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5 Resolutions for a New Year and Renewed Recovery

By Steve Sarin 12/28/20

Once you’ve established a decent amount of time since your last drink or drug, it can be challenging to avoid a plateau in recovery.

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Graphic with 2021 but the "1" is a person standing in a yoga pose
How can you reboot your recovery in 2021?

If you’re in recovery, you’ve already checked the toughest item off of your to-do list—getting help—but there’s more you can do to reboot your recovery in 2021. Once you’ve established a decent amount of time since your last drink or drug, it can be challenging to avoid a plateau in recovery, and going to meetings can become routine and just another task to complete. It’s important to keep evolving in recovery, so I’ve put together a list of five New Year’s resolutions to keep you on track for a happy, healthy, and sober 2021.

1. Get an Active Hobby

Maintaining your physical health is a great way to get out of the house and do something good for the body and the mind. A healthy hobby keeps the mind and body busy and provides an excellent replacement for our old behaviors. If you’ve never heard of The Phoenix, you should! The Phoenix is a sober active community with more than 42,000 members all around the country. From community fitness to rock climbing and camping, The Phoenix offers in-person and virtual fitness programming daily, introducing you to a new community of people in recovery choosing an active lifestyle. The cost of membership is 48 hours of recovery, so it’s great for newcomers and people with a lot of sober time under their belt.

2. Check Out a New Meeting

Meetings are easy to attend in the COVID era. You can turn on your laptop or smartphone and be connected to a group of recovery people literally anywhere in the world. So, take advantage of it! Don’t abandon your homegroup, because that’s your home base of support and service, but broaden your horizons to new locations and new people for a fresh perspective on recovery. If you’ve moved from your hometown, why not check out the recovery scene there? Maybe you loved your Italy trip, so Zoom on over to Rome and see how people stay sober in a culture where they serve wine at virtually every meal. There are many voices and outlooks on recovery that you haven’t heard, so use the new year to expand your horizons.

3. Meditation and Mindfulness Activities

For many of us, mediation is a critical part of our recovery and a great tool to relieve stress. If you haven’t fully committed to the practice, check out one of the guided mediation apps such as Calm or Headspace. I’m a huge advocate of Transcendental Meditation and its effortless, mantra-based method. The TM organization is nonprofit, so they aren’t making money to teach the technique. There’s no one-size-fits-all practice, find one that you like! If you’re already meditating regularly, check out some online yoga classes. Both yoga and meditation are great for getting you outside of your head and reducing depression and anxiety–conditions known to contribute to relapse. There are even some mindfulness yoga programs that focus on substance use recovery.

4. Read Some New Recovery Resources

The 12-step programs frown upon bringing unapproved literature to meetings, but there’s a ton of books out there with advice and harrowing personal tales of recovery. As an almost militant atheist, I struggled with the higher power aspect of 12-step recovery. I found Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life by Joe C. to be a fantastic tool. The book offers secular daily reflections with interesting and thought-provoking questions at the end of each entry. It’s also indexed by topic, so it’s an excellent resource when looking for a new way to discuss the steps with sponsees. There are several best recovery book lists online, so you can find one that looks interesting to you.

5. Be of Service

If you’ve read any of the 12-step literature, you know how helping others was instrumental in the founders’ recovery journey. When you give some of your time to others, you’re not only helping them, you’re helping yourself, and it feels terrific. Remember where you once were and who helped get you where you are now and dedicate yourself to making somebody else just as successful. Pick up another sponsee or just stay after a meeting to talk to the shy newcomer. Those extra five minutes can determine if someone comes back.

For those who have yet to enter a treatment program, it’s time to make a plan. The New Year is a great time to start over and get the help you need and deserve. If you or a loved one needs help with substance abuse and mental health problems, check out AspenRidge REACH’s online addiction program. We also have in-person treatment centers across Colorado. 

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