Would you say it’s time to stick to your New Year’s resolutions? Following through with your resolutions is important if it involves learning how to get sober. Below are tips to help you with this process.
Each New Year, people create resolutions and swear they are going to stick to them. But within a few months, the temptations become too hard to turn away.
Some reports say only 25% of people with resolutions keep them longer than a few months. While this lets you know you are not alone, it may also make you think keeping resolutions is impossible.
This is not true, however.
Sobriety can be a realistic goal for you this year if you are willing to put in the hard work to reach this goal. Making a resolution is one thing, understanding your resolution is another.
A resolution, by definition, is a firm decision, a determination, to change. In law, a resolution is a written motion that can be adopted. Making a resolution is more than just telling all your social media friends what you want to change in your life this year.
The likes you get following a post like that will not help you reach your goal of staying sober.
You must find a way to express your intentions of getting and staying sober. How can you do this in your life so that your resolution becomes real? It must become more than just a thought in your mind that you can change after a few weeks if getting sober becomes too hard.
Find a way to express your resolution that makes you accountable when you feel like quitting, that encourages you when you encounter an obstacle. Once you do this, you are officially on the right track and ready to move forward towards fulfilling your resolution of getting and staying sober.
You are ready for actions like the ones listed below that can help you throughout the process.
Getting sober can hold different meanings for those who drink or use drugs or both. Some people think sober means to “cut back”, while others think sober means complete abstinence. What do you believe sober means for your life?
The answer to this question can determine which path you take next.
If your goal is to have less hangovers due to a few nights out with your friends, getting sober may mean you need to cut back on your partying. You’re not a teenager anymore and you need to grow up.
If your drug or alcohol use is interfering with your life in any way, getting sober should mean abstinence to you. For example, if substance abuse is causing troubles at work, in personal relationships, or with your finances, abstinence is your goal.
Once you know your long-term goal, to stop using drugs or alcohol forever, you can set smaller, short-term goals to help you get there.
Set Realistic Goals
Getting sober is a great goal. It’s not easy, as you may know. If it were easy, you’d already be there, right? Getting sober the right way means setting a lot of small goals that will help offer you rewards and encourage you to keep heading towards your long-term goal.
When setting any goal, be specific rather than vague.
Vague Short-term goal: Attend a support group meeting.
Specific Short-term goal: Attend AA or NA meetings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7pm of each week at the local community center with my sponsor for ninety days.
Many have found the SMART recovery goal setting model with each goal. The goals need to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time limited.
Get the Right Level of Treatment
Getting sober the right way means you must be honest with yourself and determine where you are in your recovery journey.
If you are in the beginning of your journey, you need around the clock support that includes medical detoxification. After detox, you can transition to inpatient rehabilitation treatment where you will continue 24-hour support while you learn coping tools to help you deal with cravings and relapse prevention tools to use once discharged.
You will also be supervised medically and have continued treatment for withdrawal symptoms.
Inpatient treatment is typically followed by a step-down in levels, from sober living to intensive outpatient to individual counseling.
Following these recommended treatment levels gives you more ammo to fight your addiction. The more time and skills you can put between you and your addiction, the higher your odds for success.
Commit to Lifestyle Changes
Your old lifestyle involved getting drunk or high. Even simple daily activities, like cooking, eating, or watching television have been done while drinking or using drugs.
To stay sober, you must relearn how to do everything sober, even the basics. What you did in the past could now become a trigger. To avoid this, restructure your lifestyle to include positive activities that are not associated with drinking or using drugs.
The more structured your time, the easier it will be to maintain sobriety. It’s the down time or unplanned boredom that can lead to relapse. Fill your schedule with sober supporting activities, with sober supporting friends and family.
Other lifestyle changes to make include eating a healthy diet, fitness, mindfulness, financial stability, and finding ways to serve others.
Give Back to Your Community
Helping others feels good. It is rewarding to see your contribution make someone else’s life better. When you serve others, you are not serving your addiction.
When you were using, you may have even misused, abused or destroyed community property or conveniences. This is a great opportunity to make amends with the community, to right your wrongs, which also feels very good and boosts emotional health.
Serving those less fortunate helps you avoid self-pity and direct your energy towards helping those in need.
In conclusion, there are many more tips to help you get sober this New Year and keep this resolution. Working with treatment professionals is the best way to learn more tips and how to implement them into your life.
In each stage of addiction treatment and recovery, you can gain valuable information to help you reach success in this New Year.