It’s that time of year again: New Year’s resolutions! This is the time of year people promise themselves they will exercise, eat healthy, lose weight, start that new hobby, etc. Most New Year’s resolutions end up falling away after a month or so. But how do you set yourself up to keep going? Here are some tips:
1) Start with a goal that feels manageable and sustainable.
2) Set a time period you think you think you can sustain that resolution. For instance, maybe you want to focus on one month instead of a whole year – that can be overwhelming. After a month, then, you can re-evaluate your goal and set another. Maybe you want to keep going, or maybe you need to adjust because your goal turned out to be too lofty.
3) Reward yourself for success. After you achieve a time limited goal, reward yourself with self-nurturing that is not inconsistent with your goals. You wouldn’t reward sustained sobriety with a drink, so don’t reward your healthy eating with a gallon of ice cream. Try a massage, a healthy dinner out, a movie, etc.
4) Enlist support. It can be easier to move forward in your resolution when you have a cheerleader or someone else to do it with. This also gives you accountability when you are sharing your goals.
5) Be kind to yourself. If you can’t make your goal, re-evaluate. Start where you can see success!
6) Good luck and Happy New Year!
Kirsten Helgager PsyD
AToN Center 888-535-1516
The holiday season can be fraught with pitfalls and anxiety for the newly sober person. Suddenly holidays may seem depressing or even frightening. “How do I go to my holiday work party and stay sober?” “How do I spend time with my family??” “What do I do on New Years???” Suddenly it becomes much more clear that the majority of holidays cater to the non-sober crowd. Suddenly the way you celebrate holidays has to change drastically (and in many cases – it must – if you want to live to see more holidays).
At first, this can seem like a major “con” on your “pros/cons” list for sobriety. But remember this. A night without drinking and using may mean that you can wake up the next day without a hangover, without shame or guilt, without trying to piece together what happened the night before. Over time, you will realize that you are actually not “missing out” by choosing a sober lifestyle.
Develop your own sober strategies, but here are a few to get you started: have a glass of something non-alcoholic in your hand, bring a sober friend with you, and remind yourself how good you will feel the next day. Begin creating new holiday traditions that bring you joy, and you will find that you will no longer wonder how to manage the holidays sober – you will look forward to them!
Cassandra Cannon, Ph.D
Licensed Clinical Psychologist – Clinical Director
AToN Center 888-535-1516
Many of us have decided on a New Years Resolution – but how many of us have picked the same resolution as last year?
Unfortunately, New Year’s Resolutions often fall by the wayside! For the month of January, gyms are typically filled with people – but the regular gym-goers know to wait it out and they’ll have their gym back in a month or two. I’m not saying we shouldn’t make changes in our lives, but I do believe we need to focus more on making sustainable lifestyle changes.
When thinking about making a change, SMART Recovery encourages us to complete a Cost-Benefit Analysis. This analysis can build motivation and be a useful tool when our motivation wanes! We can look at it again and refuel that fire that got us going in the first place.
Another helpful tool is SMART Recovery’s Change Plan Worksheet. This helps us identify the steps for implementing a change, the ways other people can help us and how we can side–step the pitfalls that may interfere with following through! When we find ourselves making excuses or rationalizing reasons we do not need to follow through with our plans , we can utilize the ABC’s of REBT to identify the distorted thinking that supports this and refocus ourselves back to our original goal. Let us use this time of year refocus on healthy lifestyle goals and most importantly, sobriety!
Happy New Year!
Cassandra Cannon, Ph.D.
AToN Center 888-535-1516
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” – Abraham Lincoln
‘Tis the season for New Year’s Resolutions. In the spirit of continued progress and growth, I’d like to send some friendly encouragement your way to create at least one, achievable goal for 2013. SMART Recovery recommends that goals be: Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Timed
It is important to remember that your goals can be fun as well! SMART Recovery suggests the consideration of artistic activities, continuing education, quality time with loved ones, fun and leisure as possible places to start helping you brainstorm your 2013 goals. (Section 6: Point 4 of the SMART Recovery Handbook). Most importantly, do not forget that you have the support of AToN Center as well as your chosen community support groups to help you achieve your goals for 2013!
|Dr. Cassandra Cannon|