New Year’s resolutions are never about perfection, but rather making progress. It is difficult for many people to make New Year resolutions and abide by them for 365 days in a year, especially when their resolution concerns changing a habit they are used to or that is addictive. People need to realize that making a New Year’s resolution is only a tip of the iceberg. The whole iceberg emerges when it comes to the implementation of the resolution.
Resolutions are particularly a dilemma for people looking to enter recovery from certain addictions. Drug addiction, habit addiction, and any other forms of addiction defy the very nature of a person’s willingness, motivation, and determination to quit. Addiction does not listen to you when you make that New Year resolution to stop using drugs, drinking alcohol, or even stopping the habit of watching pornography. The resolution only holds for a while until the discomfort and urge to get back begins.
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.
Here are 7 unique and realistic New Year resolutions to help you in recovery;
1. Try New Things
Trying new things is the ultimate way to make some progress in your life and easily move away from your old bad habits. 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 drugs or watching pornography. You get to make new friends in these new scenarios and they act as a support system to keep you on the right track. Change is great for recovery, so trying new things should be part of your New Year’s resolution.
2. Keep a Journal
Don’t brush this idea off because you think that it’s too much work or outdated. Keeping a journal is highly important on the road to fulfilling your New Year’s resolutions on addiction recovery. Plus, keeping a journal doesn’t mean that you have to write tons and tons of information relating to your progress. There are many different types of journals you can keep. Click here for vital reasons for journaling while in recovery.
3. Stay Positive
This sure doesn’t look like a practical resolution to make, but trust me it is. Most people in recovery often fall out because of beating themselves up about their past mistakes, perceived short-comings presently, and anticipated failures in the future. This negative attitude is not good for you at all. When making your New Year’s resolution, program yourself to focus on being positive, grateful, and try your best to forgive and leave the past behind you. It’s incredible how much you can accomplish when you stay on the positive.
We are now living in the era of mobile phones, internet, and social media. One can actually go for days without having real conversations with their loved ones or friends. But this is never too good for anyone in recovery. You need to pick up the phone and reach out to the people you care about. This connection is important in enabling you to get help whenever need be.
5. Get Moving
Moving around and exercising every now and then is a great way to boost your energy levels, enhance your mood, give you a better sleep, increase your concentration levels, manage your weight, and keep your body in good health. You can go out for a bike ride, hike, hit the gym, join a dance class, be part of a sports team, and more. You also need to travel to new fulfilling destinations as much as you can. Also, hang out with friends who support your recovery goals often. Meeting them and conversing or engaging in fun activities can greatly boost your morale.
6. Be Inspired
Create an inspirational reading list that is doable for your reading plan. Make sure you don’t start and then quit after a month or two. You can plan to read one or two books in a month or two months depending on the flexibility of your schedule. Watching an inspirational movie or TV show is also highly helpful in recovery. If you don’t know where to find inspirational movies or books, never be afraid to ask your family members and friends for references. The internet also has plenty of resources for you.
7. Ask for Help When Needed
Help from those who care about you as well as professional psychologists goes a long way in enabling you to achieve your addiction recovery resolution goals. Accept help from family members and partners who also want to see you on the path to recovery. Also, if you haven’t met a healthcare professional to help you devise a practical recovery plan, please do it now! You will be surprised at just how much change you can make in one year with the help of a good support system.
Psychologists are uniquely trained and have exceptional talents to understand the connection between one’s body and mind. They can guide you on strategies to help adjust your goals so that they are attainable. They can also help you manage the discomforts that arise during recovery. So, make asking for help one of your major New Year’s resolutions.
The Secret to Making Your Resolutions a Reality
Remember that getting started on your recovery goal is the easiest part, sticking to it is the hardest. Make sure to write down all your New Year’s resolutions for recovery and why they are important to you. You need to know and feel the benefits of the sacrifice or new path you are forging for yourself. Many people fail to succeed in their recovery goals because they fail to see the importance of 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? Also, tell your close friends family about your resolutions for recovery. Inform them what you are doing and why. People close to you will give you the moral support and keep you in check when you feel like quitting. And remember, unhealthy behaviors develop over time, and they cannot be lost in the blink of an eye. It will take time to change completely, so be patient with yourself and all will be fine in the end.