Many individuals do not subscribe to the idea of making a resolution for the new year. Whether you do or not, celebrating the new year can be an opportunity to make a fresh start in your personal or professional life. However, it is a misconception that we need a new year to make a fresh start. Rather, we can decide any day that we will be a better version of the person we were yesterday.
While every day is a good day for seeking addiction treatment or maintaining recovery, the new year can be a blank canvas for making a fresh start. That goes for whether you are seeking treatment for the first time or looking for new ways to stay motivated to maintain sobriety.
Recovery is a lifelong process, which, at times, can feel daunting. Whether or not you subscribe to the whole new year’s resolution thing, you can use the new year to recharge and reset your intention for sobriety, including seeking treatment if that’s what you need.
People make resolutions for a number of reasons. Some of the most typical resolutions individuals make, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), include:
- Losing weight
- Exercising more
- Quitting smoking
- Improve finances
- Focus on self-care
While good intentions fuel resolutions, the execution tends to be shaky. For example, weight loss is the most common resolution. However, instead of consulting a doctor or making dietary changes, individuals experiment with dieting fads or unhealthy weight loss methods.
Though the DHS indicates that many Americans do not follow through on their resolutions, they also claim making a resolution has “positive effects on behavior change.” They reference a study from the Journal of Clinical Psychology, which found that people who set resolutions are “10 times more likely to change their behavior” than people who do not. However, everyone is different. People should not think there is anything wrong with not making a resolution.
Another reason it can be challenging for people to stick to a resolution is they try to make too many changes at once. Making life changes is not always an easy task. Some believe it takes at least 21 days before a change becomes a habit. Yet, when trying to make five to ten significant changes together, you risk becoming overwhelmed, frustrated, and giving up those changes altogether. Instead of tackling multiple things at once, focus on a single resolution you hope to achieve this new year, and remember, any day of the year can be a good day to change your life.
Seeking Treatment for the First Time This New Year
Some may utilize the new year to make significantly life-saving changes, like seeking addiction treatment. Again, you can seek treatment any day of the year, but if it has been on your mind, this is a sign to take that first step. There are many treatment options available whether you are struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD) or behavioral addiction.
Some of the treatment options you can explore include:
- Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
- Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
- Outpatient or intensive outpatient treatment
- Inpatient rehabilitation
Finding the right program will depend on your situation. First, you must reach out to a facility, rehab, or treatment center. During this time, an initial assessment will be conducted so that the facility can get to know you and our situation better. That includes learning more about the substance you are using, how long you have been using that substance, and whether or not you are experiencing co-occurring disorders.
The initial assessment will help clinicians learn the best path to recovery. A treatment plan will be created, and during this time, you will learn how to live life post-treatment. However, sobriety is a long-term process. There will be times when you need to find extra motivation to maintain your sobriety.
Staying Motivated in Recovery
In addition to making resolutions, there are simple things you can do not just in the new year but throughout the year to stay motivated in recovery. Some of the things you can do include:
- Connecting with a support group and making connections with new people you meet there
- Setting new goals for yourself that are achievable and can help guide you throughout the year
- Keeping a journal to document your recovery journey
- Maintaining a daily schedule for yourself and making a plan to bring more structure to your daily life
- Consider volunteering for an organization, becoming a sponsor, or helping others in recovery in a unique way
- Practicing self-care, whether that includes nutrition and exercise, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, or taking up new hobbies
Make Changes This Year
These are just a few changes you can consider implementing this year. If you have not yet sought treatment, decide that this is the year you change your life. The road to recovery can be long, but it is well worth it.
Not everyone subscribes to the practice of making a resolution every new year. However, some research indicates that those who make a resolution are more likely to change their behaviors. One of the changes you may want to make this year is to stop substance use. There are 365 days a year to make this change, but the new year is like a blank canvas you can mold into a newfound life of recovery. To learn more about addiction treatment and program options, contact Excel Treatment Center. Through initial assessments, our clinicians can create an effective treatment plan to help you achieve recovery this new year. Call (877) 331-4114 to learn more today.