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7 New Year’s Resolutions for Those in Recovery



I don’t know about you, but I used to make new year’s resolutions like clockwork. Wake up on January 1st, watch a ball drop in Times Square, and immediately begin resolving to change my life! 

And even though I didn’t stick with most of those resolutions (because who can?), they did have one thing in common: 

They were all made because I felt like something was missing. 

Sometimes that something was health or happiness or love; other times it was simply something better than the path I’d been on for most of my life. 

But what happens when your sobriety — an essential part of recovery from addiction — is missing? 

How do you maintain your physical and emotional health without slipping back into old habits? 

The truth is that there are so many ways we can be tempted by substances during this time that it’s hard not to feel vulnerable (and if we didn’t feel vulnerable before entering recovery, well then congrats!). 

But don’t worry! These seven tips will help strengthen your resolve and keep those pesky cravings at bay:

Table of Contents

Create a support system

You could make all the resolutions to change your life and take control of it, but it will never happen if you don’t have a support system already in place.

Support systems come in many forms. You may have friends or family who are ready to help you as soon as they hear that you’re trying to recover from an addiction. 

If that’s not the case for you, consider finding a 12-step group or therapist who can be there for you when things get tough. 

There are also online forums where recovering addicts can talk about their struggles and offer each other advice on how to overcome them—and these sites might be just what the doctor ordered!


Reflect on your past year

Take a look at the past year and reflect on what you have learned, accomplished, and how your life has changed. 

Use your reflection as a way to plan for the future by identifying goals for yourself or areas of improvement that could use some extra focus.


Share your story

  • Share your story with others in recovery.
  • Share your story with people who don’t know you’re in recovery.
  • Share your story with people who do know you’re in recovery.


Practice Gratitude Every Day

  • Spend some time each day thinking about what you’re grateful for. Make a list, or just stop and remember the things you are grateful for now.
  • Look for little ways to be grateful in your life every day, like when someone holds the door open for you or when your favorite song plays on the radio.
  • Try writing thank-you notes instead of sending electronic “thank you”s via email. It’s a small way to boost happiness and make others feel appreciated!

Practicing gratitude is one of the most important things in recovery because it helps us focus on positive experiences instead of negative ones

—and this can help prevent relapse! 

In addition to helping with recovery, practicing gratitude also reduces feelings of depression and anxiety, boosts self-esteem and improves overall health by lowering blood pressure levels (it even helps lower stress!). 

Here are some great tips on how we can practice gratitude on a daily basis:


Meditate Every Morning

Meditation is a great way to start your day. It’s a great way to focus on the present moment and deal with stress. 

A morning meditation session can help you wake up and get rid of negative thoughts that have been lingering from yesterday, or even better, the past week or month. 

Meditation can also help you sleep better at night because it releases tension in your muscles and reduces stress levels.


Start a New Hobby

You don’t have to be a professional athlete or artist, but try something you’ve never done before. 

There are so many hobbies and activities out there that can get your mind off of drinking, drugs, and/or other addictive behaviors. 

You might even find that your new hobby becomes one of your passions in life. If you don’t succeed immediately, don’t get discouraged! 

Don’t stop trying because it takes time and patience to build any skill set. Just because you may not be good at something at first doesn’t mean that you won’t eventually become good at it! 

Have fun with this new adventure in life; it will help take away some of the stress associated with daily life without drugs or alcohol as well as help keep boredom at bay during recovery when things can get pretty boring sometimes.


Treat Yourself to the Occasional Beer or Cocktail (Maybe)

This is a complicated one. If you’re in recovery, it’s important to understand what your triggers are and how they affect your sobriety. 

For some people, alcohol is the only way they know how to relax or deal with stress. 

If that’s true for you, then consider experimenting with other ways of self-care that don’t involve drinking: try yoga, meditation, or even just a long walk in the park.

But if you’re feeling like your sobriety is going well—and you want to celebrate by treating yourself once in a while—it’s not necessarily going against your recovery goals. 

So, go ahead: order a cocktail (or two) on date night! Just make sure these guidelines are followed:

  • Don’t drink all day every day
  • Don’t drink more than 3 drinks per sitting (whether at home or out)
  • Don’t drink if you’re feeling anxious or depressed
  • Don’t drink if there’s an event coming up where drinking will be expected (i.e., work holiday parties).


Recovering from addiction and working toward sobriety is a year-long effort

Recovering from addiction and working toward sobriety is a year-long effort. It’s important to celebrate your progress, but also be patient with yourself. 

If you’re still struggling with addiction, it’s okay to take time off from the gym or cut back on your volunteer work if it means you’ll have more energy for recovery. 

Be kind and patient with others—and yourself!

We hope these New Year’s resolutions will help you stay on the path toward recovery and sobriety in the coming year. 

If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend beginning with one of the smaller goals: taking a moment each day to be grateful for what you have or meditating for five minutes before bedtime. 

These small changes can make a big difference as they add up over time!


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