The process of recovery is ongoing. There will always be challenges to our recovery, but one that we can skip is the new year’s resolution. These resolutions started out as a tradition centered on growth and becoming the most fulfilled versions of who we are, but more and more, new year’s resolutions seem to be about getting rid of some part of ourselves that we don’t like. This thinking can be especially problematic for those in recovery. Learning to accept and nurture the parts of the self that had substance use disorders is a difficult but essential part of recovery. In working toward change in the future, it’s important to continue thinking positively about how far we’ve come. For this reason, new year’s resolutions in recovery should never be about punishing the parts of ourselves that we don’t like. Instead, these resolutions should be about growing the aspects of our character that we most admire. In this blog, we’ll talk a bit more about how you can manage challenges to recovery and create meaningful new year’s resolutions while in recovery.

Tip for New Year’s Resolutions to Maintain Recovery

If you’ve already entered into recovery, sustaining it through the holidays will likely be a challenge every year. Not only are there more opportunities to partake in alcohol and other substances, but there are also additional stresses that increase temptation. When we make it through the holiday season and then add the pressure of achieving a lofty new year’s resolution to our plate, it can be the final straw that pushes things too far. Whether your new year’s resolution is directly related to substance use or you just want to make some positive changes this year, explore our tips for creating new year’s resolutions that support your recovery:

  • Be as specific as possible. Don’t say, “I’m going to get healthy in 2023.” Instead, choose something like, “This week I am going to cut out sweets,” or “I’m going to eat one more vegetable at every meal this week.” These short term, specific goals are much more achievable.
  • Set fun new year’s resolutions. Recovery can be stressful, and the holiday season doesn’t always help. When you set your new year’s resolutions, choose something you’ll enjoy. For instance, make more time each day for a favorite activity. If you like to read, decide to spend 30 minutes a day reading. If working out helps you feel better, spend a little more time each week exercising.
  • Make self-care the resolution. For people who are in addiction recovery, self-destruction has often become the norm. In many cases, simply making more time for the basics like eating well, staying hydrated, sleeping enough, and getting exercise can make a big difference.

Give Yourself Grace

As a person in recovery, you are likely aware of the old “one day at a time,” adage. This applies to new year’s resolutions as well. Rather than placing the pressure on yourself to make a total and long-term change, consider setting resolutions for one day at a time. This is a great way to give yourself a little more grace. If you don’t achieve your goals today, start over again tomorrow. The important part is that you’re trying but give yourself permission to be imperfect and opportunities to try again – that’s what recovery is all about.

substance use disorder recovery

Want Support for Your New Year’s Resolutions & Your Recovery?

Recovery is a lifelong process, and if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious in the new year, it may be beneficial to talk to a trusted therapist. As a member of your ongoing recovery support network, a therapist can help you avoid relapse, rebuild relationships, and work toward your goals. Whether you’re new to therapy or in need of support through the new year, please consider chatting with the team at LMV Counseling. We make working with us simple and straightforward. Simply call us at (910) 210-6160, email, or complete our online scheduling request form.