Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

As we swing into 2021, it’s safe to assume that many of us have long lists of New Year’s resolutions. This is awesome and resolutions are great, but for many of us in recovery, they can also equal a lot of pressure, particularly if we’re newly sober. Have resolutions if you’d like, but try not to make your goals too lofty. 

Go easy on yourself

The reason why taking it “one day at a time” is such a popular motto for people in recovery is because it takes the pressure off. As alcoholics and addicts, many of us tend to have an ‘all or nothing’ attitude. And this sets us up for failure before we’ve even begun. Think about it in terms of our drinking and using, for example. 

In early recovery, when we try to imagine staying sober for the rest of our lives, it sounds and feels absolutely daunting and near impossible for many of us. On the other hand, focusing on taking baby steps and setting daily goals of staying sober just for the day ahead can be much easier to wrap our heads around. And it’s a lot less pressure. Staying sober for one day is a feat in and of itself, and we can reward ourselves daily for accomplishing this one fairly simple but very significant task. 

Treat your resolutions like you treat your recovery

Let’s say, for example, that one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get more fit and healthy. This is a fantastic goal, but it doesn’t mean you need to kill it in next month’s Iron Man Triathlon while surviving solely off of kale, brown rice, grass fed beef and protein shakes for the rest of your life. If your lifestyle isn’t too far off from this in the first place, then it might be no problem for you. If, however, you’ve never worked out before and your diet isn’t already relatively clean, then you’re likely better off easing your way into this new lifestyle. 

Maybe this means starting out with easy twenty minute workouts per day for the first month or two, and cleaning up your meals, say, at breakfast time for the first few weeks. Don’t immediately jump into running sixteen kilometers per day, bench pressing your body weight, and having only green smoothies for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It isn’t going to be easy to maintain, and it’s a surefire way to set yourself up for failure. 

Focus on celebrating the wins

By creating small daily goals rather than great, big resolutions that are tough to sustain or even achieve in the first place, you’re giving yourself a much better chance of succeeding. And when you do succeed in achieving these small, daily tasks, you can celebrate your wins. It just makes life easier, and it will also help you on your recovery journey. 

Set small, achievable goals

While the feeling of being a failure doesn’t necessarily lead to a relapse, it can. This is one of the many reasons why it’s so important in recovery, particularly in our early days, to go easy on ourselves. By setting small and achievable goals, we’re not only protecting our sobriety, but we’re creating a life for ourselves that’s going to be much more enjoyable. 

As addicts and alcoholics, we often tend to be very hard on ourselves, but hasn’t 2020 already been crazy enough? Relax, take it easy, and enjoy the recovery ride as much as you can. Enjoy setting those 2021 goals, but try to make them light, fun, and focus on your sobriety first and foremost. Getting sober is such an awesome milestone on its own, and if you stick around, life is only going to get better and better, and it won’t take a back break for it to get this way. Trust the process. 

Kembali Recovery Center is here for you…

If you or someone you know and care about is struggling to get or stay sober, Kembali Recovery Center is here for you. Step one is easy. Just reach out. Here’s to an amazing 2021!

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