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Making Realistic Recovery Goals in 2023

Clipboard and paper with handwritten 2023 realistic recovery goals

When it comes to recovery goals, getting sober is often at the top of the list. Making realistic recovery goals in 2023 and sticking to them is essential to achieving long-term sobriety. Call Insight Recovery Center at 828.826.1376 or contact our team online to learn more about our addiction aftercare program in North Carolina. We can help you make 2023 the healthiest year yet.

Recovery Goals: Getting Through the Holidays

Part of addiction aftercare planning is learning to lean on a support system post-treatment. But what happens when your support system is also part of what triggers you? The holiday season is a triggering time for people in recovery because of the following:

  • Changes in routine – People get time off of work, travel to see their families and friends, spend time preparing for parties and other celebrations, and often don’t adhere to their typical routines during the holiday season. Your healthy exercise and eating patterns and your support meeting or therapy session attendance may fall by the wayside. These disruptions can put stress on your sobriety.
  • Celebrations – The holiday season is a time of gatherings usually overloaded with alcohol and may provide access to illicit substances. The sheer amount of addictive substances present at some get-togethers can be overwhelming, especially for people in recovery.
  • Family stress – The holidays are often when people spend time with family members. If you have a strained relationship with your family, spending time with them could lead to stress or even symptoms of anxiety or depression. Seeing your family could also make you feel guilty or ashamed about the effect of your addiction on your loved ones. These emotions can be triggering.

It’s difficult to predict how an event will play out or how you will feel. If you want to participate in holiday activities with your family and friends, you should have an exit strategy to avoid potentially stressful situations.

Setting Realistic Addiction Recovery Goals as New Year’s Resolutions

If cozying up at holiday parties is difficult for people in recovery, what else can you do to feel the holiday magic? You can set New Year’s resolutions and make it more than just a fun tradition. If you take the effort and time to create actionable goals, your New Year’s resolutions could be an essential tool in promoting your lasting recovery and sobriety.

Most New Year’s resolutions fail because they are too vague. You can use the SMART goals framework to turn your realistic addiction recovery goals into New Year’s resolutions that you’ll work at and keep:

  • Specific – Decide on a precise outcome.
  • Measurable – Make sure that you’re measuring your progress.
  • Action-oriented – Plan specific steps that you will take to reach your goal.
  • Realistic – Your goal should be achievable given the resources at your disposal.
  • Timely – Pick a deadline for completion or a daily, monthly, or weekly repeating timeframe for the task.

The SMART goals framework is well-suited for people in recovery because it can provide concrete suggestions for breaking down the vague goal of getting sober into a series of steps that lead to foundational success.

No two people in recovery are exactly alike. Keeping up a New Year’s resolution that’s specific to your circumstances can help to inspire you to stay on the path to sobriety. For example: “I will exercise for 30 minutes per day.” Regular exercise helps improve stamina, strength, energy levels, and emotional health. This will all contribute to reducing stress and maintaining sobriety. This New Year’s resolution is easy to keep while also being an actual help to achieving your addiction recovery goals.

Find Extra Help and Support During the Holidays

The holiday season is well-known as a difficult time for people in recovery. If you feel like you can’t handle dealing with the triggers of the holidays alone, or if you’re newly discharged from an addiction treatment center, prepare for the season in advance.

You can speak to a mental health professional about triggers and constructive ways to deal with them. Ask a friend be your holiday buddy. You can even hold your sober gathering at your home instead of going to other celebrations that may put you close to substances.

Ask your addiction treatment center if they have any special services to help alums during the holidays. If you’re traveling during the holidays, look up support meetings happening in the area you’re visiting. You may need supportive fellowship, which can be hard to find while dealing with a triggering situation. Build meeting attendance into your holiday schedule instead.

Learning More About Insight Recovery Center’s Addiction Treatment

If you’re looking for an addiction treatment center, contact Insight Recovery Center at 828.826.1376. We offer a range of treatment programs that incorporate evidence-based treatments, family support, and aftercare planning. With our help, you can set realistic addiction recovery goals and New Year’s resolutions to help you stay sober throughout the holidays.