The New Year is officially here, and you know what that means! Time to make a long list of resolutions, and strive to be the very best versions of ourselves. In most cases, we’ll set a wide range of lofty goals, expecting to dive into them headfirst and make all the changes that we deem necessary both quickly and permanently. Realistically, of course, we’ll fall off-track within the first several weeks. It isn’t because we lack resolve, or because we simply stop caring about self-betterment. In most cases, it’s because we attempt to do too much too soon – we set broad, strict goals, and we’re surprised when we fall short. Lose 20 pounds, exercise daily, eat healthier, pray and meditate every day, finish the steps, get 12 sponsees… These are great personal goals, but piling them all at once can be overwhelming. And when we feel overwhelmed, we’re more likely to completely discard what it is that’s stressing us out, rather than taking a step back and re-evaluating. Instead of throwing in the towel entirely, try making small resolutions and spreading them out over the year. Rather than saying, “I’m going to lose 20 pounds,” for example, try saying, “I’m going to focus on exercising as regularly as I can, with the ultimate goal of getting in shape and losing some weight.” Rather than saying, “I’m going to get 12 sponsees,” try saying something like, “I’m going to hang out after meetings for at least 10 minutes and talk to as many newcomers as I can.” Set realistic goals – goals that set solid parameters, but are not too harsh or specific.
If you’re new to recovery or if you’ve been in recovery for quite some time, you will likely want to incorporate some recovery-related resolutions. Of course, these resolutions will look different for everyone, and they don’t need to directly involve sobriety in order to be deeply beneficial. For example, maybe attending one or two yoga classes every week bolsters your recovery, because doing so helps alleviate stress. Perhaps spending time outdoors is your own personal method of meditation, and so you resolve to take at least one short hike every week – or a walk, if you don’t have time for a full-blown hike. Keep your resolutions flexible and personal to you.