Have you long thought you’d be happier and healthier if you quit the booze?

The problem is, says Flic Everett, author of How To Be Sober And Keep Your Friends (Quadrille), you may fear that life without the sparkle and uplift of alcohol will be a monotonous drift, with fewer lows but no highs either. It’s very easy to let your dread of the negative consequences of quitting stop you trying to quit at all adds Flic, whose book is a practical guide to actually seeing it through. If you accept that there might be a few downsides at first, but that the positives will outweigh them, you can overcome any reason you can think of to keep on boozing. Here’s how to tackle the fear straight away…

Write a list
List the positives of quitting FOR YOU, not just generic ones that could apply to everyone and no one. Then print it out and stick it on the fridge, or somewhere you’ll see it regularly.

Plan ahead
Don’t suddenly decide to do this two weeks before Christmas, or throw out all the half- empty bottles on a whim. Choose a date for stopping and put it in your diary. On that day, make sure the house is free of all booze.

Tell people you trust
But don’t tell everyone yet. If you know you’ll get support, confide – but any friends who are going to hassle you to ‘just have one’ really don’t need to be involved at this stage.