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How to Make New Year Resolutions You’ll Want to Keep

New Year's Resolutions with man using a laptop

As the new year approaches, so comes the traditional time to take stock and make a personal commitment in line with your goals. For family members and individuals in recovery, claiming the right to a fresh start is an essential part of addiction treatment.

There is no better time to set new goals for the new year, but many of us struggle to keep lofty resolutions that represent good intentions without a detailed action plan. Surveys show that as few as 12% of us succeed in our new year resolutions.1 Rehab centers in Los Angeles and around the country recommend using the SMART method of setting goals when you make this year’s resolution.

Making Your New Year’s Resolution Smarter

As we consider our resolutions for the year, we can use the business method of achieving long-term goals. The SMART method of stating your chosen goal requires that it is:

  • Specific. Instead of saying “I will stay sober” one might say “I will stop socializing at events that serve alcohol” or “I will attend a meeting whenever I feel a craving.” Specific goals can be achieved through action.
  • Measurable. How will you identify success when you achieve it? Include in your resolution your criteria for success. Examples are “I will attend support group meetings every week” or “I will exercise every other day.” Statements like these allow you to measure your success and hold yourself accountable to slippage.
  • Actionable. Your goal should be something within your control, allowing you to create an action plan to achieve it. Consider the difference between a vague goal like “I will be more financially responsible” versus an actionable goal like “I will save $40 each week by direct deposit into my savings account.”
  • Realistic. Keeping your resolution ideas realistic sets you up for success. Making commitments and keeping them is a stepwise process. Resolutions like “I will never drink again” make any future struggles a guaranteed failure. “I commit to treatment for my alcohol addiction” is a powerful resolution that you can keep.
  • Timely. Open-ended goals are difficult to achieve. Set deadlines for each step of your action plan to maintain steady progress. One example is “I will make a therapy appointment before the end of January.”

For This New Year, Make a Commitment to Self-Care

Some ideas for healthy and achievable New Year’s resolutions in recovery include:

  • Making healthy choices for body and mind, including eating nutritious meals daily, exercising on a schedule, and supporting your mental health with regular group counseling.
  • Maintaining a positive attitude and focused mindset on your post-treatment goals as you complete therapy at a Los Angeles treatment center or an accredited treatment program near you.
  • Committing to asking for and accepting help when you need it, in the form of supportive friends, family members, or treatment professionals.
  • Promising yourself that you will never give up in your efforts to overcome the substance abuse disorders that are impacting your life and the ones you love.

Pursue Your Goals with Dedication

Successful Runner in the rain on a road

Each year after you complete treatment is another opportunity to revitalize your commitment to yourself and your family. At the Dedicato Treatment Center, we support your efforts as you navigate the challenges of the holidays and the year to come.

We are dedicated to treating every client and their families with dignity, respect, and compassion as they strive to keep their resolutions and eliminate substance use from their lives. We are accredited by the Joint Commission and licensed by the State of California to provide the healing environment and long-term support that will help each person achieve their life goals and potential. Contact us today to find out more.