New Year’s Resolutions for Recovery

Jan 27, 2014

Addiction recovery is all about setting goals and then working to achieve them, and the New Year brings the perfect opportunity to set some new goals. Some of the traditional New Year’s resolutions, like getting in shape, will fit in nicely with your recovery program, and others will be unique to your situation. Talk with your addiction counselor and other members of your support group to decide which resolutions would help you to move forward this coming year.

Ask for Help

If you’re struggling with any type of addiction, overcoming the disease on your own is nearly impossible. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you haven’t met with a healthcare professional to devise a recovery plan, do it now! Make asking for help and beginning recovery your New Year’s resolution. You’ll be surprised at the progress you can make in just one year when you have a good support system.

Think Smaller

If you’ve ever attended a self-help workshop or read a book on how to achieve your dreams, you probably heard about how you need to think big. The problem with this approach when it comes to significant life changes is that if the goal is too big, you are far more likely to give up. Think about all the times you have resolved to lose 50 pounds, or organize your entire house; you probably started out strong, only to become overwhelmed with the enormity of what you were trying to achieve and instead fell back into your old habits and never achieved your goal.

Addiction recover is no different. Instead of setting huge or unattainable goals, instead focus on smaller and more manageable goals. Focus on each day as it comes, and find small things you can do to help you on the path to recovery, such as avoiding a specific type of situation that you know might trigger the desire to relapse.

Hit the Gym

Nearly everyone renews their gym pass and their determination to shed a few pounds as part of their New Year’s resolution. This old standby goal is especially important for those in addiction recovery, because taking care of your body is essential to overcoming your disease. Exercise has a whole list of benefits for those in recovery, including helping to regulate mood, boosting your energy, and releasing withdrawal-soothing endorphins.

Try New Things

It should be clear to you by now that your old way of life is not going to make you happy in the long run, and you need to make some changes. One of the best parts of addiction recovery is the opportunity you’ll have to meet new people and try new things. Taking on a new hobby helps fill the time you use to spend using drugs, and can really boost your morale. Making new friends expands your support system to help you stay on track. Change is good for recovery, so make trying new things part of your New Year’s resolution.

Be Consistent

Our bodies are wired for habits, and while some habits might seem small and insignificant, the continual application of these habits eventually becomes ingrained in our daily behaviors. The same is true for addiction recovery. By consistently applying small positive changes and using the tools that you learn from addiction recovery programs, you will gradually reduce the desire to use drugs or alcohol and instead replace it with healthy and constructive behaviors. You’ll notice over time that the addiction loses its grip, but like anything that you want to become a habit, this only happens if you are consistent in implementing positive changes.

Invest in Recovery

Some of your goals for the upcoming year should be geared specifically toward your recovery and the milestones you want to hit. You can work with your peers, your sponsor, and/or your therapist to make these kinds of resolutions and to get some ideas. Some types of recovery goals might include attending all of your 12-step meetings, sticking with your outpatient program, or writing in your journal every day. Once you’ve made some resolutions for the coming year, you can get to work accomplishing them and getting better.