CAN you take on the challenge and give up booze for three months?
Mackay residents are being urged to kick off 2012 by participating in a Hello Sunday Morning (HSM) program - which involves not drinking for 12 weeks.
The project is an anti-alcohol initiative and aims to create a change in culture around alcohol.
HSM is an Australian not-for-profit group that was started by Chris Raine in 2009 after he decided to try a booze-free existence for a year.
Mr Raine said he would often drink up to 20 drinks in a session.
"I used to wake up with too many hangovers," he said.
And so HSM was born; already 2470 people in Australian and New Zealand have done the program.
HSM was not out to demonise alcohol but to offer an alternative choice and perspective, Mr Raine said.
"We are definitely not here to preach. It's all ultimately a personal decision. I still drink.
"What concerns me is that alcohol really takes a toll on many people's lives.
"By the end of 2012 we want 10,000 Australians on board."
Mr Raine warned the level of binge drinking - especially among younger Australians - was phenomenal.
"We can't run from the fact that we are a nation with a drinking problem," he said.
"You should have the choice and the confidence to say, 'I don't want to drink tonight'... and not feel the pressure that so often takes place.
"I stopped for a year and it was the best thing I have ever done for myself."
Mr Raine's program started out as a simple journey to give up alcohol for 12 months but has achieved much more and made him a role model.
Next on his agenda is a plan to target the USA, including New York and Los Angeles.
THINK YOU'VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES?
- Chris' website has been viewed by hundreds of people, with many also inspired to do the program
- To sign up to the Hello Sunday Morning program or for more details visit www.hellosundaymorning.com.au
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