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maintain sobriety goals

Clinically Reviewed by Linda Whiteside, LPCC

Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson, MD

6 Ways To Maintain Sobriety Goals

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The new year is upon us.

At the dawn of any new year, many of us are busy making resolutions that hopefully will lead to living a fuller, happier and healthier life. While we do our best to keep those resolutions, the reality is that many people fail in following through on their resolutions. If one of your main resolutions for 2021 is to maintain your recovery, it is of utmost importance to ensure that the resolutions you make for yourself stick.

The following are six ways to help you keep your resolutions this year, including the resolution to maintain your sobriety.

6 Ways To Maintain Your Sobriety Goals

Step 1: KISS (Keep it Simple, Silly)

The first and most important step in keeping on track with your resolutions to keep it simple. As the calendar flips to the new year, you oftentimes find yourself sitting down and writing out large lists of things that you want to accomplish. Many of these involve significant changes in your personal and professional lives. While it feels good, this approach is often doomed to fail. Instead of writing down huge bucket lists, keep your list short with goals that are attainable and realistic. This is the perfect mindset when it comes to maintaining your recovery. It is important to remember that you are working towards change and doing it one step at a time, one day at a time and one moment at a time.

Step 2: Be Specific in Your Goals

When you set goals for New Year’s resolutions, you may make powerful and general statements such as “I am going to the gym this year to get into shape” or “I am going to save more money this year”.  You have probably figured out that broad goals or resolutions based on vague ideas will be abandoned after a short period of time. When making solid resolutions, be specific and have concrete ideas on how you are going to accomplish your goals for the year. Instead of saying that you are going to the gym, you should say something like “I will go to the gym three times a week and workout for 45 minutes each time”.

Having a clear mindset and focus in regards to what your exact goals are also essential in keeping your recovery. Instead of saying that you are going to stay sober in the new year, you need to have a plan and say things such as:

“I will speak with my sponsor once a day and attend AA meetings daily”

“I will volunteer at the local drop-in center.”

Being specific with your goals and outlining how you are going to accomplish thos

Step 3: Breaking It Down

When you have specific and realistic resolutions on the table, you will need to break them down into smaller actions that have easy follow through. Many times, people fail to follow through on their resolutions, because the goals that were set were too lofty and they weren’t able to gauge any progress towards reaching that goal. It is important that every goal has a series of steps that need to be completed so that progress can be gauged.

When you think about it, recovery can become overwhelming and you may not know how far you are progressing if you don’t have parameters. Breaking down your goals in a series of steps will help you gauge your progress and hold you accountable in your journey of recovery, as well as your other goals for the year.

Step 4: Keep it Real

As already stated, the goals that comprise your resolutions must be realistic. You dream big and those goals and aspirations look great on paper, but oftentimes those goals are not achievable when applied to your daily life. When you keep your smaller goals realistic, you are better able to accomplish those goals and grow more confident.

In recovery, being “real” is an essential foundation for maintaining. Sayings such as one day at a time, is a perfect example of a small, realistic step that can be followed and within that small step you can break it down further into even smaller steps to ensure you are keeping up with your goal of recovery.

Step 5: Partner Up

A great way to help you achieve your resolutions is having a friend or family member at your side. Family and friends can help keep you motivated to stay on track and can provide encouragement and support on your journey. Most importantly, they will point out when you are falling short.

Employing a buddy system is also integral when you are maintaining your recovery. If you think about it, you have an extensive support system in recovery with your sponsor, AA home group, friends and family. Lean on them for support in tough times and listen to them if they are telling you that you are slipping.

Step 6: Learn from Failure

Even if you do all the right things, failure can happen. While it is easy to beat yourself up for getting off track, throwing the endless pity party can actually further distance yourself from your goals. It is important to take it easy on yourself—you are a human being and mistakes are a part of life.

In recovery, relapsing or actively thinking about using drugs and alcohol can make us feel ashamed or weak. It is important to treat yourself with kindness and compassionIn the event that you relapse, redouble your efforts can immediately go to a meeting, call your sponsor or lean on your recovering friends for encouragement and support.

Do Something Wonderful for Yourself in the New Year

Struggling with drug and alcohol addiction is a drain on your body, mind, and soul. If you are struggling with substance abuse, make the resolution to kick addiction to the curb and reclaim your life by setting sobriety goals. NuView Treatment Center will provide the treatment services and support you need to make that goal a reality. No matter how far you have fallen, the experienced and compassionate staff at NuView will work with you in creating a new happier and healthier you positive goals for sober life.

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Written By: Linda Whiteside

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been providing mental health services for over 10 years.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson

Went to medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

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