When it comes to resolutions some people are all for them, while others against. In reality, we all make resolutions, whether we realize it or not. The truth is that resolutions in addiction recovery are necessary to help people maintain goals and hope. It’s best to think about creating not only New Year resolutions, but also mid-year resolutions. Both should help those in recovery have something concrete and truthful to look towards.
Forget about losing fifty pounds, or hitting the gym every day next year; these resolutions should go more in-depth and be more realistic. Keep reading for some ideas on why making resolutions in addiction recovery is essential.
Resolutions Give Us Meaning and Clarity
Whether we realize it or not, our brain speaks with goals and resolutions. We’re wired to work and gravitate towards fulfilling our purposes. They provide us with vision and direction. When we set resolutions in our addiction recovery journey, we sort of set a plan for our future — whether it goes that way or not. Without goals, we risk wasting our time, money, and energy, always feeling confused and overwhelmed. When a new opportunity arises, we simply feel unprepared and fault to meet our destiny.
Goals or resolutions give us a purpose. On the first day of treatment, your goal was to get better. Also, in your recovery, your mission is different. Today, your purpose or desire is to value your life and improve your life. Thanks to purpose, you finally took actions to work towards your recovery, and every day, you continue to fuel yourself through that purpose.
They Make Us Feel Good
They do. According to neuroscience, even our most emotional reactions are through the pursuit of happiness. When we engage in the pursuit of these goals or resolutions, we activate our brain’s pleasure center healthily. Even if we don’t meet these goals, our brain’s pleasure center remains active. Some also believe we get more pleasure from chasing our dreams more than even achieving them. In addiction recovery, whether those goals are to meet the next step in your 12-step program or hitting another milestone, our brains need to have goals to fulfill and with purpose.
Resolutions Give Us Progress
In every aspect of our lives, resolutions mean we set the course to start walking down the line of progress. Goals are what drives advances in science and technology, medicine, laws, and government. But, most importantly, they drive advances in our wellbeing and inner selves. When we set intentions and mean them, we embark on a path of pursuing them. After that, every step we make is towards achieving our goals. Without resolutions, there’s confusion, which means we set delays and thwart progress.
Think about it, if your resolution is to recover from a drug and alcohol addiction, just picking up the phone to ask for information means you’re working towards that goal. When you’re asked about setting intentions in addiction recovery, reaching out to family members and friends is a step in the right direction. That’s the power of resolutions.
Not Having Resolutions Means We Don’t Move
Of course, resolutions aren’t meant to plan every minute of our lives. But, not having them means we’re just in default. What do you do when you’re not working towards something? Sometimes we run the risk of falling for these unproductive defaults that could be dangerous. If we don’t pay attention to how we spend our downtime, we could experience a relapse. Without purpose, guidance, and goals, we’re just wandering around, waiting for something to happen in our lives.
Setting Goals in Addiction Recovery
Whether you set them for yourself, your family, or others, setting goals in addiction recovery is critical for long-term success. Most of the time, people start making these resolutions while in an intensive outpatient or substance abuse treatment. But it’s essential to keep these resolutions even aftercare recovery, once most patients go back to their daily lifestyles.
If you’re having trouble thinking about resolutions to make while in addiction recovery, consider these, “I will…:”
- Write in my journal every night
- Exercise or move for at least 30 minutes every day
- Devote one hour of my week to a new hobby
- Try to schedule quality time with sober friends and family at least once a week
- Perform an act of kindness every day
- Focus on my success and not my failures
As you can see, your resolutions can be whatever you want them to be. In the meantime, everyone at Lighthouse Recovery Institute will be cheering and supporting you in your addiction recovery journey every step of the way. One resolution at a time.