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Forming New Year’s Resolutions in Recovery

For many of us, the new year represents a fresh start and an opportunity to develop healthy habits. This could mean getting started on the road to recovery or resolving to achieve sobriety.

While recovery goals and rehab resolutions are not always easy, they’re definitely worth the effort. Freeing yourself from addition can provide you with a new lease on life, enrich your relationships and give you more time and energy for the activities that bring you joy.

According to the American Psychological Association, making a life-changing resolution requires realistic planning. Straying from your recovery goals, even if just a little, may lead to feelings of discouragement — even if you are making progress nonetheless. However, by listing out small, manageable steps to reach your goals, you will be more able to stick with your resolutions and get back on track after any hurdles.

SUGGESTED NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR THOSE ON THE PATH TO RECOVERY FROM ADDICTION

The following resolutions may inspire you to stay on the path to recovery in the new year:

  1. Find new hobbies: Part of being in recovery means finding creative ways to enjoy your free time without substances. You may choose to learn a new language, play an instrument, attend cooking classes or explore an interest in foreign films, to name a few ideas.
  2. Start a recovery journal: Writing in a journal for even 15 minutes a day is an excellent tool for understanding your emotions, effective coping strategies and what triggers your cravings.
  3. Pay it forward: If you’ve been on your recovery journey for a while, it can be helpful to reflect on all the support and love you’ve received along the way. Pay it forward by resolving to do one kind thing for others each day. You could even serve as a sponsor for someone else in recovery or volunteer in your community.

WAYS TO KEEP YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

How do you make your New Year’s resolutions stick? First, your recovery goals must be realistic. You may find it helpful to use the acronym SMART when setting your goals. These goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. When developing your SMART goals, try to make sure they meet these parameters:

  • Specific: Provide enough detail so that there is no indecision regarding what exactly you should be doing.
  • Measurable: When you can see measurable progress toward your goals, you can mentally take note of change as it occurs. A quantifiable goal has an outcome that can be assessed as a success or failure, or on a sliding scale.
  • Achievable: A goal should be feasible given your current economic, social or cultural resources and time available.
  • Relevant: Relevant objectives should answer a few questions. Ask yourself why you should pursue this goal and what the impact will be on your life when you do.
  • Time-bound: Set a time frame for your goal. You could aim to get it done next week, next month or in three to six months. Setting an endpoint for your goal gives you a clear target to achieve. Of course, some goals will take longer to achieve than others.

MAKE YOUR RECOVERY GOALS A REALITY AT GATEWAY FOUNDATION

Gateway Foundation is here to help you achieve your recovery goals. Reach out today if you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol or drug addiction.

Addiction Destroys Dreams, We Can Help