The new year is the perfect time to recommit to your sobriety. After all, it’s the time for fresh starts and resolutions. Therefore, it’s an ideal time to make a new action plan for staying sober.
The winter months can be some of the toughest times of the year for people who struggle with addiction. If you can get through these weeks without sacrificing your sobriety, then you are off to a good start.
Regardless, you can always start fresh in January.
Mark the Milestones on the Calendar
Celebrating your sobriety milestones helps keep you on track. Therefore, you should get a calendar out and mark down important dates for the year to come. Moreover, you should make a list of things you can do to celebrate on those dates.
For example, many people choose to celebrate 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days of sobriety. If you’re celebrating one year of sobriety this year, put that on the calendar. Of course, if you have more sobriety under your belt, your annual sobriety date is cause for celebration.
People also choose to celebrate their firsts. For example, you can celebrate your first job since you got sober or the start of your first sober relationship. These might not be specific dates that you can put on the calendar, but you can leave yourself little reminders. For example, in the box for the last day of every calendar month, write, “what were my firsts this month?” This reminds you to celebrate those sober achievements.
Schedule Plans for Challenging Times
As you look at the calendar, you may notice that certain dates trigger you in a negative way. For example, your birthday or an old anniversary could be a trigger. Alternatively, you may associate certain holidays or occasions with addictive behaviors. Be proactive for your sobriety by making positive plans for those times of the year. Brainstorm a list of the people who support you. Then see if they’ll commit to sober activities with you on those days.
Additional Lists to Make for the New Year
Lists are a terrific resource to help you all throughout the year. There will be times that you feel down, and you won’t have a lot of strength to come up with solutions. Therefore, you can rely on your lists to get you back on track. Some of the lists that you should take the time to make now include:
- Your best traits to refer to when your self-esteem is low
- Resources, which are all of the people, places, and things that make you feel better
- Self-care activities to help you feel safe, secure, and happy
- Places to go to enjoy sober activities
- Schedule of local meetings, classes, or groups for maintaining sobriety
- Everything you appreciate about sobriety and everything you’d lose without it
The idea is that anytime you’re starting to feel like you could slip back into using substances, you will have a list to turn to. The list might remind you why you enjoy staying sober. On the other hand, it might give you options for things to do other than drinking.
Establish New Routines for the New Year
A lot of these ideas are about planning for the whole year. However, when it comes to sobriety, sometimes you really do have to take it one day at a time. Many people find that establishing healthy daily routines helps them to make sure that each day goes smoothly. The new year is the perfect time to jumpstart new routines.
Ask yourself what you want each morning, afternoon, and evening to look like. Plan your routines accordingly. For example, let’s say that you want to start the day with more energy. Your morning routine might include waking up two hours before work, then eating a healthy breakfast, and working out at the gym. Likewise, if you want your evenings to be relaxing, then you might have a wind-down routine that includes turning off devices, taking a bath, and reading a book each night before bed. What you do each day becomes your life so choose wisely.
Of course, at any time throughout the year, you may face challenges to your sobriety. Never hesitate to reach out for help with addiction.