Some people want to lose a few pounds, others want to whip their finances into shape, and some want to complete a college degree in 2016. Most people make great New Year’s resolutions just like these. Unfortunately, only about 8 percent of people keep their resolutions.
This year, instead of attempting an incredible feat and resolving to really stick to it this time, why not choose a New Year’s resolution that is simple and helps you to reach some of the larger goals you would like to accomplish? Here are a few suggestions for New Year’s resolutions that can make your life better and move you a step closer to creating the life you want for yourself in recovery:
- Increase time spent with sober friends. When you spend your downtime with people who are also sober, you are not only going to find yourself fused with positivity and a continued focus on recovery but it will also help you to get ideas. Watching friends begin the process of working toward a goal can inspire you to map out a plan for your own goals. Taking a class together may introduce you to a new passion. Hearing their favorite music or reading a book they recommend can increase your enjoyment and understanding of the world around you. Good sober friends improve your ability to live a full and interesting life in recovery.
- Increase your positive “me” time. What is easier to do than taking 20 minutes a day to enjoy yourself? Whether it’s playing a video game, reading a guilty pleasure book, watching a TV show, or indulging in a cup of hot tea and laying down with a heating pad, taking some time for yourself and putting all your stressors and responsibilities to the side can be rejuvenating for your emotional health as well as your recovery.
- Eat one more serving of vegetables a day. It’s a small change that is easy to make that will help you to get more vitamins and nutrients, improve your energy and mood, and help you to maintain a healthy weight. Similarly, you can resolve to drink eight glasses of water a day, cover half your dinner and lunch plates in vegetables, or eat a solid healthy breakfast every day that includes protein, fiber, and a fruit or vegetable as well as enough calories to help you get through to lunch. Better physical health can boost recovery, too.
- Get an extra 30 minutes of sleep every night. Falling into bed earlier every night or staying in bed an extra 30 minutes (without a snooze alarm) every morning is likely the easiest resolution you can make. Getting enough sleep each night can go a long way to helping you fight off illness, feel happier, and be more efficient when you take on work and school tasks.
- Try a new sport. Getting involved with a team sport like a softball or bowling league can help you connect with new people who may not be sober but are interesting and fun to be around. Additionally, the physical exercise can boost your weight loss goals and improve your ability to fall and stay asleep at night. If you’d like to connect with sober people, look for a sports therapy group or an outdoor/adventure therapy group in your community.
- Check out a new 12-Step or support group meeting. If you don’t already incorporate group therapy sessions into your weekly recovery regimen, find an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting or a SMART Recovery meeting to try out. If you already attend meetings regularly, seek out a new one in a different neighborhood or nearby town and expand your recovery horizons.
- Fix it rather than replace it. Financial concerns have been known to be the catalyst for drug and alcohol problems as well as a trigger for relapse, so in recovery, anything you can do to increase your ability to stop money from being a concern is a good thing. A complete financial overhaul or a strict budget may be too much to manage, but a small change – like choosing to fix things rather than replace them or attempting to go for a certain time period without buying any new items at all other than undergarments and food – can give you the opportunity to maximize your income.
- Find an app for that. There are a number of apps available to help you manage your schedule, lose weight, organize your recipes, tab your favorite magazine articles, and track your sleep habits – everything under the sun. So it’s no surprise that there are a number of apps that are perfect for helping you to reach whatever New Year’s resolution you choose – even your new goals for continuing to progress in sobriety.
- Take a short class. No need to enroll in a semester’s worth of classes or even more than one. Pick a short course that is inexpensive and fits into your schedule – even an online class will work – that speaks to your area of interest. Even if it doesn’t help you to acquire the degree you’re interested in, it will give you a greater understanding of your future field.
- Connect with a life coach. A life coach – also called a sober coach if you are in recovery – can help you to figure out what your goals for the new year and your recovery should be if your biggest problem is deciding which path to take next. Explore your past, consider your future, and head into 2016 with a positive and enriching plan!