Welcome to 2020! It is our hope that you were able to successfully ring in the new year without compromising your sobriety. This time of year is exciting because it serves as a built-in reset button for personal development, which many people take advantage of in the form of resolutions and lifestyle changes.
It’s no secret that your recovery requires constant attention; resolving to make positive changes in your life can make all the difference in your health and happiness. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite recovery-focused, goal-setting tips for the new year. Read on to learn what to prioritize in the days ahead.
Set Goals for the New Year
The first step to success in 2020 is to identify opportunities for personal growth. Rather than conducting an inventory and thinking of yourself as a problem that needs to be solved, instead consider which areas of yourself you would like to strengthen in the new year. For example, do you struggle with anxiety or depression? Make a plan to seek treatment or new coping mechanisms to manage your negative feelings. If you’re frustrated in your career, create a strategy for how you can transition into a new role. Above all else, think about ways to prioritize your recovery in the days and months ahead. Put an emphasis on self-care or decide to try a new 12-Step meeting. The options are limitless!
Involve Your Friends and Loved Ones
As the saying goes, “No one does it alone.” It can be tempting to make your recovery a solitary endeavor, but involving friends and family in your efforts is vital to lasting sobriety. First, you’ll cultivate an atmosphere of accountability; if you bring your loved ones to meetings or therapy appointments, they will see that you are on track. Additionally, they may challenge their own relationships with addiction and substance use as a result of experiencing recovery services. Asking others to walk on this journey with you can be an extremely positive experience.
(Re)Work the Steps
If you’re in recovery, you’re probably familiar with the 12 Steps. The program can be an essential resource for those in early sobriety, but it also holds merit for those who would like to revitalize their recovery. Some of you may have already completed this process, but months or years have passed since that time. In the new year, consider going back and repeating the 12 Steps. Spend longer on steps that were difficult for you in the past, and involve yourself in groups that emphasize 12-Step philosophies. With some dedication, you’ll see great rewards.
In the dark winter months (particularly in the Pacific Northwest), it can be challenging to maintain a sunny disposition. Instead of enduring the cold days ahead, strive to create your own sunshine. This can take several forms.
- Surround yourself with positive media and avoid negative, upsetting content. This can make a large difference in your mood on a daily basis.
- Slowly modify your social calendar so that you’re spending more time with people who build you up, and less time with those who use your get-togethers to complain or criticize.
- Keep a gratitude journal. This tip is common because it works – studies show that putting a daily emphasis on what you’re thankful for can significantly boost your mental health.
- Get an endorphin boost through exercise. You don’t have to run for miles on a treadmill to reap the benefits of consistent physical activity. Practice yoga with a YouTube video, attend a group fitness dance class, or walk through a local park. Whatever works for you!
Ask for Help When You Need It
After you’ve begun the process of recovery, you may be reluctant to continue asking for help from friends and loved ones. Resist the urge to isolate yourself when times are tough. If you need financial support or assistance around the house, don’t hesitate to reach out to those who are nearby. Others are happy to empathize and step in when you need them, and it creates an opportunity for you to return the favor when they’re feeling down.
Resolve to Recover in the New Year
Recovery isn’t always a linear process – you may experience setbacks or require a renewal of your values. If this sounds familiar, we encourage you to kick off the new year by reaching out to Lakeside-Milam. Our friendly, credentialed staff will help you to set achievable recovery goals for 2020. Contact us to learn more about our addiction treatment services for residents of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.