With 2017 upon us it’s time to starting thinking about yourself in the New Year. Who and what do I want to be this year? And the answer is a person in recovery, but how you get there is a little more difficult. In a previous article, we covered “A Few Steps to Help Avoid Addiction Relapse” and those steps will be beneficial to you as well but here are a few additional ideas to help achieve your goal of sobriety in the New Year.
- Start a Journal – A journal can serve as an outlet to express what you are feeling on a given day. This will be your outlet on days when you feel the pull of your addiction but also on the days you feel free and clear. By recording your daily ups and downs you can begin to identify the triggers in your life and how to better cope with them. The journal also serves as an open ear that’s always available. When you feel like you do not have someone to talk to, know that your journal is always there to listen.
- Volunteer – Find something that you are passionate about, like help a local community shelter, and make sure that is becomes a part of your life. Volunteering your time to others will provide a feeling of purpose and usefulness that you cannot find in anything else. Where you volunteer is extremely important. You must treat this place as a safe zone and know that recovery is the key that allows you to enter.
- Sobriety Contract – A contract between you and a significant person in your life signifies your commitment to recovery in the New Year. The contract should be simple, with reasonable expectations from both parties. You do not want to overcomplicate the contract with every possible scenario. The commitment of signing the contract can give you accountability to your recovery efforts, but also offer help when faced with struggles. When more than one person is formally committed to your recovery the both of you can help carry the weight.
- Setting Goals and Rewarding Yourself – Start by setting a reasonable weekly goal. Then chose a reward, whether it be a concert or a new pair of shoes, to get yourself after achieving the goal. Weekly goals can help improve self-worth and your outlook on your recovery from addiction. When feeling down about yourself and you are struggling to focus on the positive, learning how to reward yourself can increase your enthusiasm for your recovery.
These are just a few options that can help with your recovery in the New Year. While these solutions may work for many, they may not be the right fit for you. It’s important to know what does and doesn’t work for you. If you find that you’re not obtaining the desired results from a plan of action, don’t be afraid to try something else. The most important part of the New Year is a happy, healthy and sober you!