Has this ever happened to you? You get all excited about a New Year’s resolution, like exercising more or eating better, only to give up by the time February rolls around. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A recent study found that the average resolution lasts less than four months.
Given the not-so-great odds, you might be wondering if it’s even worth trying to make lasting changes. Let’s be real — it’s not a walk in the park to change your habits, but it can be done. And for those in recovery, setting New Year’s resolutions can be a fantastic way to support your commitment to staying sober.
In this article, we’ve put together a list of 9 New Year’s resolutions for recovery. We’re not saying you should tackle them all; just pick a few that resonate with you and dive in!
Ready to get sober in the new year? Contact La Fuente at 888.903.9898 to get started.
How to Stick to Your Recovery Resolutions
Let’s face it — most New Year’s resolutions end up falling by the wayside. Whether it’s a lack of motivation, getting caught up in busyness, or shifting priorities, there are all sorts of reasons why people struggle to stick with their resolutions.
But fear not! There are plenty of ways to up your chances of actually keeping your resolutions. Start by not going overboard with your goals. Instead of overwhelming yourself with a laundry list of changes, pick just one thing to focus on. Pour all your time and energy into that one goal.
For instance, if staying sober is your top priority, choose resolutions that not only align with your recovery but also help move it forward.
Once you’ve pinpointed your goals, use the SMART framework to flesh them out. SMART, which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, helps you add precision to your objectives.
As an example, instead of just saying you’ll exercise more, spell out the types of exercises, when you’ll do them, and for how long. Make sure the exercises are appropriate for your age, physical condition, and current fitness level. Keep an eye on your progress and jot down short-term goals to stay on course.
9 Realistic Resolutions for Recovery
Maintaining your sobriety calls for purposeful resolutions. In the upcoming section, you’ll find a curated list of 9 New Year’s resolutions for recovery tailored to reinforce your commitment.
1. Invest in personal development
Investing in personal development is like planting seeds for a better future. To make it happen, identify an area for improvement, such as managing anger or overcoming procrastination. Then, commit to simple actions like reading books or watching videos about your area of focus.
While small, this investment in self-betterment yields invaluable returns — more emotional intelligence, resilience, and overall well-being. Plus, it not only supports recovery but also paves the way for a more fulfilling and purposeful life.
2. Focus on your physical health
There’s a reason most New Year’s resolutions focus on physical health — without it, you can’t do any of the other things you want to do. With that in mind, get serious about your health this year. So, schedule those long-overdue medical appointments, join a gym, and throw away any junk food you’ve got lying around the house. Your body and mind will thank you.
Many relapses occur during periods of downtime, which is why articles, therapists, and recovery communities advise sober folks to use their extra time to help others. Volunteering not only fills gaps in your schedule but also provides a sense of purpose, encourages community engagement, and boosts self-esteem.
So, why wait? Consider tutoring local kids after school, walking shelter dogs, or doing landscaping work for your local senior center. Any effort to enhance your community is a valuable use of your time.
4. Connect with your spiritual side
Spirituality means something different for everyone, but regardless of what you believe in, getting in touch with a higher power is an incredible way to strengthen your recovery. It does so by helping you connect to something outside of yourself, improving your compassion, helping you find renewed purpose, and promoting mindfulness.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips:
- Check out meditation apps like Headspace, Calm, or Insight Timer
- Engage in mind-body practices like yoga, tai chi, or qigong
- Attend religious services at a mosque, church, synagogue, temple, or other place of worship
- Read spiritual books such as “The Power of Now,” “ 7 Spiritual Laws of Success,” “Peace is Every Step,” and “The Four Agreements”
5. Expand your recovery network
Isolation is one of the most common symptoms of active addiction, so those in recovery should do the exact opposite. By getting out of the house and talking to people with similar experiences, you’ll gain the support and motivation you need to maintain long-term sobriety.
There’s no right or wrong way to grow your sober circle. For instance, you can attend recovery meetings, become a sponsor, join a sober book club, follow sober influencers online, or blog about your experiences.
6. Start journaling
As simple as it sounds, spending 15 minutes journaling is one of the most powerful recovery tools. When you write, you’re forced to reflect on your day, ponder your thoughts and feelings, and get in touch with yourself. Moreover, journaling can help you make sense of difficult emotions or strong cravings. Finally, it’s an opportunity to practice gratitude and gain perspective on the challenges you’re facing.
7. Discover a new hobby
Active addiction is a huge time suck, so once you get sober, you’ll probably find yourself with all kinds of free time on your hands. Instead of just binge-watching Netflix or doomscrolling, find a few hobbies that allow you to disconnect and enjoy yourself.
Here are just a few of the hobbies you can start exploring:
- Learning a foreign language
- Playing an instrument
- Art (painting, drawing, pottery)
- Doing puzzles
8. Ask for help when you need it
Attempting to handle everything, especially as a newcomer to recovery, may be tempting. Yet, it’s neither realistic nor advisable. We all require assistance at times, so don’t hesitate to seek help when you need a ride, a comforting presence, or a peaceful afternoon to yourself.
9. Celebrate your successes
It’s common to get caught up in the momentum of pursuing your resolutions without taking a moment to reflect on your journey. But monitoring your progress over time is such a valuable habit. Not only does it enable you to reflect on what has worked and what hasn’t, but it also helps you see just how far you’ve come since setting your resolutions.
Start the New Year Off Right With La Fuente Hollywood
La Fuente Hollywood Treatment Center is a leading LGBTQ addiction treatment center located in beautiful Los Angeles, California. We’re happy to welcome you any time of year, but we’d be particularly pleased if you decided to kick off the new year with us, sober.
For more information about our treatment programs, call us at 888.903.9898.