New Year’s is a time for new beginnings and putting the past behind us to start out on a better journey. Many people take advantage of the symbolic fresh start of the holiday to make resolutions for improving themselves or some other aspect of their lives. Part of doing so includes taking stock of the both the good and bad of the past year and being grateful for all the things we had.
Many recovering addicts and alcoholics may feel that making a resolution isn’t really necessary. If all is going well with recovery, gratitude, a commitment to self improvement, and taking responsibility for the past are all being addressed. This doesn’t mean that making a resolution is completely out of the picture though. New Year’s can be a great opportunity for someone in recovery to find a goal they want to focus on in the coming year. Many believe that making a resolution is a good omen for the new year.
It’s a good idea though to follow a few guidelines when making a resolution when you’re in recovery. Make sure that the one you make will end up making you happy in the long run, and that it is something realistic and attainable.
1. Choose something simple.
Making a resolution that’s pretty simple and focuses on a specific thing is a good idea because it makes it more likely to be successful. You can decide to focus on one thing about yourself or your habits that you want to change, or a situation in your life that is no longer working for you. Even though we may remind ourselves that certain things need to change throughout the year, New Year’s is a good time to focus on one area that needs attention the most. It can be difficult to keep a resolution simple, especially if it’s a habit. By deciding to do just one thing to work toward your goal, you stay focused and prevent things from getting too overwhelming.
2. Remember to be realistic.
Many people make the mistake of setting resolutions that involve radical changes. These are also the same people who find themselves failing to keep their resolution weeks later. Choose a resolution that you know is possible to achieve. You’ll have a greater chance of succeeding and will feel better about yourself in the long run.
3. Make a plan.
Making a rough outline of how you hope to achieve your goal is another important step. Remember to keep the previous guidelines in mind when planning your goal. It’s also a good idea to keep your mind on the present, rather than worrying about what might go wrong in the future. Taking small steps is always a good way to accomplish bigger goals.
4. Be kind to yourself.
Too many people make their resolutions out of frustration, sadness, or anger. They may be extra hard on themselves when it comes to making their goals happen or when things don’t go as planned. Remember that no one is perfect, so if things don’t work out or you find your resolution falling back on your list of priorities, don’t beat yourself up for it. Your year can still turn out to be a good one and you can make other dreams a reality. If your original resolution doesn’t pan out, you can instead resolve to be kinder to yourself and accept yourself just the way you are.