Resolutions have never been easy. Sticking to your word for 365 days of the year is difficult, and can be especially difficult if your resolution concerns changing a habit or behavior caused by addiction. Recovery takes time, effort, and a lot of perseverance. It’s not so simple as making a statement. Sometimes even, a great ambitious resolution can result in stress.
Instead of one single resolution for recovery, e.g. “I resolve to live freely without a reliance on drugs or alcohol this year,” you may want to create supporting resolutions that can help you along the way in overcoming an addiction. Practical supporting resolutions can be more achievable and maintainable, and may help if you start to return to old habits.
6 Resolutions in Recovery
If you feel you should make some resolutions to start the new year, these small and realistic resolutions may be for you:
1. Try something new
Out with the old, and in with the new. This year, try seeking out new opportunities and experiences to help you break away from old habits. Maybe you want to try engaging in a new and healthy activity or hobby, like painting, cycling, or reading. Immersing yourself in a new experience can be difficult (you won’t be an expert right away), but it also gives you a chance to meet new people and find a new talent. Challenge yourself to make this change, and you might discover your new passion.
2. Focus on positivity
Enter the new year with a focus on a positive attitude, and try to spread that positivity to others. It’s easy to let negative thoughts and emotions take over, especially if you start beating yourself up over past mistakes. Forgive yourself and focus on positive thoughts, words, and actions. If you start to feel down, you may find that choosing a positive mantra to focus on can help you stay on the positive side.
3. Treat your body kindly
Getting exercise and being active is probably what comes to mind when reading this resolution, however, that’s not the only way to treat your body kindly. Maybe you resolve to eat three full meals a day or to allow yourself a full eight hours of sleep at night. Giving your body the respect and care that it deserves is what’s important here. If you don’t regularly exercise, you don’t need to force a drastic change. Simply taking a long walk or stretching out on a yoga mat can make a huge difference for your physical wellbeing.
4. Accept help from others
In the new year, you cannot be afraid to lean on your family, friends, and support system for help when you need it. Take the time to find a special group of people that you know you can rely on, and don’t push them away. Even if they do not entirely understand what you’re going through (and some of them may very well understand), you should resolve to be open in welcoming their support. Allow yourself to confide in them, or push yourself to reach out and communicate with the people around you.
5. Take responsibility
One of the first steps in taking control of your life is to take responsibility for your words and actions. It’s true that you (and only you) are in control of your intentions and your actions. You must understand that your decisions (and their consequences) are a result of your own doing. Be ready to stop blaming others for your current situation, and resolve to be a good actor and decision-maker. You are responsible for where you are and where you’re going– use that responsibility as an opportunity to do something great or make a change.
6. Reflect on the good stuff
Taking the time to be grateful for the good things in your life can have a tremendous impact on your outlook. Journaling is a wonderful method of reflection and can help you sort through your thoughts to reflect on the good things in your life. Maybe you will resolve to take note of your daily gratitudes and the end of each day. Even writing down the situations that upset you or frustrated you can help you reflect and turn the situation around to a positive.
Making your Resolutions a Reality
Always remember that addiction is a disease and that without additional support and treatment, you may have a very difficult time recovering based on your willpower alone. The unhealthy behaviors caused by addiction develop over a long period of time, and they do not disappear any quicker than they are created. It takes time to change your habits completely, so remember to be patient with yourself and seek out the support systems and treatment that is necessary.
At MHAB, you can find all of the resources you need for a strong support system. Join online meetings daily, or stop by the All Ways to Recovery center on campus to get support. If you need housing or want to join a community in recovery, the MHAB Life Skills Campus is a wonderful place to start. We provide services through our partner organizations that may help you reach your resolutions and goals.
With the start of the new year, now is the time to help yourself. Contact us at MHAB and we’ll help you create a path to change your life.