle around drinking, I was able to apply it to other areas. I ate better, hit the workouts that I planned for myself and completed more items on my to-do list. It’s an odd phenomenon to prove yourself to yourself but it’s super important for goal planning and execution. Once you prove to yourself that you’re serious about one goal, you can get serious about other areas of your life.
  3. I learned that it was cool to have accountability partners near and far join the challenge. We encouraged each other on social media with no prize in sight other than the excitement of setting a goal and accomplishing it.

    I will say that group-think can be used for good but always keep in mind that your goals are your own. If everyone from the accountability group dropped out of the challenge, EYE was still going to accomplish the goal I set for myself. Period pooh.
  4. When I stopped drinking, I found that I had more productivity hours. I don’t know about you all but when I drink, I’m more likely to make bad eating choices, watch too much TV and then go right to sleep! Now, I’m all about resting but you can’t sleep your life away just because it gets hard sometimes.

    I found myself maximizing my full day. Productivity literally tickles my insides and makes me a very happy girl! I like to keep me happy.
  5. Sometimes, just having any drink in your hand, will curtail the questions about your choice not to indulge in alcoholic beverages. I would often opt for a sparkling water with a lime because it looks just like a cocktail. I’m telling you having a drink of anything in your hand keeps you on track with your goal and keeps the questions at bay. It doesn’t draw attention to yourself because people who are drinking definitely notice the people who aren’t.

Please be clear. I WILL be drinking again because the Dry January goal has been accomplished. However, I think I will be more calculated about when I do drink. When it’s stress related, I’m training myself to take my talents to the gym instead of to the bar.

Other than feeling like a super human, what do you learn about yourself when you set a goal and accomplish it? Drop it in the comments below.

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Photography: Denisse Myrick



  1. February 11, 2020 / 7:17 pm

    Loved reading this. I’ve never done a dry January but I’ve been dry for a few weeks at a time before and experienced these positives as well, minus the working out part lol. Love seeing your pics and creativity, as always!

    • Tiffany
      February 19, 2020 / 4:32 pm

      Thank you so much for reading!

  2. May 15, 2021 / 3:58 pm

    My brother just posted 23 years “clean and sober” and it got me to thinking, what have I been doing the past 23 years? Certainly not that. Now your post comes at a time when proving what I can do to myself becomes a bit more important. Bloggers have the power to effect change far beyond where they live.

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