Don’t let the new year stress you out. There always seems to be a lot of pressure around the new year for improvement. Every year we hope for positive change, not only for improvements in society but also for ourselves. However, just because it’s a new year doesn’t make it any harder or easier to achieve your goals and maintain your recovery. You can set new goals for yourself any time you want, not just at the beginning of the year. However, making effective New Year’s resolutions requires realistic expectations, commitment, and consistency.
Realistic Expectations for Your Goals
Where you are in your addiction recovery will change what type of goals you want to set for yourself. It’s important to remember that no one changes overnight. Changing your habits will take time so be patient with yourself. Your goal might be to connect more with peers in your community, to make amends to people who you may have hurt, or to reconnect with your family. Your goal could be to find a therapist who you like or enroll in a rehab center. In order to achieve your goal, it will be helpful to take the overall goal of your addiction recovery and break it down into smaller, achievable goals. This will allow you to keep track of the progress you’ve made, which in turn will help you be consistent and stay committed to your goal.
Commitment to Your Goal
Many people make resolutions for the new year in hopes of making positive changes because the new year presents itself as a blank slate, a restart. However, often people do not achieve their New Year’s resolutions because they aren’t committed to them. They make goals based on what they think they “should” be doing. Instead, it is important to evaluate what the best way is for you to achieve your goal. Setting realistic expectations will help you set goals that you can stay committed to. Remember that what works for someone else in their sobriety might not work for you, which is why there are professionals who can help you create a recovery plan unique to you and your life.
Being Consistent by Creating Habits
One of the most important parts of maintaining New Year’s resolutions are to be consistent by creating habits. The more regularly you practice healthy habits the easier they will become. Consistency will also help you see a bigger impact of your efforts. For example, you will see a bigger impact on your weight loss if you work out consistently rather than sporadically. You owe it to yourself to start over by creating new, healthy habits that will help you achieve your goals for recovery and your life.
The idea of a New Year’s resolution might make you feel pressured to make big, impossible changes in your life. Remember to break down your goals into small achievable chunks so you won’t be discouraged. Alta Loma is an addiction treatment center that can help you overcome substance use and make goals that you can commit to by making them a habit. Recovery takes time and requires you to constantly set new goals for yourself as you progress on your journey. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call Alta Loma at (866) 457-3843.