Dry January: Sobering Up for Success

Give a little, gain a lot

Dry January
(Image: iStock.com/donfiore )

January is the month when many people are figuring out what needs to be given up and what should be acquired in order to maximize potential, reach goals, and be a little better than they were before.

Here’s a suggestion—when looking for things to give up in order to find your greater self, consider shelving alcohol. Here’s why. Though alcohol seemingly works wonders at relaxing us, lifting our spirits, and adding merriment, in the long run, it’s ultimately just slowing us down.

The effects of alcohol range vastly, but in general, it’s known to cloud thoughts, impair decision-making, stifle creativity, and interfere with the ability to think quickly, concisely and sharply—all the things that are imperative for success.

Former Wall Street trader, entrepreneur, multimillionaire, and recently sober Paul Oberschneider, shared how giving up alcohol can resort to gaining success. “Olympic athletes will do everything they can to keep their body in the best possible shape, to give them the vital edge when it comes to competition. An entrepreneur or a business leader must treat their mind in the same way. You need to be able to think clearly, to interpret information quickly and make big decisions,” he wrote in a blog for Chartered Management Institute.

We must remain cognizant of how alcohol affects our performance. Though alcohol may physically stay in your system for two to 10 hours, the effects of alcohol can last for as many as three days. These are three days where you’re not at your best. Three days of subpar output. Three days of fighting through the fog. Three days of not maximizing.

The negative impact on your work performance may not be worth the thrill of a drink or a few.

Here is where self-awareness is of the utmost importance. Acknowledge how you think, feel, and operate during and after the influence of alcohol and ask yourself if you’re ultimately being added to or subtracted from. If there is even the slightest inkling of subtraction to your progress as a result of alcohol, you know what you have to do.

Try drying up for just a month and see how that serves your work performance (and maybe even your wallet). It may be worth it to you to stay dry for a while. Feel free to toast in celebration when your mission is accomplished.

It’s all for you. Give a little, gain a whole lot.