Put all of this together, and you get mindful drinking. Not necessarily going teetotal, not necessarily following the government guidance, or anybody else's either. It's setting your own goals, based on your personal motives, and what is right for you.
It is hard to contemplate never drinking again. I always tell people that I am getting back on the gin and tonic again when I am 80. Many of us are not physically addicted, but habitually using, and used to drinking. So it must be possible to moderate. Lots of people do. But just like the planning you did to take a month off, you need to plan your moderation.
When one of my closest friends, Rachel, was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas a few years ago, I was speechless and didn't know what I could possibly do to make her feel better.
Do you say you're a "wine lover"? Or a "real ale enthusiast"? Is your profile pic you holding a cocktail? Is that how you want to present yourself to the outside world now you are aiming at a new and improved you? How about changing that bit to something else about yourself? It's great to remember that drinking is not the most interesting thing you do.
If you don't drink for medical, religious, health or other reasons, decide beforehand what explanation you're prepared to share with people and what you're not. Remember, when all is said and done, it really is no one else's business but your own.
If we look at behavioural theory, there's evidence to suggest that the sceptics might be overstating the futility of January austerity. One of the most powerful forces in behaviour change is social norms, the simple idea that we are heavily influenced by what others do.
New Year's Resolutions seem to revolve around abstinence. Don't do this. Don't drink that. Don't you DARE eat that, else you will be this... It's actually a very negative concept if you approach it in that manner. The words 'don't' and 'shouldn't' aren't very helpful to anyone, let alone an anxious girl. I've learnt lately how powerful language can be.
Before my month away from the tipple, I was very self-aware about how young and immature I was. Now I feel as though I am actually an adult. Someone who can have one drink and mean one, who can have a diet Coke instead of a shot of vodka at a busy venue, who doesn't feel obliged to stay out if in fact they want to go home.
Standard first date practice is a few quiet drinks in a nice little bar, giving both parties the opportunity to leave with ease should the conversation grind to a halt. However, sober dating requires a bit more thought, and we settled on a spot of ping pong at a bar in Holborn.
I spent the first couple of days genuinely enjoying my sobriety. Stress levels were lower and I slept like a baby, even rising early doors to hit the hotel gym while my colleagues slept off their hangovers. However, on the third night, our group decided to go out to sample of Manchester's famed nightlife...