Did 2018 fall short of your goals in work or fitness? Looking to spark a career year in 2019? Want to feel better, improve your health, or accomplish new athletic heights in 2019? Starting the year with a healthy January has compounding returns through the rest of the year. Join us in Dry January powered by Athletic - and find us at #AthleticJanuary on Instagram/Twitter.
Follow these 5 steps to win your Athletic January -
1. Frame your challenge positively
Approaching your January from a place of deprivation and limiting yourself is a sure fire way to ensure it's long and miserable. Instead, take note of the shackles you've ripped off yourself and see it for the many positives. View it as a positive kick-start to your year. Realize how much you enjoy clear-headed time with family. Take notice of how easy it is to wake up in the morning. Note how much easier it is to get to the gym and how good you feel while you are there. Enjoy a dessert since you're not having hundreds of calories in your evening drink.
2. Find a partner or team
It's fun. But it may not be easy to make the real change you're looking for. Recruit a partner or team who share similar goals and have some fun with it. With a touch of accountability, it'll keep you on track and you'll be able to share the milestones and challenges.
3. Check out how much NA offerings have improved
The world is changing fast, and there are a number of complex, refreshing, and highly enjoyable non-alcoholic offerings out there that weren't around even 5 years ago. Trust us, you won't miss the booze or even feel as if you're compromising. The craft non-alcoholic beer landscape has literally been invented and reshaped in the past year. Check out our beers at athleticbrewing.com (and receive them within days with free shipping). At bars and restaurants, the NA cocktail scene has drastically improved with NA spirits like Seedlip. Order some up and have some fun at home trying and making new, high-quality, artisanal drinks.
Recommendation - plan your dinners or bar trips around who has a good NA drink menu. If they don't have good options, ask them why not?
4. Line up a few good books
At night, you'll likely find yourself with more wandering intellectual head space that is normally dulled by booze. Take advantage of it. Have a few good books on hand. Not only could you be having a healthy January physically, but also intellectually.
A few recent recommendations I've enjoyed - all great on audiobook too!
Atomic Habits by James Clear - incredible insights into the compounding powers of positive habits with great anecdotes
Living with Seal by Jesse Itzler -Find motivation from Jesse's 30-day challenge living with one of the toughest men on the planet (David Goggins). Amazingly entertaining.
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss - in easily-digestible bites, Tim interviews high-performing individuals across all specialties
Ben Franklin by Walter Isaacson - A lot more meat on this bone (~600 pages), but a great opportunity to learn from one of the all-time self-improvement specialists.
5. Set your workout goals ahead of time
Having great workouts is one of the best things about moderating alcohol intake. Alcohol is very dehydrating and calorie dense. Set a personal goal to do some form of workout 4-5 days a week for the month. Or sign up for a race like Spartan or Tough Mudder. We recommend aiming for small, incremental gains every week of the month. Don't line up workouts that will scare you off from coming back on Tuesday. Set a goals that you know you can achieve. It's just about getting out there and having fun blowing off some steam. For example, week 1 set a goal of running or incline walking 2 miles on Sunday. Maybe week 2 move that up to 3 miles. The point is to find a goal you are comfortable with in week 1 and add incremental goals to achieve throughout the month.
If you're looking for inspiration, join our Athletic team at Strava.com/clubs/Athletic - our tribe ranges in all abilities and endurance and you can find inspiration clicking through anyone's workouts.
Most importantly, feel good and have fun. A full 40% of adults don't drink and the younger generation is proving to drink up to 30% less than the older generations. Trying out a clean, healthy month can put you on a level professional and health playing field with a growing majority of adults who choose to pass on the side effects of alcohol. You may just find you like feeling good all the time.
If you finish the month of January and liked your Athletic January, you may find inspiration in other's stories at places like One Year No Beer (my appearance on their podcast: https://bit.ly/2RoYbzi ), Rich Roll (www.richroll.com), or the Spartan Up Podcast (Founder Joe de Sena, who constantly speaks to the productivity limits of alcohol interviews a wide range of high-performing celebrities and business founders). You'll quickly realize a large percentage of high-performing adults don't find time for alcohol.
Good luck & Happy New Year