As we approach the end of January, people may re-evaluate their New Year’s resolutions. Made so hopefully a few short weeks ago, many find that they have fallen short already and give up. If you are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, you may have experienced this yourself. Year after year having the same resolution to stop drinking or using, and not being able to follow through.
However, there’s a massive difference between a broken resolution and an addiction. At the most, it may be an opportunity to re-evaluate your or a loved one’s habits.
Why Do We Make New Year’s Resolutions?
If you’re like us, you’ve been making or hearing of others’ New Year’s Resolutions for as long as you can remember. They go back even farther than you think. History traces the beginnings of Babylonians, who would make New Year promises to their gods.
Since then, the opportunities of a New Year have continued to intrigue us. We have goals related to fitness, finances, relationships, careers, and hundreds more. For active addicts, making a resolution to stop using or drinking is often a recurring goal. So, why doesn’t it stick? Unlike a person who breaks a money-saving goal, an addiction goes beyond willpower. Most importantly, it doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
When to Admit We are Powerless to our Addiction
If you’re having a hard time sticking to your resolution to not drink or use drugs, it may be time to turn to the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Not on accident, the first step is admitting you are powerless over alcohol and that your life has become unmanageable.
When someone refers to the 12 steps, or “12-step program,” they’re referencing the concrete actions to take to get sober and live a life of recovery. Written by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous, commonly called “AA,” the steps have an estimated membership of over 2 million people and have helped save countless lives from addiction.
The benefits of the 12-step program include a guide on healing from addiction, a community to help you on your journey, and a proven success rate.
The 12 steps include:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- We decided to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when doing so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His Will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.
The core belief of all 12-step rehabs is that people with an addiction can help each other to achieve and maintain sobriety. They typically meet at regularly scheduled days and times, with meetings serving as a way for members to discuss where they are at in their recovery, as well as their experience with addiction and sobriety.
So this year, instead of making the same resolution and not being able to see it through, consider if you might need support such as joining an AA group or exploring treatment.
How Can I Make a New Year’s Resolution that Last?
If you are wondering how to make a New Year’s Resolution that lasts, this post is not to discourage you. Having goals is a great habit and good for mental health. There are several ways to approach them in a way that sticks. Try making only one resolution so you’re not overwhelmed. Make that goal realistic. For example, if you’d like to be able to run 10 miles, start with running 1 and add on. Once you’ve landed on your one resolution, write out a plan on how to achieve it throughout the year.
Remember, you don’t need a New Year to start or continue a goal. While it does mark a new beginning, you can start something whenever you want. Again, if you’re struggling with alcohol or drugs, looking into treatment instead of making it a resolution may be the best move for lasting change.
If you or a loved one are currently dealing with alcohol or drug addiction and would like to know more about treatment options in Atlanta, contact us today. At Emerge Healing Center, our team can help you to decide which program is right for you, as well as design a treatment program that will maximize your chances of success. Gain control of your life with the help of the right treatment center, and find out just how fulfilling an addiction-free life can be.