#Nofilter: What next after Dry January?

The New Year is the hottest season for lifestyle overhauls. After January, it’s now time to see how we lived up to our promises.

People inject many expectations into a new year. This new, better and more resolute me will be able to say no to temptations and yes to gym workouts. After the end-of-year party season, Dry January – and even a Dry February –feel like a natural choice. Dry January is a global phenomenon, that stared in the UK. In the UK almost three percent of the adult population keep January dry.  

January has traditionally been the quietest month in Alko stores. The party season is over and everyday life awaits. However, we’re also seeing another trend: making moderate choices throughout the year. For our customers, taking care of their health and wellbeing is an important value that they support through a variety of choices.  This health trend has been visible in Alko’s sales throughout 2017: sales of vodkas and other clear spirits fell by 0.7 per cent, while interest in alcohol-free products has remained high. Our customers want to enjoy higher-quality beverages in lower volumes, which can be seen in, for example, the rise in sales of smaller bottles of wine. Also, low-alcohol products are gaining popularity. At the moment, Alko has around 100 low-alcohol wines in its stores.

 The small choices we make every day are important, as actions create habits, and habits lifestyles. Habits matter, because they make our daily choices automatic.

 Ambitious health regimes begun in January sometimes have a habit of melting away like snow in the rain. If your own Dry January was not one-hundred-per-cent successful, it shows that Martin Seligman, a psychology professor and pioneer of Positive Psychology, is on the right track. He has observed that promises based on negative goals and bans are not effective. Most of us have an inbuilt desire to aim for good things and positive results – simply not doing bad things is not enough for us.

 If you want to keep your New Year’s promises and attain your goals, it’s best to set positive goals.  What if, instead of doing Dry January, you set yourself gradual goals to change certain habits throughout the year? Habits, including alcohol consumption, that would promote the health and wellbeing of both you and your loved ones? One incentive for reducing alcohol consumption may be to reduce the harmful effects of your alcohol consumption on those close to you. You can also formulate this in a positive way. How about this for a goal – to act as an exemplary model for a healthy lifestyle to provide encouragement to your children, partner and friends? Often, small actions and habits will lead to a positive spiral that will sweep everything along with it and change your life.

Although in some cases, a complete ban is still the only correct alternative.

Elina Tompuri
the author works in Alko’s communications unit