Making A Resolution To Kick Addiction

Resolution To Kick Addiction | Transcend Texas

While we’re still in the holiday season, the new year is drawing near – and to many, this is a reason to celebrate a meaningful ending to the year. With a new year come new opportunities, new possibilities, and a fresh start to something possibly much better after you kick addiction.

Of course, with these hopes come expectations, and with them, the distant yet noticeable anxiety of failure. Failure to be successful – especially at something life-changing – is a profound fear for many when stepping into the new year, and it’s an attitude like this that hinders progress and contributes to missteps.

Avoiding these feelings isn’t as easy as simply identifying them – you need to make peace with them, and find a way to breathe both optimism and a better chance into your new year – and carry that all way to next December, and far beyond.

It won’t be easy, but if approached the right way, you can take this New Year’s Day to be the occasion you need to finally kick addiction for good, and turn your back to an old chapter in your life, one full of learning experiences and painful moments.


Why Make A New Year’s Resolution To Kick Addiction?

People make new year’s resolutions for the simple reason that a new year is a clear-cut end and beginning – a fold in a person’s life, the time when it’s easiest to leg go of something old and dedicate yourself to something new.

It’s not just about looking forward to a new future, though. The New Year’s celebration is about the past, the present, and the future. All moments in time are considered when the new year draws close, and each for vastly distinct reasons.

First, the past. The end of a year is a time for reflection, when we can look back and think on what we did and what we didn’t do, and consider carefully what should be done going forward. It’s important to look to the past for guidance – but not to regret, or daydream of different circumstances and outcomes. What has happened, has happened – but you can change the outcomes you dislike by taking the initiative in the future.

It’s at this point that the new year offers us an opportunity to think about what we should do, and how we might do it. It’s a time for new plans, for new commitments and for new resolutions. A time when we can set ourselves up to the task of becoming better and kick addiction.

But to do so, we must time it just right. And that’s why we focus so much on the present during the new year, counting every second, living and breathing in that moment, savoring the countdown to a new year, and the beginning of a journey to a new you.


Don’t Announce It To Everyone

Announcing your goals to everyone can rob you of the satisfaction of having completed them. While it’s not nearly the same thing in any reasonable sense, it feels similar – to gain the approval of having decided to start bettering yourself, and then receiving recognition and support for that decision, can rob you of the feeling of achievement you would gain if you first worked a substantial amount towards achieving your goal to kick addiction before coming out with it.

When your goal is to kick addiction, you might not want to announce it anyways. However, that does not mean you should simply keep it a secret. Make it known to your family and close friends that you’re going to kick addiction, and that you will need their support – this means not taking drugs/drinking around you, and it’ll mean helping you stay away from a potential relapse.

If you’re supplementing your recovery with other goals – fitness goals, for example, can be extremely conducive to recovery, and can promote a great general feeling of happiness, self-appreciation and confidence – then try and work your way to creating a solid habit before you tell others about what you have been doing. The same goes for learning new languages, or playing an instrument. The rewarding feeling of recognition for a modicum of skill will help you keep going – while revealing the goal too early will rob you.


Create Short-Term Goals

A recovery journey lasts decades, and takes you to emotional places you may never have been before. Therefore, people often congratulate themselves with commemorative objects or events, to help them stay positive and reward them for, say, an extra month without booze or alcohol.

Create short-term goals for yourself that are like this, like giving up smoking or drinking for a month, or dealing with a conflict without resorting to a drug, or even finding an alternative way to work off stress.

Again, the same applies for any other commitments you may have made to improve your life this upcoming new year – by setting smaller goals for yourself, the overall goal will not seem so tremendously far away, and you’ll be able to reward yourself with a feeling of satisfaction every time you draw a little closer to your bigger, more challenging goal posts.


Be Prepared For A Long Journey Ahead

While a new year’s resolution is often a commitment to make a substantial change, some people take the opportunity to challenge themselves to do something different this year – be it learn an instrument, a new language, or a new craft.

But recovery is more than a habit you pick up for a few months, or a few years. It’ll be something you take with you for the rest of your life – and, if everything goes well, it’ll be a journey you can look back on with serene content, knowing you did enough in life to feel like you have truly lived.

With drugs and addiction, that feeling is unattainable. Drugs are the anti-thesis to life – not only do they kill in some of the most savage ways, but they also steal you away from reality, and put you in a fake world, filling you to the brim with fake feelings, leaving you defenseless for the crash of real emotion as it hits you during sobriety.

Dealing with those waves, learning to ride them, and savoring every significant moment by being fully aware of it and how real it is – that is life. And if you don’t get sober soon, that life can pass you by very quickly.


