It is common knowledge that the annual tradition of making New Year’s resolutions has a very high failure rate. We’re wired to take the road of least resistance, and most of us eventually succumb to the urges and desires that run counter to our resolutions—usually throwing in the towel by February 1st.
If we truly want to live a life free from the grip of drugs and/or alcohol, and we know all the reasons why this needs to happen, why do we repeatedly fail to keep this important resolution each year?
Redesigning the New Year’s Resolution Paradigm
Quite possibly the problem lies in the how we make our New Year’s resolutions. Most of us make a list of 3 or 5 or 10 things we really want to change about our lives. Usually these various goals are unrelated to the other. For example, we might list such goals this way:
- Lose 20 pounds
- Get sober
- Find a more fulfilling job
- Redecorate the master bedroom
- Go back to church
One resolution has little to do with the other, so this disjointed list becomes an overwhelming chore very quickly. It is simply not realistic to expect huge changes in multiple areas of one’s life over the course of a single year.
Strategizing to Get Clean and Sober in the New Year
We love the idea of a fresh beginning, a clean slate, offered up to us every single year on January 1. Oh, the possibilities! So, we may decide in mid-December that come January first, that’s it, we are done with using drugs or alcohol forever. But when New Year’s Day rolls around and the reality hits that this is the first day of your planned sobriety, suddenly the task seems incredibly daunting. Without proper planning or a support system in place the goal of getting sober seems impossible.
How about tackling this goal like an entrepreneur develops a business plan? Those folks take painstaking care in preparing a step-by-step plan, anticipating all obstacles and how to respond to them, all with an eye on the finished product, their new business. If an individual who abuses drugs or alcohol is truly ready to stop using, they, too, need to address the steps needed to get to their goal of sobriety.
Make Getting Sober in the New Year Tops on your List
With this strategy in mind, the theme for one’s New Year’s resolutions should be sobriety through and through, and every single goal should be a step related to the theme. Here is a sample list of New Year’s resolutions that we can all use to start living a life clean and sober:
- 2017 is the year I decide to start living a healthy life, free of drugs and alcohol, for the sake of my own physical and emotional health, and my future.
- Spend time researching addiction treatment centers and programs. Have a health professional assess my addiction. Research my insurance benefits and contact treatment centers.
- Sit down with my family, my spouse, my parents, my best friends who support my recovery and ask for their help in the upcoming months
- Come December 31st, I will resist the temptation to binge drink or use as a last hurrah. This could derail me from following through the next day, New Year’s. Plan in advance to hang out with people who are supportive of my game plan, or just stay home and watch Netflix.
Altus Treatment Helps Clients Achieve Success in Recovery
The path to recovery that you begin in the New Year will require constant vigilance and preparedness. Key to a successful outcome is finding a drug and alcohol treatment program that treats you with respect and meets you where you are. A program that won’t pigeonhole you into pre-set expectations, but instead offers an individualized treatment plan made especially for you.
Altus Treatment offers all levels of care, from residential inpatient care to partial hospitalization (PHP) to intensive outpatient treatment (IOP), in a beautiful, serene location in Southern California. The caring, compassionate treatment staff at Altus Treatment has dedicated their lives to helping save others from the devastation of addiction. Call for more information about our program at (888) 240-0661.