Many can agree that 2020 was a whirlwind of a year.
Between a pandemic, elections, and just the basic ups and downs of everyday life, last year definitely gave us a run for our money. But this year can be different. If you’ve achieved sobriety, especially in the midst of 2020, then congratulations! You’ve completed an amazing goal. As the new year unfolds, you may want to continue progressing in your recovery journey. Fortunately, the staff at our drug and alcohol treatment center in California has offered some realistic addiction recovery goals for the New Year that will keep you motivated until 2022.
How to Set New Year’s Resolutions for Addiction Recovery That Work
While most people make resolutions at the beginning of each year, this process can be especially important for someone who wants to learn how to stay motivated in recovery throughout the whole of 2021. One of the best ways to set up solid New Year’s resolutions in recovery is by using the S.M.A.R.T. acronym.
The SMART goals framework:
Specific: Choosing the specific outcome you want to achieve
Measurable: Finding a way to consistently measure your progress
Action-Oriented: Making sure there are active steps you can take to achieve your goals and decide which ones they are
Realistic: Making sure these goals are appropriate and obtainable for the position you’re in regarding your recovery
Timely: Similar to the “measurable” step, be sure that you set up specific deadlines that keep you accountable
If you’ve been in a residential treatment program like the one we offer at Banyan Treatment Centers Palm Springs, then you may understand the importance of accountability in recovery. Not only does the SMART goals framework give you a guideline that you can follow, but it also emphasizes the importance of taking responsibility for your actions. At the end of the day, New Year’s resolutions for people in recovery are meant to focus on the individual’s needs and what they need to work on in order to sustain their sobriety. The more organized you are in your plan, the less room you leave for distractions.
10 Realistic Addiction Recovery Goals for the New Year
- I will take up a new sober hobby. A big part of being in addiction recovery is finding new things you can do for fun that don’t involve drugs or alcohol or remind you of your past addiction. You can attend cooking classes, begin painting, learn a new language, or take up some piano lessons. Regardless of what you choose, be sure it steers you away from past behaviors and encourages growth.
- I will write in my journal at least once a day, every day. Keeping a journal is often recommended to people in recovery. It’s an excellent way to help people manage any thoughts or emotions that may otherwise cause distress. It’s also a great way to identify addiction cravings and the best ways to handle them.
- I will read for at least 30 minutes every day. Reading is a great way to disconnect from the stressors of everyday life and there’s always something new to learn. Whether it’s a fictional tale that takes you to another world or an informational read, reading for at least 30 minutes daily is a great way to exercise the mind and disconnect for a bit. You can even begin reading spiritual books for inner growth and healing.
- I will ask for help in times of need. Addiction recovery is not about testing your will. Addiction is a chronic disease that requires consistency and support. If you’re feeling the urge to use again or feel overwhelmed by a stressful situation, call your sponsor or a loved one. If you don’t have a way to get to the next group meeting, ask a friend for a ride. Asking for help may make you feel vulnerable at times, but it’s an essential part of recovery.
- I will exercise for at least 30 minutes on a daily basis. Exercise releases endorphins, boosts your mood, keeps your heart healthy, and helps you manage stress. It also requires a certain level of discipline that can help you in other areas of your recovery. Be sure to stay active for at least 30 minutes a day, every day.
- I will look for solutions rather than be critical of my failures. It’s easy to be hard on yourself when you make a mistake. You may feel ashamed for even thinking about using again, but it’s normal. Especially in the early stages of recovery, there are certain habits that you have to unlearn. It’s all part of the process. Instead of beating yourself up about any mistakes you’ve made, figure out how to avoid them in the future.
- I will have a self-care day at least once a week. Self-care is just as important as your daily exercise or journaling. Pick a day when you set time aside for doing things that help you unwind and allow your mind to rest. This may be a bubble bath, reading, getting a haircut, taking a walk, and so on. Self-care keeps your mental health in a good place.
- I will find healthy ways to cope with addiction triggers. Addiction triggers refer to things, people, or places that give you the urge to use again. One of the first things people do when they complete a drug or alcohol addiction treatment is discover what their addiction triggers are and how to cope with them. As time progresses, your triggers may change. That’s why it’s important to find new ways to properly cope with your triggers of the new year.
- I will volunteer at least once a month. Volunteering is a selfless act that benefits your mental health and allows you to serve others. If you’re in addiction recovery, you may understand the importance of support. Setting aside time to volunteer at least once a month separates you from the typical routine and allows you to serve others.
- I will perform at least one random act of kindness every day. Although kindness should be continuously given, it can be easy to become consumed with daily responsibilities. Consciously decide to perform at least one random act of kindness daily. You may be surprised at how much you’ll receive when you give.
While these addiction recovery goals for the new year are realistic, no one guarantees that they’re easy. Anything worth accomplishing requires effort, and that’s what you should expect going into 2021 with these resolutions.
If you or someone you know is looking to begin their recovery journey but doesn’t know how, call Banyan Palm Springs today at 888-280-4763 to learn how we can help you.