Setting and Achieving Recovery Goals in the New Year

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December 28, 2023

Set yourself up for a strong start with a plan for your recovery goals and resolutions in the New Year.  

An open journal with a list of recovery resolutions written as bullet points on the first page, complete with checkboxes for tracking progress.

Embracing New Year’s Recovery Goals and Resolutions

A new year brings around new goals, especially when you’re in recovery. However, it’s often much easier to make a list of New Year’s resolutions than it is to stick to them!  

All too often, people set out into the New Year with a long list of ambitious goals. These can end up feeling overwhelming and unattainable. By forming New Year’s resolutions in recovery that are achievable, you are setting yourself up for higher chances of success.  

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”  
– Thomas Jefferson 

A person holding a sparkler in the air, with vibrant fireworks bursting in the background, symbolizing a joyful commitment to New Year's recovery resolutions.

Maintaining Momentum in Your Recovery Goals and Resolutions

After the newness of your resolutions begins to fade, you may be in need of inspiration to adhere to them so they don’t start to stress you out. Here are some ways to manage all these new experiences without putting too much pressure on yourself to perform:

  • Start small. You may have enrolled in a new hobby group, physical activity, lessons, or school, and now things are starting to feel a bit more real. Keep in mind that it takes time to build something new into your routine.  
  • Give yourself grace. As you begin to get used to your new venture, your brain is building pathways in the mind, rewiring it from previous substance misuse, which can take some time. It’s much easier to build up slowly than overwhelm yourself and give up! 
  • One thing at a time! You may have been lofty with your goal setting, so don’t be afraid to take them on separately. You don’t have to start everything at the same time, as it can needlessly stress you out.  
  • Remember why you started. The reason you set these goals was to enrich your life in recovery, not to burden yourself with a hectic schedule. You have 12 whole months to accomplish the things you set out to do. Therefore, don’t try to get everything going at once! 
  • Talk it out. The more you talk about your new endeavors to your support system, the more you will be reminded of why you decided to make your goals in the first place.  
  • Get support. If you’re not sure how to set out on a new venture, seek out a mentor. Many people who are perceived to be experts or pros are always happy to help newcomers.  
  • Be sure of yourself. Learning a new skill or adopting a new activity to your routine can sometimes feel uncomfortable and make you question yourself and why you ever decided to come up with such an idea. Rest assured, that’s just your self-doubt talking as you adjust yourself to new experiences. 
  • Don’t beat yourself up. If you miss a practice, cancel a meetup, or take a day off because you need some rest, it’s not a total failure. Prioritize your well-being above all and allow yourself to take time out when you need it; you can always try again tomorrow. 
  • Stay away from black-and-white thinking. You already know that it perpetuates anxiety and tension. You are not taking these things on to strive for ultimate perfection because you have learned that it doesn’t exist. 
  • Keep a journal. Tracking your progress can give you a great sense of accomplishment. It can also help you identify weak points where you need to improve.  
  • Find an accountability buddy. If you have a friend who is also working on their specific goals, pick a time each month to catch up and talk about the different things you’ve achieved and what you’ve learned.  
  • Show off! Be proud of the changes and advancements you’re making by inviting friends and family to see all the cool new things you’re doing, even if you’re still a beginner. You never know; maybe you’ll inspire others to join.  
  • Take progress photos. If you’re learning a new skill or making a transformation, document it! One day, you’ll be delighted to look back on all of your hard work and success. It will also encourage you to keep going on days when you’re not feeling up to snuff.  
  • Persevere. Overcoming addiction is a monumental feat, so you’ve already done more than most people you know. Use the strengths and skills you’ve developed through treatment and apply them to your new challenges.  
  • Make edits. If you’ve decided that some of your recovery resolutions for the New Year are not in line with what you want to do, it’s okay to change things around as long as you’re not giving up because it’s too complicated.  
  • Reward yourself. Working hard toward small milestones is a reason to treat yourself to something special, like a fancy meal or a nice new haircut. Rewards will keep you on course to achieve your resolutions!  

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”
-Chinese Proverb 

Making your recovery resolutions stick this year is a journey within itself. The objectives you are taking on should be bolstering your recovery. Be mindful of how you are handling yourself as you try new things and fine-tune your schedule so you avoid anything that will potentially put you under too much stress.  

It’s important to remember that while self-reliance and determination are commendable, knowing when to seek support is equally vital. There are moments in your recovery journey when guidance and encouragement from others can provide the necessary strength to continue.

The path to maintaining your recovery resolutions is not just about the goals themselves, but also about understanding and embracing the support systems available to you. Such a supportive environment can be a crucial factor in not only sticking to your recovery resolutions but also in finding joy and fulfillment in the process.

A joyful group of friends on a rooftop, smiling and holding sparklers, celebrating the New Year together.

Reach out to AppleGate Recovery for an Extra Hand 

At AppleGate Recovery, we understand the complexities of sticking to recovery resolutions. Our compassionate team is here to provide you with the support, resources, and treatment options you need to succeed. Our medication-assisted treatment programs have empowered many individuals on their journey to recovery, offering personalized care that aligns with your unique goals and challenges.

No matter where you are in your recovery journey, we’re here to lend a hand. Reach out to us and take a step forward in your recovery resolutions. Let us help you navigate the path to a healthy, free life on your own terms.