When the clock strikes midnight on January 1, many people take time to reflect on their lives and set “resolutions” to become better in the coming year. For someone who is overcoming drug or alcohol addiction, this might be a time when you resolve to face your addiction or continue on your path to sobriety. If you have set and failed at New Year’s resolutions in the past, you’re certainly not alone, but there are some things you can focus on this year that might make your path to recovery a little bit easier.
If you’ve ever attended a self-help workshop or read a book on how to achieve your dreams, you probably heard about how you need to think big. The problem with this approach when it comes to significant life changes is that if the goal is too big, you are far more likely to give up. Think about all the times you have resolved to lose 50 pounds, or organize your entire house; you probably started out strong, only to become overwhelmed with the enormity of what you were trying to achieve and instead fell back into your old habits and never achieved your goal.
Addiction recover is no different. Instead of setting huge or unattainable goals, instead focus on smaller and more manageable goals. Focus on each day as it comes, and find small things you can do to help you on the path to recovery, such as avoiding a specific type of situation that you know might trigger the desire to relapse.
Our bodies are wired for habits, and while some habits might seem small and insignificant, the continual application of these habits eventually becomes ingrained in our daily behaviors. The same is true for addiction recovery. By consistently applying small positive changes and using the tools that you learn from addiction recovery programs, you will gradually reduce the desire to use drugs or alcohol and instead replace it with healthy and constructive behaviors. You’ll notice over time that the addiction loses its grip, but like anything that you want to become a habit, this only happens if you are consistent in implementing positive changes.
Reach Out to Others
There are very few people who have success overcoming addiction on their own. If you are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction and you’ve been trying to hide it from your friends and loved ones, thinking you could manage it by yourself, resolve to reach out for help this year. That might mean finding an inpatient or outpatient recovery program, joining a support group, finding a mentor, or all of the above, but it helps to have someone who you can talk to when you are struggling to overcome your cravings and you’re at risk of falling back into destructive behaviors.
This is the year for you to make the changes you know you need to make to overcome addiction. Set resolutions that can help move you in the right direction in 2017 and break free from your addiction once and for all.