As many as 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions at the start of a new year, but sadly, some studies suggest that 80% of those resolutions fail by February.  Those statistics are certainly interesting to consider.  Why do so many people want to make a change, and why does their resolve to do so dissolve so quickly?  Perhaps it’s not that they lose interest in making the change – in fact, for many, the same resolutions are created and stated year after year.   More likely, the reason so many people fail is that they simply do not know how to make realistically attainable resolutions, and they do not know how to put supports in place to ensure that they will reach these coveted goals successfully.

As someone who was formerly an active drug abuser or alcoholic and is now in recovery, you already have experience and success in setting goals and taking steps to reach them.   Somewhere along the way, you sought help, and you broke free of your addiction – and that is both wonderful and amazing! Certainly, not every day is easy, but each day that you stay clean and sober is a huge achievement, and you now have both many days of success behind you and in your bright future laid out ahead of you.  Because of this triumph, it’s possible that someone like you actually has a better shot at achieving your New Year’s resolutions than others, so you should take some time to make a few for 2019, write them down, make a plan, and start making more changes that can further benefit your life, now and into the future.

How to Make New Year’s Resolutions That Work

Simply saying out loud “I’m going to lose weight this year” or “I’d like to meditate more” are examples of the sort of thing most people consider resolutions. It’s no wonder they don’t work!  These are vague statements that are very unspecific, are immeasurable, and do not include the formation of steps to get to the final result.   When it comes to any sort of goal setting – particularly New Years resolutions – a good acronym to keep in mind is SMART.  SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, and timely, and using these five ideas together will be more likely to get you where you want to go than any sort of vague statement will.   Let’s look at them a little more closely:

  • S is for Specific. It’s important you make your goals specific.  “I’m going to learn to play an instrument this year” is a vague statement, but “I’m going to learn and perfect the eight most common chords on an acoustic guitar so I can play along with songs on the radio” is much better.
  • M is for Measurable. If you make your goal specific in the first step, it will likely be much easier to measure.  That way, you can see whether or not you reached your goal.  “I want to lose weight” is not measureable; you will never know if you truly succeeded with a goal like that.  “I want to lose ten pounds” is measurable instead.
  • A is for Action-Oriented. You need to make an action plan.   No goal has ever been reached without action, and you need to take time to think about the steps you must take to get to your desired end result.  If you want to volunteer at a nearby animal shelter, for example, you must choose an animal shelter, contact the animal shelter about opportunities, attend an interview and/or training, and schedule a time to go.  Without a plan, a goal is just an idea.  You need to determine the steps and follow them if you want to be successful.
  • R is for Realistic. You must choose goals that are realistic and attainable.   If your New Year’s resolution is “I want to get drafted to play for the New York Knicks,” chances are, you are not going to be successful in reaching your goal, unless you are already wowing scouts on your high school or college basketball court.   Pick something you truly believe you can actually do, and you will be more likely to actually do it.
  • T is for Timely. Technically, you have a year to complete the New Year’s resolutions you have set for yourself, but a goal of December 31, 2019 is really quite distant, and as a result, you may not feel as devoted to your goals when the deadline is so far away.  Instead, set dates throughout the year to check in with yourself and your progress, and set deadlines for the small steps you made to get to the bigger goal, too.

In addition to SMART, there are a few other things you can do to help support your New Year’s resolutions too, like rewarding yourself with healthy rewards when you have made measurable progress, and telling your friends and family about your goals to help keep you honest and accountable.  Most of all, just like with recovery, almost everyone slips up sometimes, so if you get off track, don’t beat yourself up;  instead, get yourself back on track quickly, keep your eyes on your goal, and keep moving forward towards it!

Great New Year Goals for People in Recovery

Although it’s likely that you can easily come up with a few changes you would like to make to your life on your own, here are some suggestions of good ideas for resolutions for people in recovery if you want to add more to your list.

In 2019, perhaps you would like to:

  • Write in journal daily for fifteen minutes.
  • Learn a new hobby that has always interested you.
  • Run or do yoga for thirty minutes a day.
  • Volunteer to help others who are also struggling with addiction.
  • Perform one random act of kindness every day.
  • Ask for help when you need it instead of suffering alone.
  • Schedule social time with others once a week or more.
  • Get at least eight hours of sleep every night.
  • Share once or more during every support group meeting.

No matter what goals you choose to set for yourself for 2019, you can do it!  Write it down, spread the word, plan your steps, and check in and evaluate frequently.   With solid goals paired with SMART actions, you will be successful in no time.  Don’t be one of those people who sets New Year’s resolutions just to abandon them in a few weeks – set them, reach them, and then pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Good luck, and Happy New Year!

At Clear Sky Recovery, we are here to offer you support and alternatives for your future.  We have a great deal of experience helping people from all walks of life to overcome their addictions, and we can help you too.   Our ibogaine detox can help reset your life and put you on a clean and healthy path from this point forward with few cravings or withdrawal symptoms.   We are standing by to answer any questions you may have about the ways in which ibogaine can help you.  Please give us a call today.