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4 Recovery Resolutions to Motivate You in the New Year

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January 18, 2021

Looking for ways to strengthen your recovery in 2021? The start of a new year is the perfect time to rededicate yourself to sobriety by setting specific goals for the 12 months ahead. Nothing overwhelming, nothing unrealistic – just simple, attainable resolutions to help you reinforce your commitment to staying sober one day at a time. If you’re looking for ideas, below are 4 recovery resolutions that may inspire you.

1: Keep a Gratitude Journal

Research has shown that the simple act of writing down five to 10 things you are grateful for each day can help reduce stress and improve feelings of mental and physical well-being. These items don’t have to be particularly deep or meaningful, either. For example, coffee is a frequently on my daily gratitude list. What’s important is that you’re taking time to reflect on the things that make you happy in life. On difficult days, this practice can help you refocus on positive thoughts. On days that you’re already feeling good, a gratitude list can serve as an excellent reminder of the benefits of staying sober.4 recovery resolutions as depicted by a notebook next to coffee glasses and a pen

2: Make a Commitment

Doing service is a major component of recovery for people in 12-step programs such as Alcohol Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Studies show that it works—in addition to boosting self-esteem and fostering a sense of community, helping others allows us to get out of our own heads and distract us from critical, self-centered thoughts. And you don’t have to be a member of AA or NA to make a service commitment this year. Any kind of volunteer work will make a difference, from helping out in a soup kitchen to mentoring underprivileged kids.

3: Move Your Body

Many people underestimate the role that exercise can have in recovery. If you’re not already exercising on regular basis, consider joining an online class or adding rigorous walks to your daily routine. It may benefit you more than you realize, as getting your heart rate up regularly has been shown to help reduce cravings for alcohol and drugs, as well as improve mood.

4: Ask For Help

This is a resolution I have to remind myself to make every day. It’s natural to want to appear strong and in control at all times. Unfortunately, life just doesn’t work that way—especially for people in recovery. Addiction is a chronic illness. Whether you’ve been sober for 30 days or 30 years, there are going to be times when you feel vulnerable. Reaching out to a person you trust is the best way to combat these feelings and maintain your sobriety. This trusted person could be a friend, a family member, a therapist, or even a member of your support group. And remember that you are never alone—you can even reach out to us for help.

Making the Most of the Year

While these 4 recovery resolutions need not be gospel, they can help you make the most of your recovery. There are bound to be stresses and challenging times. However, taking things at your own pace, keeping true to yourself, and practicing healthy coping mechanisms can help you stay sober and happy.

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