New Year's Resolutions for Addicts
I am the main writer and editor for a newsletter for one of my support groups. Earlier today I emailed the group its 38th edition. When you are the main writer of articles sent to mostly the same group of people every month, sometimes it's difficult to think of a topic.
However, it came to me pretty easily this month... I realized I've never written about New Year's Resolutions. I pretty much avoid making them myself as when (not if) I stop working on them, I beat myself up for a while.
That said, I don't think they are a bad thing. Staying realistic about how much you can do as well as remembering that life-changing support group that says, "Progress, not perfection," makes attempting them worthwhile.
On a side note, this is the 100th blog I've posted. This is another reason I chose to use the article on New Year's Resolutions for this special post.
When I started this blog, I couldn't imagine even getting to 25. The idea of writing 100 posts could have easily overwhelmed me.
Like New Year's Resolutions (and sobriety), I decided to take it one post (day) at a time. Sometimes it was easy to find a topic... something would just pour out when I sat down to write. Others I had to work for - both in finding a topic and writing.
At first, I planned to publish a post a week but I miserably failed at keeping that up. Giving up that expectation, I was then able to relax and write when I had time and when I had a topic I wanted to share.
And now I'm up to 100 posts. Wow. I'm blessed and amazed.
Back to New Year's Resolutions... This is the article I wrote. Note that I took some of these ideas from other articles and those references are listed at the end.
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR ADDICTS
Every January 1st it always happens… someone brings up New Year’s Resolutions and asks you about the ones you made. As addicts, at least in the area of our addictions, making a resolution doesn’t help stop the behavior. That's part of the definition of being an addict.
But just because we struggle in stopping our addictions doesn’t mean we can’t accomplish other things that contribute to recovery.
When we think about New Year’s Resolutions, we usually think about diet and exercise. Those obviously are good ones to include for general health reasons as well as to help stop the addictive behaviors.
However, there are others that help with recovery that we often don’t think about.
So… here is a list of other thinking-outside-the-box resolution possibilities (or reminders):
- MOST IMPORTANTLY… If you don’t have a sponsor /worked the Steps, make that a priority.
- Focus on a passion.
- Give one compliment a day.
- Do random acts of kindness.
- Write down one thing you’re grateful for every night and put it in a jar.
- Clean out your car.
- Call a friend instead of texting.
- Start a new hobby or learn a new language.
- Send handwritten letters and/or thank you notes.
- Donate clothes and items you don’t use.
- Write down your goals.
- Turn on music instead of the TV.
- Ditch one bad habit (one you are likely to succeed in and not directly related to your addiction).
- Take time to appreciate your accomplishments.
- Find someone to mentor.
- Invest in a non-profit, either monetarily or by volunteering.
- Stop beating yourself up over mistakes. Learn from them and move on.
- Make certain places (kitchen table, bedroom, car, etc) “no-phone-zones”
- Deep clean an area in your house or work.
- Walk more.
- Allow yourself five minutes to dwell on a mistake, then move on.
Mostly… if you choose to pick one or more of these resolutions to try, remember our saying…“PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION."
May 2022 be a great year for you (and for all of us). God bless us, every one.