With each New Year comes an abundance of opportunities, and many people consider January 1st to be a clean slate. For those struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), treating the New Year as a fresh start can be a life-changing step in their journey toward alcohol recovery. While it’s possible to begin anew any day of the year, this is the perfect time to establish specific goals, resolutions, and intentions for the future.
As the end of 2020 approaches, it’s time to reflect on what positive changes we would like to make in our lives. As you set goals for the months ahead, it’s important to understand that establishing new habits takes time. It’s unrealistic to expect meaningful change to occur overnight, so always remember to approach each New Year’s resolution with a sense of patience and grace.
During the first month of a New Year, it’s estimated that only 25% of people remain on track with their resolutions, and just 8% of people end up accomplishing their goals. This signifies that change isn’t always as easy as it seems. For this reason, it’s essential to set realistic goals and allow yourself forgiveness should you ever slip up. Remember that it’s completely normal to experience ups and downs as you work toward self-betterment, and expecting perfection will likely result in disappointment. Instead, take each day one at a time and don’t give up if you make a mistake.
A common error that many people make when setting New Year’s resolutions is trying to accomplish too many goals at once. If you have a long list of goals you’d like to meet, don’t forget that you can establish new, healthy habits at any time of the year. Set yourself up for success by choosing no more than five manageable resolutions to focus on this January. When you feel confident in the changes you’ve made, you can begin introducing other goals from your list. Think of your resolutions like Aesop’s metaphorical race between the tortoise and the hare — this isn’t about achieving your goals quickly, it’s about consistency.
While sobriety may be your top priority in the New Year, there may be additional resolutions that can help benefit your recovery. Practices like gratitude journaling, regular check-ins with loved ones, and daily exercise are part of a healthy lifestyle and can help prevent relapse. For this reason, not every goal you set needs to focus solely on sobriety. Instead, include various resolutions that will promote happiness, boost self-esteem, and improve your relationships.
While not every resolution you set needs to revolve around sobriety, it’s important for those with AUD to choose goals that won’t interfere with the recovery process. Once you’ve generated a list of resolutions, share your goals with your support system, and stay open to feedback. By discussing your resolutions with your community, you’ll have the opportunity to explore your goals and gain the insight of people you trust.
Take the time to explore how your resolutions will help improve your life and support your sobriety. This will ensure that your goals are realistic and allow your Recovery Circle an opportunity to help you remain accountable throughout the year. In reflecting on these resolutions with your support system, you’ll likely feel more confident in your goals and more motivated, determined, and encouraged to make meaningful changes in your life this coming year.
Remember that long-lasting change requires consistency, and getting into the groove of a new routine is one of the biggest hurdles when it comes to achieving New Year’s resolutions. Adjusting to a new way of living isn’t easy and often requires some accountability. Some days will feel more difficult than others, but the support of a Recovery Circle can help you overcome the moments when you feel like giving up. This is why it’s so important to not only share your goals with your support system but to work at rebuilding trust in your relationships.
For those setting sobriety goals in 2021, Soberlink is an invaluable tool. The comprehensive, remote alcohol monitoring system combines a professional-grade breathalyzer with wireless connectivity that documents proof of sobriety in real-time. Used by thousands of individuals nationwide, Soberlink helps those with AUD rebuild trust with their loved ones and establish healthy regimens while abandoning harmful habits.
Along with providing accountability, the Soberlink alcohol testing device also establishes a sense of routine, which can be incredibly beneficial for those in recovery. Utilizing scheduled testing, Soberlink aims to create a sense of rhythm and consistency in your routine, making it easier to stick to all of your resolutions and create new, healthy habits.
A new year is an exciting time for individuals in early recovery. As we look forward to 2021, it’s essential to set goals and intentions to prevent relapse and foster a healthier lifestyle. While this is a promising time, remember to approach your resolutions with a realistic mindset. Rather than expecting change to happen quickly, understand that most new habits are developed over time and require a support system. Take advantage of the tools available that will help you rebuild trust in your relationships, and take the time to share your resolutions with your family and friends so they can help hold you accountable and encourage you to stay on track.
Above all, stay focused on your goals and understand that consistency is more important than immediate change. By establishing new routines, making healthy choices, deepening your relationships, and preventing relapse, 2021 is sure to be the first year towards a brighter future.