It’s almost the New Year. New Year’s Resolutions are the worst, right? You decide you will lose a significant amount of weight or will join (and go to) a gym or will spend less time on social media and spend the time you save writing personal notes that you will send through the actual mail. Or something.
Whatever the resolution might be, most of time we set an unrealistic goal—a complete change in diet in an attempt to drop lots of weight fast, joining (and going to) a gym when you know you hate the gym, a commitment to crafting and sending handwritten notes when, truthfully, you don’t even know how much a stamp costs anymore—and then feel disappointed and foolish when we can’t stick with our lofty intentions for very long.
But there is another approach to resolutions that has a better chance of success. Let’s take a look at a more practical way to pursue your goals—whether you decide to get started on January 1 or on any other date of your choosing (after all, the calendar is not the boss of you).
First Things First: Resolve to Stay Sober
Before we consider other kinds of resolutions or goals you might set for yourself, we want to remind you of something that might seem obvious but can be all too easy to forget. Your number one goal—not just in the new year, but all of the time—is to stay sober.
As a result of that underlying priority, you will want to make sure that other goals you set are in keeping with that overall resolution. In other words, each of your goals should support your sobriety.
Next: Set Goals Related to Your Physical and Mental Well-being
Physical health and mental health are intertwined—and both support your sobriety. So, resolutions and goals that serve either are excellent choices for someone in recovery from a substance use disorder.
The thing to remember, as we have noted, is that setting achievable goals that do not require a huge and unsustainable change in your day-to-day life is the most promising path to success. Your physical health and mental health goals might include:
- Deciding to replace your afternoon coffee with decaf so that you will have less difficulty falling asleep at night.
- Replacing your morning donut with something more likely to give you energy for the morning like eggs, or cereal or oatmeal with berries.
- Taking a break each morning and each afternoon to take a short walk—just 10 or 15 minutes—to clear your head and get some additional activity into your day.
- Adopting a mental health practice like keeping a gratitude journal or practicing mindfulness that takes only a few minutes of the day but can provide significant benefits.
- Discovering (or rediscovering) a hobby that you find enjoyable that can provide a break from daily stress—and setting aside time to engage with that hobby.
Those are just five ideas out of many you might choose from, and we want to be clear that you don’t necessarily need to pursue all of them. Picking one or two small changes that support your health and your sobriety can make a big difference. And once those resolutions become habits, you may be well positioned to add another goal or resolution to your ongoing efforts to support your sobriety.
Our Goal is Always the Same: To Help You Get (and Stay) Sober
Don’t wait for the calendar to flip to the new year before you resolve to regain your sobriety. The best moment to pursue sobriety is always right now. At Wooded Glen Recovery Center in Indiana, our goal is simple and straightforward: We help people who are struggling with drugs or alcohol work their way back to sobriety—and then we provide the resources, strategies, and support that can help you maintain that sobriety over time.
In addition, we can address any co-occurring mental health disorders—like anxiety, trauma-induced issues, or depression—that might be part of your experience. Mental health disorders can contribute to a substance use disorder, can be worsened by a substance use disorder, or some combination of the two. Our robust rehabilitation program includes group and individual therapy and will support both your mental health and your hard-won sobriety.
As we have said, sobriety is the most important resolution of all. We can help you reach that goal.