Sure, New Year's resolutions have kind of become a joke. Roughly 70 percent of us don't even bother making them, then of the 30 percent that do, only 8 percent actually follow through. Ouch!
Recovery, though, is a day-by-day process, a daily acknowledgement of the need to focus on moving forward, and the start of the new year is a perfect time to try something different (but practical). As 2014 is ticking away, it is with love that we offer our list of practical resolutions for a person in recovery, and wish you all a safe, happy and prosperous 2015!
Train for an event
But of course! If you're reading this, it's likely that running was a big part of your or your loved one's recovery. (Or you could just be into running!) Most addiction treatment programs incorporate running into therapy, and running often becomes an imperative part of a recovering addict's life. If you're encouraging a loved one's recovery, run an event with them! We can't stress enough how using the buddy system is a huge motivator.
Thank someone every month
As you're probably well aware, gratitude is a key component of recovery. Even if you've already thanked all the people who helped you along your journey, they would love to hear from you again. Try designating a day each month to write a card to mail or send an email to one person that made a difference in your life, at a time when you really needed it. Your note of gratitude could be as much of an encouragement to them as they were to you!
Help other people achieve their goals
Like paying it forward. Most people in recovery had help getting there, in one way or another. Lend your time, teach a skill or use an experience to help someone else achieve a goal. This can relate to just about anything, from donating to babysitting to organizing to listening to training to teaching someone a language. Being kind goes a very long way, from boosting confidence to keeping you busy in idle time.
Write for a few minutes each day
Journals often combine personal experiences as well as reflections from the past. It's your story. Even if you think your story isn't all that exciting, you might be surprised by what you learn by recalling and recounting. Jot down things that inspired you, or struggles you encountered that threatened your sobriety. Like running, writing is an outlet and is also often encouraged in treatment. It can be fun to look back and see how far you've come, and that itself can be an inspiration!
Start a hobby or learn a skill
Learn photography (or Photoshop), knit, learn to paint, become a pro at organization, learn how to play an instrument, learn a second (or third) language. Learning something new as an adult is actual exercise for the brain, keeps the mind sharp, strengthens your memory for years to come and battles diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.
Want to share your ideas for 2015 resolutions? We would love to hear from you!