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5 tips 2 make the plan work

* Make things easy on yourself and incorporate your alcohol-free days into the naturally quiet days. There's not much point in trying to do an alcohol-free day on your weekly social night. Mondays and Tuesdays are a natural fit. For most people, they are not socially active and it feels natural to take a break from the booze after the weekend.

* Make the challenge fun – double or triple-charge your 5:2 days. This can actually become quite fun as you see how many categories you can fit into one day. If you walk to work, that will get you scores on environment, finance and fitness.

* When it comes to screen-time, be realistic. Most of us work with computers all day so if you'd like a full-day break from screens, schedule a weekend-day as one of your screen-free days. Although you may want to ease yourself into this. Initially, without the distraction of Twitter and facebook and TV, I felt like a tumbleweed might blow through my living room any minute but eventually it left me feeling like I had a lot more time in my life.

* Prepare. It's hard to deprive yourself on busy days or days when you are tired, or exhausted. Plan your days around your week. Try to do the same thing every week as it will become habitual – on Mondays and Tuesdays, I don't drink.

* Don't become evangelical about it. If your friends ask what you're doing, tell them. Otherwise, just keep quiet and notice the improvements in your life.

Irish Independent