The New Year is a time of reflection and change. For many, it marks a turning point and the opportunity for a fresh start toward personal progress and self-improvement. While resolutions vary from person to person, it comes as no surprise that sobriety is a common goal among people with a history of substance abuse and addiction. After all, addictive behaviors by nature are harmful and self-destructive. If not sobriety a person may decide to reduce the frequency and amounts that they consume.
If you have made the decision to reduce the amount of alcohol you drink, quit drinking, stop abusing drugs or put a halt to addictive or compulsive behaviors, we here at Recovery NOW applaud you. However, the journey will not be an easy one. While admitting to an addiction and making a resolution for sobriety is a start, it is not enough. That is why we are listing our top tips for achieving your New Year’s goals and making them stick.
- Make Goals that are Realistic and Reasonable
Your perceived achievement in reaching your goals is largely determinant upon how you define them. Setting narrow goals for yourself is a platform for disappointment regardless of what you are attempting to change or overcome. It is easy to become discouraged if you measure your success by the number of times you fall short. Instead, aim to recognize personal growth along the way. If your resolution is to drink less,stop drinking, or quit drug use for example, make goals that embrace your progress rather than highlight your failures. Remember, setbacks do not end the journey; they are merely a speed bump along the way.
- Announce Your Desire for Sobriety or Plans to Moderate Your Alcohol Use
Accountability plays an important role in the decision to make changes with any problem behavior. When you tell others about your resolution to overcome addiction, you face social pressure toward positive change rather than negative behaviors. It is also much more difficult to pick up old habits when you know you will have to answer for them.
- Embrace Change
Often, addictions and negative behaviors are facilitated by routine. Seemingly mundane activities can become associated with drugs, alcohol or addictive behaviors. Perhaps you spend every Friday night tossing back shots at the same bar with friends. If you start a new weekly habit instead, such as dance lessons or evenings at the movies, you engage your brain in new activities with no expectation of alcohol. Contrarily, continuing to visit the same old places while abstaining from alcohol could make you feel like something is missing from your life.
Whether your goal is a new sober lifestyle or reducing your alcohol use, consider making many changes to your routine. It may help to wake up at a different time, read new books, take a different route to work, go to the gym, eat lunch with non-drinkers, and even pick up new hobbies.
4 Find Support
It can be encouraging to listen to and talk with people who are on the same path as you are. The people you meet in 12 step support groups and other recovery support groups can help encourage you when temptation becomes overwhelming and also serve as a catalyst for pursuing your aspirations. Likewise, it may also be necessary to avoid associating with old friends or acquaintances who are not sober or who otherwise pose a hindrance to your own sobriety or goal of moderating your alcohol use. Surround yourself with people who support you, and avoid those who don’t.
- Seek Professional Help
Finding professional help is one of the most important steps you can take toward overcoming addiction and reducing the risk of relapse or encouraging a goal of moderation. Substance abuse and addiction recovery programs can provide the intensive help you need to jump-start your sobriety. Professional therapists walk you through psychotherapeutic processes that help you identify the source of negative thinking and change the behaviors it is responsible for. You will walk away with a better understanding of yourself and the motivating factors that have driven your drug and/or alcohol use. You will also gain the keys to managing your stress and establish the foundation for a healthy future.
With the New Year in full swing, there is no better time than now to face the addictions that have held you back for so long. If you are ready to make this the year you embrace healthy, balanced living contact our team here at Recovery NOW. From substance abuse and eating disorders to love and sex addiction, we have the resources necessary to help you make 2016 the year of a new you. Call us today for more information. We look forward to serving you soon.