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February 21, 2019

Sticking to Your New Year’s Resolutions

Have you made New Year’s resolutions and are looking for ways to ensure that you stick to your goals all the way through the year? The upcoming year can be a blank slate during which you can achieve your goals and make huge changes in your life through small, consistent steps, but it can be busy to carry your New Year’s resolutions all the way through the year despite pitfalls and challenges that are sure to arise. Your New Year’s resolutions should be a source of positivity that helps feed your actions in the upcoming year rather than a source of disappointment. There are simple strategies you can invoke to help make sure you don’t give up on your New Year’s resolutions within the first few months nor have them become a source of discouragement.

One of the biggest errors individuals commonly make with New Year’s resolutions is that they make their goals unrealistic and unattainable, which sets them up for failure. Whether your New Year’s resolution is to quit smoking, recover from an addiction with the help of a detox center, inpatient rehab, or long term rehab, maintain sobriety, eat healthier, lose weight, exercise more, live a more healthy lifestyle, or anything in between, it’s important to make sure you are setting resolutions that are achievable and attainable. You want to set yourself up to stay on track, stay motivated, and succeed, while also challenging yourself to improve throughout the year.

Ways to Carry Your New Year’s Resolutions Through the Year

In addition to making goals that are unrealistic, other common pitfalls are making New Year’s resolutions that lack specificity or are created not from a personal desire, but from influence by other individuals (like friends and family) in your life. For you to follow through on your resolutions and carry them through the upcoming year, it’s important that they are a priority for you and that you have specific measurements, metrics, and time frames around your resolutions to keep you on track. Below are helpful tips to help you carry your New Year’s resolutions through the year.

Make Your Resolutions Measurable

If your resolutions are too vague, it’s much more likely that you will lose your determination and stop following through on them, which is why it is vital to make your resolutions as measurable as possible. This is easy for goals like losing weight, as you can set a goal weight number, as well as incremental benchmarks that you want to hit. You can also employ this tactic for other types of goals. For example, if you are trying to cut back on certain behaviors or the use of substances, you can make measurable goals around your usage that are trackable, in order to make your resolutions achievable and concrete.

Set Time Frames

Making your New Year’s resolutions time-bound is essential to carry them through the year. Setting a firm timeline for achieving your goal helps give you boundaries and can help to drive you forward in the moments when your motivation is waning. Your time frame to achieve your resolutions should be realistic and account for the challenges that will surely crop up during the course of the year. Keep in mind that different time frames can be tied to different resolutions, as some may be more long-term than others. It is also useful to set intermediate time frames and checkpoints into your timeline to help you intermittently spend the time to assess your progress towards your resolutions and adjust course if necessary.

Ask For Support When You Need It

Sticking to a resolution throughout an entire year can come with its own set of challenges and may test your determination to reach your goals. Keep in mind that you don’t have to work towards your New Year’s resolutions alone. You can reach out to your family and friends for support and positive reinforcement if you encounter struggles during the year, begin to lose motivation, or just need to talk through your experiences with someone. This is especially vital if your New Year’s resolutions are centered around addiction and working towards maintaining or achieving sobriety. Your support system is integral to achieving these resolutions, so rely on them when necessary to make sure you stick to your New Year’s resolutions.

Be Kind to Yourself

Achieving perfection is unattainable, so remember to be kind to yourself throughout the year as you put hard work in towards achieving your resolutions and goals. If you slip up or miss a milestone, it’s important to be kind to yourself and pick yourself back up to make a new plan and continue working towards your goals. Don’t be too hard on yourself. The first time you make a misstep, you might feel discouraged and want to give up on your resolutions completely. The important part is to keep going and to make small changes every day to get closer to where you want to be at the end of the year.

For more on addiction and recovery, contact us.

Sources:

American Psychological Association. “Making Your New Year’s Resolution Stick.” Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resolution.aspx.

The New York Times. “How to Make (and Keep) a New Year’s Resolution.” Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/guides/smarterliving/resolution-ideas.

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