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Picking the Right Resolution for Your Recovery

resolutionsThe start of a new year is a great time to set new goals and try new things – and New Year’s resolutions can help you do just that. The tricky part, however, is making sure that you don’t set yourself up for disappointment and/or failure. In other words, you need to avoid self-made promises that are too lofty, too vague or too unattainable.

Think of it this way: The right resolution should boost your motivation and confidence and keep you inspired on your journey toward sobriety.

Some examples:

  • Resolve to try a new hobby.
  • Resolve to try a new 12-step meeting.
  • Resolve to meditate or try a new relaxation strategy.
  • Resolve to make one positive lifestyle change.
  • Resolve to give back.
  • Resolve to practice self-love.
  • Resolve to seek out inspiration.

Make a Resolution Work for You
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when picking a resolution that’s right for you and your recovery:

  • Pick goals that are meaningful. It’s much easier to follow through with and stick with a goal that you’re passionate about. Ask yourself: “Is this a goal that really matters to me? Am I making it for the right reasons?” “If you do it out of the sense of self-hate or remorse or a strong passion in the moment, it doesn’t usually last long,” Dr. Michael Bennett, a psychiatrist and co-author of two self-help books, told The New York Times. “But if you build up a process where you’re thinking harder about what’s good for you, you’re changing the structure of your life, you’re bringing people in your life who will reinforce that resolution, then I think you have a fighting chance.”
  • Think in small steps. If your end goal is to be active five days per week, start by making a commitment to move just two days per week. And switch up activities so you don’t burn out. For example, vary your routine to include walking, weights, hiking, biking, dancing, Pilates or just playing in the park.
  • Celebrate your progress. Just like you celebrate small recovery wins, do the same with your resolutions. So, if your goal is to be kinder to yourself, be sure to pat yourself on the back the next time you stop yourself from negative self-talk like “I’ll never be able to do this.”
  • Share your goal: Telling a trusted friend or loved one about your resolution can benefit you in two ways. For one, it can help you stay accountable. You’ll also have someone who will encourage you if you slip-up with your resolution.

Some additional guidelines for choosing a resolution that sticks:

  • Resolutions should be S.M.A.R.T. – which is an acronym for specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-bound.
  • Resolutions are goals for the year not for the next month – so don’t try to cram it all in.
  • Resolutions should focus on positive healthy behaviors rather than the absence of negative behaviors.
  • Resolutions are made up of steps forward and can be adjusted as you move along.
  • Resolutions can be an extension of your recovery, so consider building upon what you’ve already learned.

Just like everyone’s recovery is a personal journey, so are resolutions. Take some time to figure out what self-improvement pledge will work for you. And don’t be afraid to ask for help reaching your lifestyle and recovery goals in the new year. Wishing you a sober and fulfilling 2018!

Resolve to Get Help
The new year is the perfect time to get the help you need to recover from addiction and get your life back. Or, encourage a loved one to seek help for a substance use disorder or mental health disorder. To learn about our programs, call today: 305-595-7378.

Family Recovery Specialists offers adolescent and adult substance abuse counselors, treatment and consulting in Miami.

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*** This program is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families to provide substance abuse services in Miami, FL.

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