After the festive period your liver probably looks like something the French would serve on toast, so abstaining from alcohol for the month is definitely a good plan. But what to do with 31 days of unfamiliar sobriety?
New Year, new attitude, right? Shake off the cobwebs of laziness, the shackles of procrastination, the manacles of demotivation? Well, maybe until 10am on your first day back, when you’re reminded of all the things that made you such a lazy bastard last year.
Take up a hobby
Not something you enjoy, obviously. If you genuinely like something, you’ll have been doing for years, unless you’re a Trappist monk or your favourite thing in the world is setting fire to hospitals.
Instead find something that you don’t actually want to do, but you feel you should because it’ll make you look cultured on Facebook. Something like learning the harpsichord or taking up ropemaking.
A golden rule is that the more you dread the thought of eating something, the better it is for you.
Imagine you’re having couscous for your tea tomorrow. Sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? What about beansprout salad? Want to cry? That means you’re on the right track.
When it comes to shopping, avoid anything you enjoy. This includes cheese, bacon, sausages, Pot Noodles, pizzas, crisps, Coco Pops, beer, Findus Crispy pancakes, tacos, steaks, ice cream, Coke, pies and cakes.
Meanwhile, don’t pay extortionate supermarket prices for your herbal teas. Simply walk into your garden to source a perfect alternative.
Why, camomile – that’s just daisies, stirred into hot water.
Green tea? Grass, stirred into hot water.
Roobois? Soil, stirred into hot water.
Get some exercise
Since you’re off booze and enjoyable food, you may as well avoid the TV. Go for a long walk after dinner and behold the world in its greasy, sodium-lit glory. Trip over branches you haven’t seen on the ground. Tangle with irate dog-walkers.
Or, if you’re feeling especially optimistic, join a gym! No half-measures either –a full year’s membership of a proper health club, which by the end of your contacted twelve months will have cost you £25 for every step you took on the treadmill.
Leave the car behind
If all else fails, the endless time waiting on freezing platforms for phantom trains, standing rocking back and forth, puffing your cheeks and sighing, burns so many more calories than sitting in your comfortable, warm car.