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What Are Realistic New Year's Resolutions in Recovery?

Let's be real. 2020 didn't go as anyone intended. This year has been a chaotic whirlwind full of unexpected twists, turns, and heightened emotions.

Nearly everyone is feeling restless and unsettled right now. While it may feel hard to envision an optimistic future, holding onto hope is an essential part of recovery. It's important to keep moving forward.

Although about 60% of Americans make New Year's resolutions, research shows that only 8% of people actually keep them. Why the large disconnect? It's because most of these resolutions are ineffective, unrealistic, and impossible to maintain.

If you plan on setting a goal for 2021, here are some of the best new year's resolutions in recovery.

Start Therapy

No matter where you are in your recovery journey, therapy can help you better understand yourself and the world around you. Therapy isn't just for fixing problems- it's a safe place to explore your emotions and process the events in your life.

Recovery can bring massive changes to your life, and some of these changes can be stressful. For example, you need to learn new ways to cope with stressors. Your relationships may shift. You may struggle with developing a different identity as a person in recovery.

Whether you pursue individual, family, couples, or group therapy (or engage in a combination approach), having a professional opinion can be invaluable on your road towards healing.

Integrate More Mindfulness Each Day

Research continues to emphasize the seemingly limitless benefits of mindfulness. Mindfulness is connected with everything from improved physical health to increased fulfillment and purpose. It can also be an effective tool for managing cravings, sitting with discomfort, and coping with difficult emotions.

To add more mindfulness in your day, consider these goals:

  • devoting just 2-3 minutes of planned meditation each morning.

  • engaging in single-task mindfulness (i.e. brushing your teeth or doing the dishes and focusing entirely on the task at hand).

  • taking on a yoga or stretching practice.

  • reflecting on your gratitude at least once a day.

Deepen Your Relationships With Others

Successful recovery isn't a solo process- it's a collaborative experience shared with the people you love the most. While you are responsible for taking care of yourself, your relationships can provide invaluable support, love, and compassion.

That said, it's a two-way street. You can't expect to have amazing friendships if you aren't an amazing friend yourself. Here are some interpersonal goals to consider setting in the new year:

  • making the effort to reconnect with an old friend.

  • sending your friends thank-you texts or cards letting them know how much you appreciate them.

  • offering to help a friend with an errand or task (i.e. helping them pack up if they're moving).

  • joining a Meetup or other similar group where you can connect with like-minded people.

Prioritize Your Physical Health

Your physical health is closely connected with your mood, confidence, and overall well-being. We only have one body- make sure that you honor its needs and take care of it as best you can.

Some goals to consider setting include:

  • drinking more water on a daily basis (carry a large water bottle with you and refill it often).

  • exercising for a set number of minutes each day or week.

  • eating regularly (i.e. three meals per day).

  • cooking healthy dinners at least a few nights a week.

  • going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day.

  • scheduling and attending regular doctor's appointments.

  • speaking up about medication concerns and taking your medication as prescribed.

Tackle Your Personal Finances

Most people rank money as one of their top stressors, and for a good reason. Financial stress can affect every aspect of your life, and it can severely compromise your emotional and physical well-being.

Some good financial resolutions include:

  • making and implementing a budget.

  • setting a goal to pay off debt (you can pay off one debt at a time to make this more manageable).

  • asking for a raise or taking on a second job if necessary.

  • setting aside money each month to put in a savings account.

Remember that your financial health is a crucial part of your recovery. While it isn't unusual to make disastrous money mistakes during the addiction phase, you are responsible for cleaning up those messes.

Making the Most of Your New Year's Resolutions in Recovery

Although a new year is ahead of us, remember that you don't need to wait until January 1 to start making lasting changes in your life. At any given moment, you can decide to do something new. Don't just wait for an arbitrary day to improve your well-being!

If this is the year you're ready to start your recovery journey, we are here for you. At The Resurface Group, we help people every single day with their goals. Contact us today to learn more about how we can support your growth!

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