As the calendar year comes winding down and the holidays start wrapping up, a new year is approaching. With it comes new possibilities and the chance to start fresh. But for those of us in addiction recovery, New Year’s resolutions are more than an annual tradition; they are a very important tool in our long-term recovery process. For someone in recovery from addiction, the New Year can be a welcomed time to set new sobriety goals. Setting realistic resolutions for recovery can also help them turn a few weeks of sobriety into a lifetime of clean living.
According to the American Psychological Association, some overly ambitious resolutions made during the New Year only result in excess stress for people who slowly start to slide back to their old habits as days go by. They, therefore, recommend that recovering individuals make small and realistic goals/resolutions, with a clear idea of how to achieve and maintain them.
Do New Year’s Resolutions Help during Recovery?
Yes! Resolutions provide motivation, goals, positivity and SO MUCH MORE!
There are those who have been able to stick with a resolution for an extended period of time and achieve their goals. We all know those who have lost weight and kept it off thanks to a new start after the first of the year. There are those who have put new plans into place to switch careers, make time for meaningful interactions with loved ones, or quit smoking. So for some people, a new year is just the thing they need to turn over a new leaf, set goals, and make a major change in their life. If you are one of those people who just needs a good excuse to get something done, a New Year’s resolution might be just the thing you need.
Some Resolutions for Recovery to Try this Year
Make one positive lifestyle change.
Whether you opt to eat a healthy breakfast, start going to bed and getting up at the same times every day, or going for a 20-minute walk at sunset, make a change that is simple and that enhances your day so you will be more likely to maintain the resolution over the course of the year.
Make a change to improve your health.
Take a step — not a perfect step, but make a little effort to do something extra to improve your health and fitness. You can start taking a brisk walk for 20 minutes in the evening, or maybe you can eat two more healthy and balanced meals daily. You might also decide to sleep for seven hours every night. These steps can lead to overcoming your addiction.
Make decisions you are proud of.
We all had a wild year, but 2021 is a new start to begin making decisions that make you proud. Promise yourself the mistakes of the past will stay in the past. Forgive yourself for mistakes you’ve made and start living a life of integrity and honor. It’s never too late to start making better choices.
Be mindful and practice meditation.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that focuses on the present and self reflection. it’s a bit of a fad right now – but for good reason!. It has shown to improve health in more ways than one. Mindful meditation has been shown to improve focus, relieve stress, improve athletic performance, and even help decrease pain.
Resolution for Recovery: Journal every day.
Especially if you just left inpatient treatment, there is a lot you are still learning about yourself and about living in recovery. A helpful New Year’s resolution for recovery may be to journal regularly. Not only is journaling therapeutic in many ways, but also it can help you track your good days and bad as well as note relapse triggers. Journaling may also help you determine when you may be at risk of relapse and alert you to getting outside help before it is too late.
Resolve to share more openly.
If you regularly attend Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or another 12-Step meeting, or if you go to group therapy, then take the time to share your thoughts on the topic or a relevant experience with others in the group. The more you get involved and become active in therapy and treatment this year, the more likely it is that you will continue making progress in recovery.
Make the choice to be honest.
Honesty is essential for successful recovery. This is a great resolution for recovery too. Lying to yourself and others about how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking is an important sign of emotional relapse, which is the first stage of relapse. Truthfulness in all things helps you stay more keenly aware of your thought and behavior patterns, and it promotes sobriety for the long-term.
Fix your sleep schedule.
The National Sleep Foundation recently found that forty-five percent of Americans report their lack of sleep interferes with their daily life. Insufficient sleep can decrease our concentration capabilities, make us more vulnerable to sickness, and even increase our risk for diabetes and high blood pressure. For those in recovery, sleep is even more crucial than ever before!
Share quality time with friends and family.
Repairing relationships after addiction won’t happen overnight. But you can take baby steps towards stronger bonds by treating the time you spend together as a priority to be scheduled in your calendar. Make a resolution for recovery to enjoy a home cooked meal, watch a movie together, or break out a fun board game to play. Turn off your phone so there are no distractions, then focus on communicating honestly and openly.
Resolve to Be Healthier
It’s been shown that eating healthy food and staying fit can help you stay sober. Exercise will give you a sound body and mind, and maintaining a healthy diet will have you feeling fresh everyday. Not only will cooking healthy meals keep your mind off your addiction, but it will give you direct control over your wellbeing. Nothing feels better than knowing you can take care of yourself and lead a healthy lifestyle, especially while staying sober.
Make the resolution to enjoy sobriety.
Finding ways to relax and have fun without drugs or alcohol promotes ongoing recovery by helping you enjoy your life. Every day, strive to do something that brings you genuine pleasure, whether engaging in a hobby, spending quality time with the people you love or enjoying the simple pleasures of life, such as a delicious meal or a really good book.
Trying new things is the ultimate way to make some progress in your life and easily move away from your old bad habits. This is why you should make the resolution for recovery to enjoy your sobriety. When in addiction recovery, you will get the chance to meet new people, engage in new activities, experience positive growth and share stories that help you stay away from your old habits. Engaging in new activities and having new hobbies such as skating, swimming, and cycling help to fill the time you used to spend using
Making Your Resolutions for Recovery Stick
Making New Year’s resolutions stick is the biggest challenge for most of us. In the beginning, we’re strong and committed to our resolutions, but over time, we often lose sight of our goals and begin slacking off a bit. To keep your resolutions fresh in your mind, write them down. Every morning, read through your resolutions, and think about what you can do that day to honor them. Taking it day by day—and being gentle with yourself when you experience a setback—will lead to permanent changes that promote sobriety for the long-term.
Resolutions for Recovery – Are you Ready?
As the clock strikes 12 midnight, a new year is upon us filled with endless possibilities about the better person we hope to be and all the goals we hope to achieve this upcoming year. We hope that these helpful New Year’s resolutions for addicts have inspired you. We hope that a New Year will bring positive changes to your mindset, health, relationships, and outlook on substance abuse.
If you are considering what resolutions for recovery you should make this year, you are on track to a great 2021! With the right kind of help and a plan for success, you can achieve your goals once and for all, no matter what time of year you decide to make the change. Contact Daylight Recovery Center today and get started on the new you!