Skip Resolutions in the New Year Ahead

Skip Resolutions in the New Year Ahead

New Year’s resolutions are usually well-intended but can sometimes feel like a list of overwhelming tasks that inevitably become the source of self-deprecating jokes later in the year. Transformational fitness and diet ambitions, career goals, and otherwise positive plans always seem like they are doomed to fail when placed on a magical list at the end of every year, and it’s mostly by design! Those in addiction recovery may feel tempted to start 2022 off with a list of grand ambitions, but New Year’s resolutions aren’t for everyone. It’s beneficial to understand why focusing on long-term recovery, and overall health is more important than a list of ideas that could cause many problems in the year to come.

Why do Resolutions seem Doomed to Fail?

Even before this unprecedented time where a pandemic has changed the way people live, work, and function socially, resolutions have always been a bit of a set-up for disappointment. For people battling addiction, these letdowns can turn into self-defeat quickly, and unrealistic expectations can add a layer of unnecessary punishment that can negatively impact treatment and relapse prevention. There are a handful of essential things to keep in mind when goal-setting for the upcoming year, especially those who plan to embark on their recovery journey for the first time or those looking to strengthen their commitment to a healthy life free of substance misuse.

  • Avoid drastic goals that exist in the now. The holiday season can bring about a lot of harsh self-reflection not always based in reality. While over-indulging with family or spending the holidays feeling loneliness, one can be inspired to make lofty goals that pertain only to the current state of mind. With the pandemic continuing to affect everyone’s daily lives, it’s essential to remember that goals should remain attainable even after an inspired moment that occurs before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
  • Escape self-punishment based on fleeting emotions. People tend to become motivated by the idea of a “fresh page” as the holidays come to a close and a new year passes, but a moment of desire for self-improvement should come from a place of self-love, not punishment. Once the inspiration for grand achievements wanes as the winter months commence, people can too easily fall into the trap of punishing themselves for not sticking to their new strict regimen. The disappointment can bring about loads of discouragement, self-pity, and other emotions that threaten sobriety.
  • Start small and think about the long-term. Not all resolutions are bad, and for those in recovery, goal-setting is a vital part of growth and rebuilding after addiction. That’s why people who want to embark on new adventures and ideas in the New Year should plan to make reasonable, attainable goals, especially at the very beginning of a lifestyle change. Patients in treatment are encouraged to discuss their goals with a substance use counselor to gain some perspective on productive, positive plans versus unrealistic sights that can lead to discouragement and self-doubt.

Those looking to treat substance use disorder for the New Year can take a confident step in the right direction by contacting Middlesex Recovery. Freedom from addiction is possible with the help of specialized medical providers, nurse practitioners, substance use counselors, and compassionate administrative staff. Each patient will receive effective, evidence-based treatment using FDA-approved medications in a private, office-based setting. Locate a nearby Middlesex Recovery office and message or call us today to get more information about our treatment programs.