Raise the Bar on Your Recovery

Raise The Bar On Your Recovery | Transcend Texas

As you progress in your recovery from addiction, you may need to continue to stretch yourself. You may need to create new goals and set your sails for greater and greater horizons to raise the bar on your recovery. You might have gotten sober, but perhaps you’re still not living the life you want. Perhaps you’re still struggling with issues that feel like obstacles in your healing.

The following suggestions might be useful in giving your recovery a boost. It can help you raise the bar on your recovery so that it helps you heal all areas of your life, not just healing from addiction.

Focus on Hope – There are many definitions of hope. However, one that is simple and useful is: looking forward to something with desire and having a reasonable expectation that that desire will be fulfilled. If you don’t have any hope, it’s hard to create it. However, you can begin to focus on an imagined future. What do you hope to do, wish to have, or hope to become?  What is even the smallest possibility you wish to have in your life?

Set Clear Goals – With the above questions answered, you can start to create your goals. The advantage of having goals is that then all of your choices can be focused in the direction you want. And you can have your goals in mind throughout your day, which can trigger ideas and help you take advantage of opportunities you might not have thought of before. With goals in mind, you can move closer to them versus remaining stagnant.

Positive Relationships – Although there are some people who prefer to spend their time alone, when you’re in recovery, having a community of people around you to support you can be incredibly effective. This is especially true if those people believe in you and if they can see in you the possibility for change. Having meaningful friendships where you can be yourself is important during recovery.

Successful Role Models – When you spend time with others who have achieved long term sobriety, you can learn from them. But more than that, they tend to have a particular mindset that you may not have yet developed. And in their company and by conversing with them, you might start to develop the mindset that they’re in rather than a mindset that has been holding you back for so many years. Having successful and healthy people around you can support your growth.

Time for Self-Care – Relationships, careers, finances, and home life can begin to break down with the presence of addiction. For this reason, one way to counter the destructive elements of addiction is to find time to care for yourself. This might mean taking a long walk in the evenings or spending time with someone you care about. It might also mean time for yoga or meditation. Or it could simply mean playing ball with friends. Whatever activity is nourishing for you, making time for it throughout your day can be an essential tool to use during your recovery.

These are tips for expanding your recovery so that you feel supported in all areas of your life. The best recovery is a holistic one, one that addresses your physical, emotional, psychological, social, and even spiritual well being. If you would like support with your recovery, contact a mental health provider today.


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Make Sure Your Recovery Goals Are SMART

Make Sure Your Recovery Goals Are SMART | Transcend Texas

If you’re going to set some goals for yourself in recovery, there’s a few important steps you should know about how to do that. First, having goals is important! If you don’t have any goals, then you may not know what you’re reaching for. When you’re in the middle of a craving, for instance, and if you have a goal for the future, you’re more likely to resist the craving because you know what you’re staying sober for. Goals give us direction, hope, motivation, and the power to keep going when faced with challenges.

If you don’t yet have a goal, think about what you want. Are you getting sober in order to advance in your career again? Are you getting sober to heal a marriage?  What would you like to see happen in your life?  Once you have an idea of what you want, begin to formulate a sentence about it. For instance, your initial goal might be “I am sober to repair my marriage and in the next six months I will call my spouse every day.”

Now that you have a rough idea of what you want and you’ve formulated it into a sentence, consider the following guidelines for making a goal SMART:

Specific – A goal is specific when it is clearly defined. If a goal is not defined well, it might be too general that you won’t know exactly where you’re going. Often a goal can lead the way. It can be the light at the end of the tunnel.

Measurable – One way to make your goal specific is to make it measurable. Make it something within your reach so that once you get there you can reach for another goal.

Attainable – Having goals that are unrealistic and unattainable only set you up for failure. Once you reach a goal it can boost your confidence and keep you going stronger than before.

Relevant – Your goal should be relevant to the direction in which you want to go. Although you might have goals in other areas of your life, if you’re focused on your sobriety, your goals should be recovery-related.

Time-Bound – Goals also need to have a deadline. I’m going to attend AA meetings for one month in order to boost my sobriety and lifestyle change. Goals need to have a time limitation on them so that you know the time in which you want to achieve them.

Now that you know how to make a goal SMART, think again about that goal. It was: I am sober to repair my marriage and in the next six months I will call my spouse every day.” 

Perhaps this goal can be revised a bit to make it more SMART-friendly. For instance, you may need to separate this into two goals. One to address your sobriety and the other to address the marriage. Calling your spouse once every day for six months does meet the criteria above. It is a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. To add to this, you can create a second goal about sobriety, such as, I will remain sober for at least six months and attend one 12-step meeting each day and call my sponsor weekly. Of course, these two goals together can support each other.

For success in your sobriety, it’s incredibly important to have goals in your recovery! Now, you know how to make them SMART.


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