As 2017 winds down, many people are making New Year’s resolutions. If you are going through the recovery process, you might feel as though your hands are full enough with the lifestyle changes you’re already making. If so, don’t feel as though you need to take on anything else! If, however, you are ready to make another healthy change in your life, consider some of these New Year’s resolutions that won’t be too hard to keep.
Resolution: I Will Try a New Healthy Lifestyle Change
You don’t have to be specific when you make a new year’s resolution; it’s your year, after all! As you go through the recovery process, you’ll learn more about yourself and about how you can make healthy lifestyle changes. Resolve to try one lifestyle change. The key word here is “try”; if something doesn’t feel right or is too hard, don’t feel guilty. Instead, replace it with a different one. Just trying out different healthy behaviors can lead to changes down the road. If you can’t think of any changes to try out, here are some to get you started:
- Going for a short walk every day at a certain time.
- Making your bed every morning.
- Drinking water instead of soft drinks or iced tea with dinner.
- Including a piece of fruit with your lunch.
- Going to bed 30 minutes earlier than you currently do.
- Meditating or journaling for five minutes every morning.
Resolution: I Will Surround Myself With More Positive People
This is one that is good for your mental well-being and it’s also much more pleasant than the alternative. Make a conscious effort to incorporate more positivity into your life by avoiding those who are constantly negative and gravitating toward those who are more optimistic about life in general. Remember that positivity is contagious, so by striving for friendships with optimists, you will begin to reflect and absorb those good feelings.
Resolution: I Will Volunteer (A Specific Number of) Hours Per Month
There’s a lot of need in your community, and helping out will be a gift to yourself and to the ones you are helping. Think about what problems weigh on your heart or interest you, then find out what volunteer opportunities are available. Don’t make the obligation too intrusive, at least at first; try to commit to just a couple hours per month in the beginning so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Over time, you could add more hours if it’s something you want to do.
Resolution: I Will Be Grateful Every Day
Even when you are in the midst of difficult times, there’s always something to be thankful for. At the end of each day, spend a few minutes thinking about what you can be grateful for that day. You can talk about them with your family, write them down in a gratitude journal, or just meditate on them for a few minutes. Having an attitude of gratitude will help you focus on the positive and brush off the negative.
Resolution: I Will Share My Thoughts in Group Therapy or Support Group Sessions
If you are in group therapy or you attend a support group, you already know that you’ll get the most benefit from sharing your thoughts with others. Resolve to speak up when you have something to share. If you don’t often feel as though you want to share, make the effort to share twice per month or whatever frequency feels a bit challenging but not too overwhelming.
Resolution: I Will Try Something New
It’s easy to get into a rut and not branch out to try new things, but having novel experiences can give you a new perspective, help you meet new people, and simply make life more exciting and interesting. Make a list of activities you’d like to try and then make an appointment with yourself to give it a whirl. Again, there’s no shame in trying something and deciding it’s not your cup of tea; give your chosen activity a good solid try, but if after a few months you’re not really interested anymore, you can switch to something else. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Go horseback riding.
- Take up tennis, golf, or some other sport.
- Take an art class.
- Join a gym.
- Indulge your inner adventurist and go skydiving, bungee jumping or parasailing.
- Try out for a play or musical in your community.
Which of These New Year’s Resolutions Will You Choose?
When choosing a new year’s resolution, keep it simple and keep your expectations realistic. Remember that there’s no law that says all resolutions must start January 1; you can always start with one small one and then add another one a few weeks or a few months later. Also, keep in mind that your recovery comes first, so if you find yourself getting overwhelmed, go ahead and drop the resolution and focus on what’s most important for a while. You have a whole lifetime ahead of you to live life to its fullest, so put your attention on recovering for the time being if that’s what you need to do.
Paradigm Malibu is an adolescent mental health and drug treatment center dedicated to identifying, understanding and properly treating the core issues that impact teens and their families.