You have overcome your addiction and are ready to start this year in a positive direction, and you should be proud of yourself. If you want to maintain your motivation to stay sober, you can try a few things that will improve your odds of success. Celebrating your progress is a good place from which to start, but you will also want to have a network of support. Hobbies can keep you focused and give you something on which to spend your time so that you won’t feel compelled to return to old habits. Following addiction treatment, it’s also important to create new routines. The following guide will give you plenty of examples of how you can stay on the path of recovery in 2018 and for years to come.
Celebrate the Progress You Have Made
After people have achieved their goals in life, they often forget how much effort and hard work it took for them to do so. Taking the time to remember how much progress you have made is a good way to avoid temptation and stay sober. In fact, you should reward yourself for overcoming one of the most difficult phases of your life. As long as doing so won’t hurt your budget, buy something nice that you have always wanted, or you can take a trip to your favorite vacation destination.
Build and Maintain Support Networks
No matter how much willpower you have or how hard you try, you can never avoid temptation all of the time. If you are like most people in recovery, certain situations will trigger cravings and compel you to seek the drug to which you were once addicted. Some people are strong enough to resist the temptation alone, but having a support network will make it much easier to stay on track. Put in the effort to find friends who understand and support your struggle, and you can reach out to them when you feel the urge to give in to the cravings.
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Focus on Hobbies
Your dedication and effort have paid off and given you back control of your choices, and you now have many opportunities to enjoy yourself. Staying busy is another great way to keep yourself moving along the right path. If you have not yet done so, experiment with different hobbies until you find one that you enjoy more than the rest.
Look for Ways to Improve Your Life
You could not have overcome your addiction if you had not cultivated motivation and determination. The same traits that allowed you to put addiction in the past will also let you reach almost any goal to which you set your mind. Using the momentum that you gained by overcoming addiction, push yourself to learn new skills and to improve your life in as many ways as possible.
Pros and Cons List
Rather than being something that you do only once, addiction recovery is a process on which you will always need to focus. If you ever feel tempted to return to your old habits and don’t know what to do about it, make a list of the pros and cons of each choice.
Consider the things that will happen if you surrender to temptation and the path down which it will lead you. You should also write down the possibilities that are available to you when you maintain a life of sobriety. What you will find is that allowing drugs to consume your life will only offer temporary enjoyment. Staying true to your goals, however, will provide you with internal fulfillment that nothing could replace.
Going into the new year gives us the chance to improve our lives as we look toward the future, and you have the power to make 2018 the best year you have ever had. Reflecting on your past will allow you to appreciate how far you have come and will give you the needed motivation to keep moving in a positive direction. Making the correct decisions won’t always be easy, but having a proven plan in place will enhance your odds of staying sober long-term.
Although you could have let your addiction consume your life, you fought back and refused to give up on yourself. You can now turn a difficult memory into a positive event by using the strength and motivation you have gained to improve yourself every day, and you will have a life of which anyone would be proud.
If you need help staying or getting sober so that you can remain in the driver seat of your life, reach out to us as soon as you can. Our caring professionals will look past your problem and get to know you and your needs, enabling us to offer treatments that will provide you with impressive results.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.