January 3, 2014
The new year is fast approaching, and if you are like millions of people around the world it means making plans for a fresh start in your life. If you are like many people, you often engage in the ritual of making New Year’s resolutions. While making resolutions can fill us with hope, they often get left by the wayside in short order or are completely forgotten once January 1 comes and goes. It is estimated that 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, yet only 8 percent actually achieve these goals.
If you are in recovery from substance abuse, you can utilize this concept to your advantage–as long as you approach it with great thought and compassion. The following are some basic yet essential ways that you can approach New Year resolutions and create a winning game plan that fosters success and allows you to celebrate all of your achievements.
Before You Start Making Your Resolutions…
The most important tip in making and ultimately keeping your New Year’s Resolutions is to plan in advance. For those who attempt at making resolutions, they often operate under the romantic notion they experience a revelation like a lightning bolt out of the blue sky and decide they are going to change for the better on the spot. While there is no doubt that it could happen on occasion, those who successfully stick to their New Year’s goals have a definite plan of action and they think about it at length before New Year’s Eve at 11:59 pm. It is an absolute must that you take adequate time and thoroughly analyze your life. Examine what you really need to change and improve and be sure to write them down.
It is also highly advisable that you focus on one resolution at a time. In the spirit of the new year, many people decide they want to change multiple things in their lives and they want to change it right now. While it is understandable, it is much easier to focus on one particular thing that you want to change about yourself and come up with a gameplan that can address that particular need. Once you accomplish that one goal, you will find that other resolutions and goals will become much easier to obtain.
Essential Tips in Making and Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions
When you are ready to start making your New Year’s resolutions, it is best to think of it an a process which involves several steps. Each step is important and needs to be successfully completed before you move on to the next one. Again, it is important to thoroughly think your resolutions through and approach the process with great care. The following essential tips will help you make your resolution making more successful:
Keep it Simple
The biggest mistake that people make when drafting their New Year’s resolutions is they tend to make them too elaborate and complex. Those who are successful in keeping their resolutions live by the motto keep it simple. For example, instead of saying “I am going to completely master the French language”, make a more basic resolution such as “This year, I am going to learn to hold a basic conversation in French”. Simple resolutions are easier to imagine, plan for, and attain. Again, choose one or maybe two resolutions that you can keep.
Keep it Specific
Once you have a resolution framed in its’ more simple terms, you must make it as specific as possible. Instead of saying “I am going to start a weightlifting program this year”, say something along the lines of “I will find a trainer and commit to a weightlifting program for three days a week”. When you add details, you are giving your plan much needed direction and focus. Record your progress, and if you fall off the pace forgive yourself and start again.
Keep it Attainable
For those who are successful in attaining their New Year’s goals, they are able to do so because they keep their goals realistic and attainable. While making the resolution to run a marathon is great or getting a college degree are great resolutions, you won’t be able to accomplish these overnight. Instead of saying “I am going to get my college degree”, say something to the effect of “I will register for college and complete my basic requirements.” It takes great patience to work towards your goals; enjoy the journey!
Break it Down into Steps and Create a Schedule
To keep your New Year’s resolution, it is mandatory that you create a plan that illustrates in detail how you’ll address each stage of the process required for attaining your goal of sticking to a resolution. By breaking it into weekly and monthly goals, it helps to keep you on track and focused. Additionally, it is also highly recommended that you create a schedule that gives you a visual representation of what these goals look like.
To help motivate you to achieve your resolutions, you want to enlist the help of supportive people in your plan. If they want to join you in your resolution, all the better. Sometimes you can find an online group that’s is working towards the same goal.
Celebrate Your Victories
Whenever you reach a goal or milestone on your journey to achieve a bigger goal, take time to celebrate your successes–no matter how small. You have taken the steps needed to work towards your resolution, and the reality is that you are getting farther along than many others who consistently make and break their resolutions!
Make Sobriety Part of Your New Year’s Resolution
Are you struggling with drug and alcohol addiction? Are you ready to make the commitment to get healthier, happier and sober? If you have answered yes to both of those questions you need to pick up the phone at call Ocean Breeze Recovery Center. We offer effective drug treatment programming that is proven to work, and our experienced staff utilizes the best in traditional and holistic therapy and treatment techniques to create an individual treatment plan that will address your specific needs.