It’s the question heard around the world this time of year.
“What’s your New Year’s resolution?”
My family asks, my friends ask, my co-workers ask. I even ask family, friends, and co-workers.
I’m usually met with one of three different types of answers:
- Laughter and eye rolls. “I don’t do New Year’s resolutions.”
- A gushing list of phenomenal feats. “I’m going to lose 20 pounds, cut out sugar, carbs and gluten, and learn to speak Portuguese.”
- The vague answer. “I’m going to be nicer to people and laugh more.”
I’m not going to completely knock resolutions. Maybe you really are going to lose 20 pounds, cut out sugar, carbs and gluten, learn to speak Portuguese all while being nice to people and laughing. But if you do all of that, just realize you’re in the vast minority.
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Let’s face it, New Year’s resolutions have become somewhat of a joke. Only 8 percent of the population who make resolutions actually succeed in achieving their goals. Chances are, you’re probably not really banking on this holiday tradition to actually lose the weight and learn a new language. It just sounds good.
The reason that so many great resolutions never survive past the first few weeks of the new year is that most of these goals are just not realistic. Goals such as losing weight and learning a new language are huge. When we don’t see those pounds fly off or become fluent in Portuguese in the first few weeks of January, it’s easy to just let those goals slide. It’s easy to look back and say, “What was I thinking? I can’t actually do that.” And quit.
So based on that – what I’m about to say may come as something of a shock. I’m suggesting that with recovery from addiction – establishing a New Year’s resolution is EXACTLY what you should do.
Recovery is different than a resolution. Drug and alcohol addiction recovery is different because it is a day-by-day process and not a once-per-year deal. Addiction recovery is also about change and movement – and January first is one of the best times for trying something new and different.
If you’re considering making sobriety your goal this year, don’t listen to those who scoff New Year’s resolutions – The new year can actually be an excellent reason to choose recovery. We’ve broken down the three best reasons why recovery will beat any resolution.
- Addiction treatment involves a team of people to help support your efforts. Regular resolutions don’t tend to have a professional, educated, and supportive staff to guide you and lead you to success. When you get treatment for alcohol addiction, prescription drug addiction or illegal drug addiction, you’re surrounded by a team that is made up of highly motivated, industry veterans with decades of experience in helping people afflicted with the disease of addiction. Our addiction campuses have medical teams, experienced mental health counselors, and spiritual guidance to keep you on track with your day-by-day goals.
- Addiction treatment includes peers that are going through it with you. When you’re on the Treadmill – you’re on it alone, even if someone is running next to you – you’re all by yourself out there. When you’re eyeing the pink frosted donut on the countertop – you’re on your own to decide if you should have just one more. Addiction treatment is different. When you’re in treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, you have plenty of people in the same house, same facility, and even same room going through exactly what you’re going through. In addiction treatment, everyone has the same goal: recovery. When you have people around you that are battling for the same goal, it’s a lot easier to keep your head in the game.Peers provide emotional support and foster a sense of community. You’re a part of a group and you belong. Addiction treatment provides all of those means of support and can give you a sense of belonging and community. Unlike most resolutions, you don’t have to do recovery on your own.
- Resolutions CAN work and recovery is a great resolution. Just because resolutions have gotten a bad rap doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make one. There is something about January 1st, seeing the number “1” in the date (1/1) and knowing it’s a fresh start; a time for movement. Addiction recovery is all about change and movement in your life – starting over, getting a fresh start and moving forward.
Recovery is different than a resolution because it is a day-by-day process – not a once-per-year deal. By making January 1st the day, you can use the tools you used on January 1st to make it to January 2nd, January 3rd, and so on. By making it a resolution, all you’re saying is that by December 31st – you will try to reach a goal. Take recovery one day at a time, rather than looking down the road wondering if you will ever make it.
Instead of the usual hard-to-achieve wishes and dreams this year, realize recovery is an ongoing process that you will practice one day, one experience at a time. Recovery is absolutely achievable with treatment this year, so long as you make it your priority.
This is a New Year’s resolution that you can and should make and one that you can achieve.
If you or a loved one are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, make today the first day and call Vertava Health for help (888) 614-2251.