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Making New Year’s Resolutions While in Early Recovery

Setting New Year’s resolutions is an annual tradition for many people worldwide. However, while it’s easy to create goals, it’s more challenging to make new habits stick for the long term. If you don’t set specific, realistically attainable resolutions, you could be positioning yourself to kick off 2021 feeling disappointed in yourself. 

New Year’s resolutions are especially vital for people in early recovery from substance use disorders and any co-occurring mental health issues. Here are some examples of goals you can aim for as this brand-new year begins.

1. Strengthen Your Sober Support Network

Recovery can’t happen in a vacuum. You’ll need to surround yourself with people who understand your goals and your unique journey, and ensure they’re available for you to call on when you need them. Some days, the ups and downs of navigating your new sober lifestyle might feel like an uphill battle, and you’ll want to have a compassionate team you can rely on. Any new friends you’ve met during your treatment program or in your recovery group could be a crucial part of helping you accomplish this New Year’s resolution.

2. Find New Ways to Stay Active

Monotony is an enemy for people in early recovery because it could make you vulnerable to a relapse. You will need to seek healthy hobbies and fill your free time with self-care activities like exercise and meditation. Picking up a new leisure activity or rekindling your spark for an old one is a valuable resolution to make because your healthful habits can bust boredom and give you something to look forward to every day.

3. Accept Mistakes as Learning Opportunities

It’s inevitable that you’ll encounter pitfalls and obstacles on your road to recovery. The sooner you acknowledge that the path to your new, sober lifestyle will have some twists and turns, the better off you’ll be. Your response to setbacks can help define your resilience. Instead of beating yourself up and giving in to your harsh inner critic, take a deep breath and remind yourself you’re only human. This year, resolve to embrace mistakes for what they can teach you, instead of berating yourself for making them. Along the way, don’t forget to celebrate your successes – no matter how small.

4. Ask for Help When You Need It

Addiction is a chronic disease, not a weakness or moral failing. Have your therapist or recovery sponsor on speed-dial for days when your cravings feel overwhelming or you’re dealing with complex emotions. If you find your motivation flagging to put in the necessary work of going to group meetings or repairing damaged relationships, reach out to people who can remind you why this effort is essential to your recovery process and inspire you to stay engaged.

Evidence-Based Long-Term Treatment

At Spearhead Lodge, we provide exemplary care to young men who need help breaking the chains of substance abuse and discovering their new purpose in life. We invite you to contact us when you’re ready to learn more about our approach.