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One year is coming to a close, and another is about to begin. And as the calendar counts down toward a new beginning, many folks—perhaps including you—are thinking about resolutions.

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The resolutions we make at the beginning of year are often grounded in hope—or at least in a real desire to make a significant change. What they generally are not grounded in is a solid plan.

Without a plan, your resolution to lose weight or exercise more or get control of your budget or declutter your home or write your novel or whatever it may be is likely to fall by the wayside sooner rather than later.

Of course, if you are a person in recovery, your most important resolution for the new year is to continue to maintain your hard-won sobriety. But even that essential goal is not much use if you haven’t given serious thought to how you might achieve it.

That’s why we encourage you to resolve to get a grip on your goals as a new year gets underway.

The Path Toward a Goal is Paved by a Plan

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, an author and aviator perhaps most famous for writing The Little Prince, once said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

At first blush, that might not seem so bad. After all, we all love to make wishes. We wish on birthday candles. We make wishes when throwing coins into fountains. We wish upon stars—and we wish a genie might come along and grant us some wishes. What makes wishes so appealing, however, is that they don’t require any effort on the part of the wisher. The hope is that some mysterious power will simply grant our wishes, improving our lives without asking anything of us.

Of course, that is seldom how the world works. A real goal requires more than wishing. It requires a plan and a commitment to working through that plan.

Some Key Parts of a Sobriety Plan

While this advice about planning applies to every kind of goal—including the list we provided above—we want to focus on that most important resolution: Your goal to stay sober throughout the next year.

Although your plan for ongoing sobriety will be unique to you, some key things belong on every blueprint for a sober year. Here are some suggestions:

  • Attend recovery meetings regularly to get and give support. Remember that attending a meeting can be an excellent strategy in any situation in which you feel tempted or overwhelmed by cravings.
  • Make sure you are taking care of your mental health. Co-occurring mental health disorders are often tangled up with substance use disorders. Staying in therapy and taking any prescribed medication for a mental health issue are two key steps toward maintaining your sobriety.
  • Focus on what we have called “the big three”—including healthy eating, regular exercise, and restful sleep. These things support both your physical and your mental well-being—and your sobriety as well.
  • Schedule time (no, really: put it on your calendar) to spend with family, friends, and your favorite hobbies. Good relationships and engaging activities that give you space to relax and recharge boost your efforts to stay sober.
  • Support your mind and effectively deal with stress via mindfulness practice, yoga, or both. These practices can help you stay present rather than ruminating about the past or worrying about the future. Staying in the moment can help you with the work of staying sober.

Making this sort of plan provides a path and the necessary motivation to work toward your larger goal of staying sober. That approach is far more likely to be successful than a simple resolution—or wish—that your sobriety will remain intact. 

The First Step of Any Sobriety Plan is Treatment

If you are currently using drugs or alcohol, your first resolution should be to get sober—and your plan to do so should include a residential treatment facility like French Creek Recovery Center.

We provide personalized care grounded in evidence and empathy. We will help you regain your sobriety via our medically supervised detoxification program. We will help you learn how to maintain that sobriety via our robust rehabilitation program. And we will help you start your recovery journey with confidence via our commitment to providing a continuum of care.

No other goal you could set is as important to helping you reclaim your life as reclaiming your sobriety. Our goal is to help you get there by bringing to bear our expertise and experience on your behalf. If you are ready to make a change, our team in Meadville, PA, is ready to get to work.