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Sticking with New Year's Goals in Recovery

It’s easy to make New Year’s goals and resolutions, but it’s hard to actually stick with them. Instead of shaming yourself for falling off a new routine, this year may be the time to do something different. Creating realistic goals, having a strong support network, and practicing self-compassion can all go a long way as you enter the new year in recovery.

Creating New Year’s Goals for Success

In 2020, PLOS One conducted the largest study ever on New Year’s resolutions. It found those who made “approach-oriented” goals and resolutions had more long-term success than people who made “avoidance-oriented” ones.

An “approach-oriented” goal can be something like creating a new morning routine or a 30-day clean eating plan. These goals are specific, measurable, and have a defined approach. On the other hand, an “avoidance-oriented” goal can include things you’d like to “stop” doing. You may intend to stop smoking, stop drinking, or even stop staying up late at night.

Avoidance-oriented goals are a great place to start, and your intention should still be celebrated. But if you’ve found these types of goals have been hard to stick with, it may be time to think about a new approach.

New Year’s Goals in Recovery

When you’re in recovery, your whole entire world can change at a fast pace. The life you once knew may no longer exist. Even though your journey of healing may be difficult, you also know it will be extremely rewarding in the end. During this time, you may even feel overwhelmed at the idea of creating New Year’s goals, let alone sticking to them. This is why it’s so important that you have the right plan of action before you add another “to-do” list to your plate.

Best Practices for New Year’s Goals

Creating smart and realistic goals can go a long way in recovery. The sheer action of setting goals alone can boost your confidence and help you feel more in control of your life. If you feel like it’s easy to create New Year’s goals but hard to stick with them, don’t worry! There are great practices you can incorporate this year that will help you become an expert. Sticking with your New Year’s goals will even help you find success for lasting recovery.

Create Realistic Goals

According to NIH News in Health, New Year’s resolutions are “easier to make but easier to break.” Unrealistic goals can be difficult to stick with. You can close the gap between setting goals and achieving them by starting with baby steps.

A good place to start is to ask yourself: “Is my goal actually realistic?” Be honest with yourself.  It’s okay if the answer is “no.” If you don’t think the big goal will be easily doable, you can break it down into smaller steps.

For example, instead of setting a goal to lose 50 pounds, start with five pounds instead. Once you reach your goal of losing five pounds, you can keep going.  You may feel good with five-pound increments, or you might want to increase it to seven or even 10 pounds now that you have some momentum going.

Create Goals That Feel Good to You

Sometimes, we will set goals based on what we think we should do instead of what we actually want to do.  Other people, and society in general, can even have an influence on the goals we choose.

When you take the time out to set your New Year’s goals, it’s important to ask yourself what would make you the most happy. What is going to make you excited for the healthy, new changes ahead? These goals aren’t for your family, your friends, your spouse, or even your therapist. This is totally about you.

Have A Supportive Network

One of the reasons the PLOS One study was so effective was because participants had support. In fact, each study participant in the most successful group had an “accountability buddy” to help them achieve their resolutions. You may want to seek out your own accountability partner. You can also find support through a recovery program or groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Make sure your support person is someone you can trust and has your best interests at heart.

Practice Self-Love and Compassion

Self-love and celebration are the most powerful ways to achieve your New Year’s goals. It may sound silly, but these practices can take you further than anything else.

Creating new habits and goals can be some of the toughest work you’ll ever do. Acknowledge the fact that you’re even trying. Celebrate yourself for every tiny step in the right direction. If you happen to fail, don’t shame yourself. Just jump back into your goals when you can. Go easy on yourself as you begin your new journey.

Your Healing Journey at The Guest House

Successful New Year’s resolutions are possible with structured days and unconditional support. At The Guest House, you will find like-minded peers and staff to help you achieve your recovery goals.

Our trauma-specific program puts you first with an individualized plan that’s completely unique to you. Individual and group therapies will help you feel seen and supported. You’ll also find the accountability you need to stay focused, even when you feel like you can’t continue moving forward.

The Guest House also provides cutting-edge healing modalities like meditation, yoga, and adventure therapy. These therapies will help you stay consistent as you work to achieve your wellness goals. At The Guest House, you will find everything you need for lasting success in recovery and beyond.

New Year’s goals and resolutions can be easy to create but difficult to keep. In order to succeed, it’s important to create goals that are realistic, manageable, and exciting to you. Practicing self-compassion and having a strong support system will help you succeed. At The Guest House, you’ll find that strong support, especially through individual and group therapies. You can connect with like-minded peers who understand you, and you’ll also have highly-trained staff by your side every step of the way. Our cutting-edge holistic modalities, like meditation and yoga, will also help you stay consistent with your wellness goals. For more information, give us a call today at (855) 483-7800.