“This is the year I quit.” If you’ve made that New Year’s resolution before, you’re not alone. This time of year, many individuals grappling with addiction promise to stop using drugs or alcohol. Sadly, it’s not as easy as making this statement. Recovery takes determination, time and support from others. A New Year’s resolution, while well-intentioned, should be backed up by practical steps for change.
As you strive to create a new you this new year, try making smaller, more manageable resolutions that address your addiction. Then, celebrate each step that leads you down the path to a full recovery.
Practical New Year’s Addiction Resolutions for a Successful Recovery
Addiction is a disease that affects the portion of your brain that controls willpower. If you make a grandiose resolution to quit drugs or alcohol cold turkey, you’re probably setting yourself up for failure.
Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction happens by making a series of positive changes. Even the smallest New Year’s resolutions made in recovery can accumulate until sobriety is an achievable goal.
Here are our recommendations for practical New Year’s resolutions that can take you one step closer towards a life in recovery.
Remember Recovery Is About Progress, Not Perfection
Progress, not perfection, is what you need to aim for. If you don’t recognize and celebrate your achievements, you’re bound to get disappointed. Even if you haven’t reached your ultimate goal of quitting drugs or alcohol, recognize that you’re one step closer than you were yesterday. That doesn’t mean you should aim low, but you should aim for what is possible.
Continued progress is what defines a successful recovery journey.
Make One Positive Lifestyle Change
A healthy change doesn’t have to be drastic. Something as simple as eating three meals a day or getting a full night’s sleep will help you realize that change is possible. Exercise, reading more, cutting back on social media — all these positive lifestyle changes will get you in the right mindset so you can begin to break free from addiction. So, make a change, however small, and watch how it does wonders for your mind, body and spirit.
Lean on a Loved One for Support
Having a healthy support network is one of the keys to recovery that lasts. Your friends and family may not fully understand what you’re going through, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care. Instead of pushing your loved ones away, make an extra effort to reach out. Choose a select few you know you can lean on for support. Confide in them your struggles, and listen to their advice.
Share Your Thoughts at AA, NA or Another 12-Step Meeting
Even if you don’t have friends or family who can walk beside you during this time, you will find help and hope when you attend AA, NA or another 12-step meeting. Even if you feel vulnerable or scared, you can be open and honest. They won’t be shocked or offended because so many have a similar story. You can learn from others to understand what it takes to break free from drugs or alcohol.
Get Yourself Into an Addiction Treatment Program
January 1 is a totally arbitrary date. Any day is the perfect time to take the steps needed to get clean and healthy. If you’re ready to start anew, Beacon House is here to help. Our treatment center on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula focuses on individualized care to address your needs.