Where I come from on the West Coast of Canada, February is one of the wettest months.

The days are still too short, darkness encroaches too quickly, the sky is more often overcast and grey than not.

The combination of two SADs (Seasonal Affective Disorder and the Standard American Diet) can create a powerfully destructive force in the middle of winter.

It’s no surprise that the momentum of New Year’s resolutions and intentions can get lost and the temptation to seek sweet alcohol-fuelled relief becomes stronger.

The resolve you felt during your Dry January or enthusiasm for redefining your relationship to alcohol may become diluted.

The trend is common across the health and wellness sector.

Quora.com reports that 80% of the New Years Resolutions crowd drops off by the second week of February. Meaning only 20% remain, and the rate of sign-ups tapers off by February.

Whether or not you need in a cold climate, the following tips can help you stay on track with your resolutions around your drinking.

Learn how to moderate.

Sounds simple, but it’s not necessarily.

Now is this time to set clear goals for yourself around alcohol moderation.

Let me repeat, clarity is key.

Set a reasonable goal for yourself, such as no more than 5 drinks a week, and no more than 2 drinks on any given night.

Decide to stick to it for a month, just as you would have tried to stick to the 31 days alcohol-free in the month of January.

The most common challenge I see when people try to moderate is that they are too vague with your goal and how they will achieve it, and that they give themselves too much wiggle room.

Moderation requires guidelines, just like abstaining from alcohol does. What will yours be?

Plan your alternatives.

What are you going to drink of alcohol or do instead of drinking?

We all know that restrictions suck, which is why yo-yo diets don’t work.

What delicious, yummy, fun, sexy (you fill in the blank) alternatives can you add into your life instead of booze?

You will only ever be successful at moderating alcohol if you figure out what alternatives work for you.

I’m talking both replacement drinks and activities.

For drinks: Avoid sugary alternatives and go for seltzer/mineral water spritzers will a splash of real fruit juice or a virgin mojito. For relaxing evening drinks, try homemade cocoa or aromatic or sleepy time tea.

For activities: Try exercise or social activities to start.

What about that new hip hop yoga class, a spin class, a romp around the park or a games night?

Planning alternative evening activities will not only help with your fitness and health goals and relieve stress, but will also help in the friend department, proving you really can have fun without alcohol.

Understand your triggers and how to manage them.

Are you someone who drinks to gain confidence? To feel free-spirited? To get crazy? To release stress? When you are alone and overwhelmed with your thoughts?

Once you learn a bit more about your triggers, you need to start investigating other ways to “feel and deal.”

The options are so varied, it would be impossible to go into them all here.

You might decide to make a rule for yourself to not drink on days you are noticing your triggers, until you get a handle on what to do instead.

Otherwise, it could be a slippery slope into drunkenness again.

Plan your AFDs (Alcohol-Free Days).

Make sure you have more days during the week (at least four) when you aren’t drinking.

This gives your liver a break and forces you to implement the first three points above.

Plan these days in advance, and put them in your calendar.

Set reminders on your phone, and include motivational words as to why you don’t need alcohol today.

This will reduce the likelihood of an “oops I forgot I wasn’t supposed to drink today” moment.

Try to make one of your AFDs a weekend night to prevent any temptation of weekend binges.

AFDs help break the mindless habit of ordering a drink as the first you thing you do at a restaurant or at the bar, or heading for the fridge the first thing you as you walk in the door at home.

Shake up your routine and bring more mindfulness into your day.

One of my clients came up with the acronym AFD, and I absolutely love it!

Start a bedtime routine.

That’s right; a bedtime routine isn’t just for babies — and the adult version doesn’t include drinking out of a bottle!

The point is to find alternatives to alcohol to help wind down before bed.

As Dr Oz writes in his healthy drinking guidelines a 2013 analysis of more than 30 studies found that consuming two or more drinks during the two hours before bed decreased the amount of REM sleep.

Even though you might feel like you are falling asleep more quickly after a nightcap, the quality of your sleep will be reduced.

Instead of alcohol, try a cup of soothing tea, run a hot bath, do some stretching or a guided meditation and for the love of deep sleep, put your phone on airplane mode and stop scrolling.

Do these things, and I promise you will start reveling in the benefits of sweet beauty sleep, without resorting to counting sheep. Having a good night’s sleep is essential for waking up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the next day, which will in turn help you end your day with ease and without feeling the need for alcohol.

These are a few of the strategies that will help you redefine your relationship to alcohol through the entire year. As always, change is easier within a support system. Do not hesitate to reach out if you feel you’d like added support. I mean it! I love you to comment below.