For many of us, the start of a New Year comes with resolutions, goals and intentions. For me, these have become a sort of self-help tool and give me something to strive for. But it hasn’t always been like that.
For years the whole concept of New Year’s resolutions was just another pressure to do something that seemed impossible to stick to. Every year I would spend New Year’s Day so hungover that I vowed to myself to start looking after myself better, to not get so drunk anymore, to be healthier and to become a better version of myself. Well, I had the same intention every year and needless to say, I gave up giving up and decided New Year’s resolutions were ‘not for me’. I decided to stop pressuring myself on the 1st of January and continue ‘life as per usual’. So, I’d pour myself another glass of wine instead and drank to this newfound ‘freedom’.
It’s safe to say that this strategy was not the long-term solution I was hoping for. My problems of course were still there. I completely ignored that if you don’t change anything, everything will stay the same!
I went sober on the 28th of September 2021, out of sheer desperation rather than setting a resolution. However sobriety has helped me to gain momentum in change and setting intentions.
In the ‘sobersphere’ the acronym ‘ODAAT’ is a biggie and stands for ‘One Day At A Time’. That accronym has become the base of anything I do, and it always brings me right back into the present when I start stressing about what’s ahead.
When it comes to making resolutions, it’s easy to get discouraged. Maybe you’ve tried in the past and failed, or maybe you just don’t know where to start. Whatever your reason for not resolution-making, I’m here to tell you that it’s never too late to start now. Whether it’s any day in January or any other day in the year. You are not held to a specific date to set your intentions.
Resolutions don’t have to be huge and take months or even years to accomplish. Instead, resolutions can be simple steps that I can take every day to improve my life. And so, armed with this new mindset, I set out my intentions of what I want to do differently.
One of the biggest obstacles I have to overcome is my own negative self-talk. Every time I want to make a change, my mind immediately gives me a million reasons why it won’t work out or why I am not good enough. But I push through and persist because I know that those thoughts are not true – they are just fears and low self-esteem trying to hold me back.
If you’re struggling with making resolutions, know that you’re not alone. We all face challenges and obstacles in our lives, but it’s important to remember that we have the power to overcome them. Start by taking small steps and be kind to yourself along the way. Remember that any progress is good progress, and soon enough, you’ll find yourself well on your way to achieving your goals!
Setting Goals For Real Change
There are two types of goals: process goals and outcome goals. Process goals are the steps you take to achieve an outcome goal. You can set small process goals to make it to an outcome goal.
For example, if your goal is to do a whole dry month, a process goal might be to write a journal every day or read a few pages of a ‘quit lit’ book of an evening or setup a new workout routine for 30 minutes every day…An outcome goal might be to make it past that first week which is the hardest.
When setting goals, it’s important to keep the following in mind:
1. Set realistic goals. If your goals are too lofty, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.
2. Make sure your goals are specific. Vague goals are more difficult to achieve than specific ones.
3. Write down your goals. This will help you keep track of your progress and hold yourself accountable.
4. Share your goals with others. This will help you stay motivated and on track.
Planning for Momentum
If you want to make a change in your life, it’s great to have some sort of a plan for how you’re going to do it. Having a plan gives you a sense of direction and keeps you focused on your goals.
Plan your day in the morning if you want. You don’t even have to plan far ahead. Write down in the morning what you want to achieve that day and then also write down how you are going to make it happen.
Don’t forget to account for setbacks! Change is never easy and there will be times when you fall off track. When this happens, don’t beat yourself up – just get back on the wagon and keep moving forward.
Most importantly, always remember that progress is often made in small increments. Just keep taking those steps forward and eventually you’ll reach your goal!
Finding Support From Others
The most important change I made was finding support from others.
I got active in the online sober community. Some people there are way ahead in their sober journeys so you can get some much inspiration from those sober rockstars and some are only just starting out just like you. You are likely to find a ‘sober twin’ who you can exchange progress with. This was incredibly helpful because I felt like I wasn’t alone in my journey. We supported and encouraged each other, and held each other accountable.
Staying Motivated and On Track
When it comes to staying motivated and on track, I have found that it is important to keep things in perspective. For me, this means taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind. When you take the time to reflect on why you are making the changes you are, it can be a powerful motivator. I often remind myself of my WHYs and I play that tape forward in my head.
And finally, I make sure to celebrate my successes along the way. Every time I hit a milestone, no matter how small, I give myself a pat on the back. This helps me to stay positive and continue moving forward towards my ultimate goal.
Making resolutions the whole year round has been incredibly helpful in my journey to reach success and personal growth. By shifting away from a focus on just one goal, I have found more stability and energy to build experiences that lead me closer towards my hopes and dreams. Momentum is the key. It pushes us forward even when we feel like stopping or quitting – so use it to your advantage and you’ll soon start seeing changes!
Some sobriety goals you may want to consider setting for yourself include: attending more meetings with other sober or sober curious people, staying active in a 12-step program if that is for you, working with a sponsor, committing to daily meditation, participating in sober activities and avoiding high-risk situations. These are just a few ideas- ultimately, the goal is whatever will help you maintain your sobriety and live a happy, fulfilling life.
And finally, don’t forget to review your goals regularly. This will help keep them top of mind and ensure that you’re still on track.
Follow Sober Socials Luxemburg Facebook page or sober_socials_luxemburg Instagram for more on the topic of sobriety, alternatively you can join our private WhatsApp group where you will find support and encouragement from other like-minded sober or sober curious people. Just message us your number and we’ll add you to the group.
Please note that we are a non-profit organisation and offer to help based on personal experience. If you feel like you are in a place of despair and are having symptoms of physical dependency, please call a medical professional first as stopping drink without medical advice could be dangerous for your health.