The New Year provides a benchmark for new beginnings, a logical starting point from which to being on a path of recovery and personal growth. New Year’s resolutions can also become a dysfunctional formula for personal transformation. Many of us in addictive behaviour have (more than once) on the 1st of January made promises to ourselves we knew we couldn’t keep – a desperate attempt to stop using/drinking/drugging FOR GOOD. Some of us have used the typical New Year’s resolution template with expectations disguised as inspiration, setting rigid goals, grasping at perfection. We may have even accomplished what we set out to do – but still felt empty inside.
In an addictive mindset, individuals are often driven by a desire to feel a certain way (good) as quickly as possible. If goals are set, it may be more about chasing the PROMISE of what the goals would deliver. Little attention is paid to how they truly make someone feel.
“Many of us have our relationship to ambition and goal setting inside out. We’re chasing external stuff to do, have, and experience and hope that when we get there, we’ll feel awesome – and sometimes we do. But too often, we really don’t.” – Danielle Laporte
In recovery we can shift our perspective. We no longer need to chase the outcome of our desires. We can create healthy, spiritually guided ways to feel how we want to feel – throughout the process. In our journey of recovery we can come to know, it is where our motivation is born from, and our ability to accept and navigate change, that shapes the outcomes of what we set out to accomplish.
There are many alternatives to the New Year’s resolution ritual. One of our favourites is REFLECTION.
- Grab a piece of paper and a pen
- Find a quiet space either alone, with your sponsor, or someone you trust, and give yourself time to really think about what your previous year looked like.
- Ask yourself some questions:
- What were the most memorable experiences?
- What were the most difficult?
- What lessons did you learn?
- How did you grow?
- What are you proud of?
- What did you accomplish?
- What motivated you?
- What are you grateful for?
- Take a moment to look back with pride and a sense of achievement.
- Most importantly – celebrate your recovery! Whether you took a year, a decade or a day – You can stay on the path of recovery, one day at a time.
If you are still struggling with substance abuse, alcoholism, gambling, sex addiction, or disordered eating we can support you on the path of a new life free from addiction. Turn your resolution into recovery. Staff members at Cedars are available to help 24/7 – please call 1.866.716.2006 to get help today.