Resolutions tend to fall by the wayside pretty quickly into the new year, which is why it’s so important to set detailed goals and have a well-thought-out plan for how to accomplish them. Here are five recovery resolutions that you can make in the new year.
1. Set Boundaries and Remove Toxicity
In our Staying Healthy in Recovery series, we discussed in great depth how setting healthy boundaries and removing toxic people from your everyday life can be extremely beneficial in recovery. In the new year, make it a point to set physical, mental, and emotional boundaries with the people in your life. Let your loved ones know about these boundaries and that you’re going to be firm with them in order to pursue a healthy, happy life free of addiction.
A new year is also the perfect time to take an inventory of everyone in your circle and see if your relationship with them is equal. Toxic people can easily bring you down and put you in situations that can be harmful to your recovery. This year, take a close look at the people who are supportive of your recovery, and cut out people who aren’t.
2. Find Healthy Alternatives to Stay Busy
If you’re early on in your recovery, you may still feel the void that addiction once filled in your life. In the new year, take the time to discover new, beneficial ways to spend your time. This could mean picking up boxing, learning how to cook homemade meals, taking a pottery class, or any other number of hobbies that can keep you busy and give your brain a productive way to pass the time. Learning new things is a rewarding experience that gives you a reason to take pride in yourself.
3. Communicate Better
Communication is the key to every successful relationship and improving it with those you care about should always be the goal. Opening up about your struggles to the people who are close to you will help lessen the burden on yourself and give them an opportunity to help you through it. However, this only works if you can communicate your struggles to them. Throughout the year, work on sharing with your loved ones both the victories and the disappointments you’re going through, and allow them to help, comfort, and celebrate with you.
4. Properly Manage Stress
Stressful situations are one of the main reasons people relapse, so maintaining a tight grip on the causes of your stress and stockpiling an arsenal of healthy coping mechanisms is imperative to recovery. This year, work on identifying and acknowledging the cause of your stress. Whether you do that on your own or with a counselor, finding the root cause of your issues is the first step in figuring out how to weaken them.
After recognizing your stressors, actively work on either avoiding them or finding healthy coping mechanisms. Share your hardships with your loved ones, try meditation or breathing exercises to clear your mind, exercise regularly, take steps to alleviate the issues before they pile up on you. There are many healthy and productive ways to alleviate your stress. Try different techniques and figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle.
5. Attend Meetings and Work Toward Completing the Steps
People often stop attending their meetings and working toward completing the steps on their own when they believe they’re in control of their recovery. Regularly missing meetings can lead to a host of issues—including relapse—and sometimes the consequences will include the loss of a great support system right when you need it most. This year, make it a point to attend at least one meeting a week and constantly work on completing the 12 steps of recovery. Recovery is a lifelong endeavor and having a goal and a solid support system of people who have gone through similar situations is imperative.
Recovery resolutions don’t have to be put in place on January 1st. Recovery is a lifestyle, and you can start anew and focus on new goals at any time of the year. The new year is a great time, however, to take stock of your life, reexamine your goals and aspirations, and recalibrate your behaviors to make sure you’re reaching them.
If you need help sticking to your recovery resolutions this year, get in touch with us. We would love to help you overcome your addiction and encourage you to live a healthy and joyful life in long-term recovery.