2017 is coming to an end and whether you’re happy to see it go or just excited for the upcoming year, now is the time to start planning your New Years resolutions. Now New Years Resolution don’t always get the best rap, it’s common knowledge that resolutions often end February 1st, either because people forget or don’t take them seriously. Sometimes the key is to rephrase your ideas to fit your daily challenges. Instead of saying “This year I will make a make a budget” say, “I will be patient and take time to learn about budgeting”. But when you’re in recovery, your goals can be more challenging to meet. As always, being kind to yourself is important, but also having aspirations are critical to moving forward in sobriety.
If this is your brand new decision, then I want to congratulate you on your first important step of the year. Your future is so bright, and you can have an amazing new year with a little effort and consistency on your part.
If this is your yearly/daily/hourly mantra as a person in active recovery, I’m so glad you’re sticking to it! The challenges you have faced are in the past, and there will be new challenges ahead. But every year you are another year stronger!
Let’s start with the newbie!
- Resolve to tell your friends and family about your addiction and desire for a sober life. Being open and honest can relieve so much stress and with your loved ones accountability it can make it harder to slip up and return to old habits.
- Sometimes you need more than just a resolution. If you are feeling so overwhelmed with your body’s addiction, words aren’t going to cut it. Look into some type of professional treatment. Taking time to reset yourself can be the best gift you ever received. It’s so important to care for yourself.
- Resolve to participate in meetings, meet others in recovery and hear their stories. Having sober friends to start the new year with will help you maintain your sobriety. Silence is addictions best friend.
- Change your routine. Along with switching up the type of people you associate with, there are other things that will have to change to live up to your new living agreement. Breaking old patterns will make your life no longer a breeding ground for old habits. Everything needs to change.
- Improve yourself. Getting your body in better health is the ultimate gift for someone who has been unkind to their body in the past.
And for those in active recovery, your goals can be a little different. You’ve been in the game for a while, and your cravings are under control most of the time, but you still have your challenges. Let’s try this year a little differently.
- Keep a journal to milestone your aging sobriety. Every day written of your sobriety marked on paper for you to remind yourself of the prior victories.
- Keep up with your meetings. This may not be new but it’s part of keeping up your consistencies. Maybe you can resolve to participate more in your group, and if you feel strong enough, think about helping some of the newbies out and becoming a sponsor.
- Expand your ways of communication. I think this one would be great for everyone. With all the different types of technology sometimes we can go days without even speaking to someone in person. There is no replacement for personal face-to-face connection.
- Try to spend less time stressed out and save more time for those you love. Sometimes the pressures of sticking to your treatment plan can make your day to day life seem rigid and can cause you to doubt your sober goals. Make sure to spend time daily with the ones you love who can help remind you what sober living is all about.
Many people fail to succeed in their recovery goals because they fail to see the importance or true benefits of their recovery resolutions. Keep these goals and benefits in mind and always remember them when you feel like quitting. Ask yourself, have I come all this far for nothing? If I stop now, what are the benefits I will be forsaking? Of course, maintaining your New Year’s resolution of sobriety does not guarantee that you will have a perfect year. Life happens no matter what, and there’s not much that any of us can do about that. That said, life in sobriety is always better than life in active addiction. Sure, getting sober and staying sober takes a lot of hard work and effort, but it’s worth it.
Also published on Medium.