Alcohol is the most widely used drug in Australia and each year, millions of Aussies set New Year’s resolutions to address their unhealthy drinking habits. Yet, despite being well-intentioned the likelihood of achieving success is next-to-none.

As reported in Body and Soul, a survey of 1,000 Australians found 69 per cent of participants intended to make at least one New Year’s resolution, while less than a quarter will achieve their goals.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Aussies are currently drinking less alcohol than any other time in the past 50 years. However, the National Health and Medical Council cites excessive alcohol consumption is still to blame for a plethora of health-related problems, such as liver disease and brain damage, and is a major cause of road and other accidents, including domestic, social and criminal incidents.

Alcohol is part and parcel of the Aussie culture and is considered intrinsic to socialising. In response to growing concern regarding our alcohol consumption, the Australian not-for-profit (NFP) organisation, Hello Sunday Morning (HSM), spruiks on its homepage, “a world where confidence and identity aren’t measured in standard servings. A world of better choices, fewer hangovers and unforgettable Sunday mornings.”

Launched in 2010, HSM has grown to become the largest NFP offering free, online support to those with drinking-related problems. Members are encouraged to sign up for HSM alcohol abstinence challenges in a bid to develop healthier alcohol consumption behaviour.

As reported in The Australian Women’s Weekly on December 8, 2015, with the help of the HSM support network, 46-year-old Australian woman, Jules Vandermaat has shed 30kg. Jules attributes this considerable weight loss success to her decision to abstinence from alcohol since January, 2015.

So this 2016, be sure to bid farewell to unhealthy alcohol consumption habits and work towards achieving a healthier and happier you!