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Each new year brings thoughts of new beginnings, hope for change and an opportunity to fulfil more dreams. Many of us make resolutions at this time of year — most of which are focused on better health, stopping bad habits and replacing them with newer more positive ones.

For some, the new year is another opportunity to get sober. As anyone who has made a lot of resolutions or commitments, New Year’s or otherwise, will know keep those resolutions without an action plan will more than likely lead to failure. It’s not enough to say you want to get sober.

Taking action

We’ve said this before — getting sober is more than a resolution; it’s changing your way of life. It’s critical at this time not to set expectations too high. That can become a path to failure. As with any plan, breaking it down into workable steps that are realistic, achievable and sustainable is the key. 

One day at a time

Those often-repeated recovery statements — one day at a time and progress, not perfection — are crucial to remember. For any of us, whether we are looking at stopping an addiction or making other big changes, thinking about doing this for the rest of our lives will be overwhelming. So break your goals down into small steps which will lead to bigger successes. Don’t use for today. That’s all you have to think about.

Set short-term goals

Begin with short-term goals like the one above. When you stay sober or clean one day at a time, shortly you’ll be able to see several days and weeks accumulate. And soon, you’ll be able to celebrate many days of clean living. 

What will help me get there?

Identify other habits and behaviours that can help you to stay sober:

•   make new and healthier friends

•   go to support meetings

•   find an addiction recovery program

Instead of just stating you want to be sober in 2019, set down some new ways of living that will get you there.

Spending time with people who are sober or support your sobriety is one. Attending support meetings where you can find other people who have been through the same experiences as you, and have maintained sobriety is another. Choose an Addiction Recovery Program such as AA or NA and if your budget allows, and sign up for outpatient or inpatient programs.

There is help available, but you need to take the first step and that is making a decision. The next step is to put an action plan in place.

From the House of Courage team, best wishes for a healthy, happy and sober 2019!