The Great Preparation for the 40 Days

You've signed up, you've hidden all the booze and you're counting down the days: you're all set for a great break! Much research has been done on what keeps people motivated when they participate in a challenge. We've distilled it (just kidding) into a list of handy ways to make this break period a successful break.

1) Why are you doing this?

Make a list of all the things you hope to get or achieve with your break. Then rank them in order of importance - give them a score out of 10. Review your list and focus on how you will achieve all these wonderful things. Yes, you will probably lose a little weight and save a little money, but what really inspired you to take on this challenge with yourself? How do you feel when you succeed? Record it all on paper and stick it somewhere as a reminder during the break period.

2) How many different ways can you think of saying 'no' to a drink?

Of course you don't have to justify your choice to stay dry during the 40-day campaign, but sometimes it helps to have a ready-made reason when someone gets pushy and insists you join in with a drink. Maybe 'I'm taking part in the IkPas-40-days campaign' isn't the answer for you, so what would work for you? I'm running / running a marathon tomorrow / taking care of the kids in the morning are very plausible reasons that no one questions. Just make sure that if someone offers you a drink out of the blue, you have your answer ready. If you remain steadfast, the people around you are less likely to try to convince you to change your mind. Of course it makes a difference that we don't start a drop of challenge in a lockdown situation these 40 days. That still means little to no festive occasions. The downside of this is that 'drinking at home' is lurking.

3) Keep a diary

Capture what's new, what's different, what's better every day. You can look back on past notes and see how far you've come. What growth you are experiencing. Making time every day, even if only for a few minutes, to remind yourself of your break period will really help you stick with it to the end. Writing allows you to arrive at certain insights, but it also gives you a good feeling of relief.

4) Have you ever thought about why you drink?

Sure, drinking can be a lot of fun and yes, you can really love the taste of alcohol, but what is the real reason for you to want a drink? For many people, the triggers fall into one of four categories: social occasions, treats, negative emotions, or weak defenses. These can be internal (thoughts, feelings, or sensations) or external (things around you). Review the chart below and see if you can identify any situations or moods that may make it harder for you to say "no." Knowing your triggers can help you avoid the temptation to drink an alcoholic drink anyway.

social occasions

-When someone offers you a drink at a party.

-When you see other people enjoying a drink.

-If you are excited or celebrating an event.


-As a reward for good work.

I'm persuaded to have a drink after a hard day.

-When someone unexpectedly buys you a drink.

Negative emotions

-If you can't sleep.

-If you're worried or nervous.

-When you are angry or after an argument.

When certain things go wrong that you have no control over.

Weak defense

-If you are tired.

-When someone keeps nagging to drink with him.

-When you feel like drinking alcohol.

5) Alternatives

Once you know when it's hard for you to say "no" to a drink, you can come up with some alternative strategies. So, if you're in the mood for a Friday night drink (because yes, it's the weekend and what a busy week we've had), what else could you do to celebrate the end of a hard (work) week? Give yourself something to look forward to on Friday so you don't feel like you're missing out. Maybe a nice hot chocolate? A new book that you can order yourself? Cooking extra delicious?

6) Continue your healthy lifestyle

Now that you're working on your New Year's resolutions, this might also be a good time to start doing yoga, (outdoor) sports or walking. Activities that contribute to your health make you feel good and support you in the IkPas challenge.

7) Find a buddy

Only participating in IkPas is also only alone… It is nicer to take on the challenge with two people, or with three, or with the entire volleyball club, or with the entire street. In short, find someone with whom you will pass the time and who will give you support. This makes it easier to keep up, because: together you are strong!

8) The whole world should know

At first you would think that IkPas is a challenge with yourself, so that others don't need to know anything about this, but nothing could be further from the truth. Your friends, family and acquaintances can support you, but they must know that you are participating. So tell everyone around you, to as many people as possible.

9) Do you promise yourself a reward?

Challenges can bring you something. If you manage to not drink alcohol for 40 days, there is a reward. But what kind of reward? You can of course determine that yourself. Rewarding yourself (with something other than alcohol of course ;) ), helps you persevere and persevere. That new jacket, a subscription to that one nice magazine, those new inline skates: whatever makes you happy.

10) Remember you always have a choice

When you feel tempted, when you feel like having a drink, when others try to convince you, don't forget: YOU CAN DRINK. After all, nobody can stop you. The thing is, YOU are the one who decides not to drink during this 40-day no-drop campaign; YOU are the one who will feel so much better after more than a month without alcohol.

Is the urge to drink strong? Then think about why you want it. Is it for fun or is it out of habit? That way you will not only economize, but you will also gain a new appreciation for the drinks you do decide to drink.


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