For the millions of Americans who are addicted to alcohol, a new year represents new opportunities to finally get things right. While you might think the idea of a New Year’s resolution is cheesy, it can actually provide you with a solid framework upon which you can achieve sobriety.
The New Year: A Perfect Time to Get Sober
According to Proactive Change, 40 to 45 percent of adult Americans make one or more resolutions each year. By far, the top three New Year’s resolutions are weight loss, exercise, and smoking cessation. Unfortunately, very few people ever fulfill their goals. While 75 percent make it past the first week, just 46 percent reach the halfway point of 6 months.
For those who look at things through the “glass half full” perspective, this means roughly half of people stick with their resolutions, and if you have a goal that actually means something to you, then you’re even more likely to see it through.
For those who suffer from alcohol abuse or dependency, setting a sobriety resolution can be extremely powerful. Nearly 14 million Americans abuse alcohol each year and a commitment to being sober would have a tremendously positive impact on families, relationships, and public health.
5 Tips to Help You Stick With Your Resolution
The question is how can you set a New Year’s resolution to be sober and actually stick with it? There isn’t a secret formula, but there are some things you can do to increase your chances of being successful.
1. Set Goals
Setting the goal of being sober for an entire year is wonderful, but the long-term nature of this goal makes it hard to stay focused. What you really need to do is break your resolution down into digestible chunks and checkpoints that keep you on track and allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment.
A smaller goal might look like going without a drink for an entire week. Then you might set a goal of an entire month. From there you could aim for 90 days…and so on. This gives you short-term goals while still pursuing the long-term resolution.
2. Get Professional Help
You might think you can pursue sobriety on your own, but it’s extremely hard to take a DIY approach and experience total success. Alcohol is a powerful drug that probably has more power over you than you realize. If you want to be successful, it would be a smart idea to pursue a detox in a professional setting.
“The detox process cleanses the body while the therapeutic modalities focus on cleansing the mind and soul,” Drug Treatment Finders explains. “Alcohol treatment facilities work just as hard as the patients do to ensure a successful recovery. They provide the tools necessary to live a healthy, sober life.”
3. Find Accountability
Regardless of whether you choose to get professional help or handle sobriety on your own, it’s helpful to have some accountability in your life. When you have people keeping you honest, it’s much harder to slip up and fall back into a dependence on alcohol.
Accountability could look like joining an alcoholic’s anonymous class, or simply asking a friend or coworker to check in on you from time to time. When you know that you have to report to people, you’re less likely to give in to temptation.
4. Pick Up Constructive Hobbies
When you start living sober, you’ll discover that you have a lot more time on your hands. And not only do you have more time, but your mind is also more alert and clear for larger portions of the day. In order to avoid falling back into addiction, you should pick up some constructive hobbies.
When you stay busy, you have less time to think about alcohol. Furthermore, you’ll discover that there are more fulfilling things in life than drinking the day away.
5. Reward Yourself
Make sure you reward yourself for your sobriety. This could look like making a goal chart and filling it in every week or month. Or maybe it’s having a big celebration every 90 days with your friends and family members. Whatever the case may be, make sure you’re providing yourself with some positive reinforcement. Without it, it’s easy to get bored with your progress and have a relapse.
Make 2018 a Transformational Year
What if 2018 becomes the year that you finally pour those bottles down the drain and discover what it’s like to be free from the shackles of alcohol? While it takes a lot of hard work and discipline to see a resolution like this come to fruition, it all starts with intentional planning and goal setting. If you’ve made it a priority, you’re already well on your way to success.