The end of the year is slowly creeping up on us, and while many people are immersed in their holiday plans, for people in recovery it can be a time of anxiety. Many people around you may be making New Year’s plans and resolutions, but you’ve been told to take it one day at a time. You can! But there is nothing wrong with taking some time to evaluate the year and make plans for what the next year bring.
Planning Versus Resolutions
Planning in recovery isn’t the same as making a resolution. For many people, resolutions are meant to be tried out…and eventually broken. There’s nothing productive in making unrealistic resolutions only to be let down when it’s too tough to follow through. After all, change is a process, and can’t be accomplished by simply writing a list. In recovery, it’s all about following through and staying clean and sober in the process.
Creating and Achieving Goals
You’ve accomplished a lot by staying clean and sober, but by now, you probably have a list of things you want to accomplish. Goals are the bread-and-butter of daily living, and it’s important to have a life with purpose and direction now that you’re no longer mired in misery.
What do you want to achieve this year? You may want to spend more time with your family, finish your fourth step, or get a better job. These are all goals that are healthy and realistic, which is important. But to achieve these goals, they need to be broken down into smaller steps. Every step in the planning process is a goal to achieve and celebrate! Staying clean and sober should always be your top goal.
Planning to Achieve Your Goals
Make a list of four or five goals. You’re going to need some paper to work on this.
Break down these goals into smaller steps. For example, let’s look at the goal of spending more time with your children. How can you achieve that? When you envision this goal, what do you imagine? Here is an example:
Goal: I want to spend more time with my children
- I will clear four hours on my weekend schedule just for spending time with the kids.
- I will plan more activities that are meant for family time.
- I will ask the kids what they want to do each week, and budget accordingly.
- I will make sure I offer my time in the evenings for homework.
- I will keep a calendar of all of our plans and make sure nothing interferes with it.
See how planning can help you create a more specific, and more reasonable goal? Do this for each of your goals, and make sure they are reasonable and something you are able to commit to. The rest of your achievement will be sticking with it. Just like you show up to meetings for your recovery, showing up for your goals is important. And you can celebrate the changes in your life when you continue to work towards your goals.
Do you or a loved one need help with a substance use disorder? Help is available. While it can be hard to ask for help, picking up the phone is an important step toward a new way of life.
Give us a call at 1-888-959-3277 to learn more about your options. All calls are 100% confidential.