Thursday, January 10, 2013

S.M.A.R.T. Recovery Resolutions

A new year brings hope for change and self-improvement.  Generally speaking, the resolutions you make are a good thing.  But are they realistic?  Are you setting yourself up to fail? Statistically speaking, most people will “fail” at keeping their resolutions. A recent article in the Journal of Clinical Psychology stated that about 45% of Americans make resolutions, but only 8% of us succeed. If your resolution is to get clean and stay clean from drugs and alcohol, BRAVO! You are already headed in the right mental direction.  
We want you to be in the 8% of people that succeed, so here are some tips to keep your recovery resolutions S.M.A.R.T. 
  • Specific: We love the goal to get clean and stay clean, but it is fairly broad.  Here is an example of a more specific resolution—“My goal is to complete a detox and comprehensive rehab program by the end of January 2013 and be 100% committed to sobriety.” 
  • Measurable: Goals that are quantifiable help you know if you have achieved them.  It establishes specific criteria for you to meet.  A measurable goal could be “I will go to 90 meetings in 90 days and journal 4-5 days per week”. 
  • Attainable: We want you to succeed in your resolution to be recovered, and think baby steps are important in doing so.   Taking small steps towards recovery makes the overall goal more manageable.  For example, while a tobacco-free lifestyle is ideal, it is not a good time to quit smoking cigarettes in the early stages of your recovery from drugs or alcohol as it may increase your overall stress level.  In short, do not bite off more than you can chew!
  • Realistic and Results-driven: Can you realistically achieve this goal at this time in your life? You have to be ready—spiritually, emotionally, and physically, etc.—to make significant changes in your life to get clean and stay clean.  Secondly, recovery resolutions are extremely results-driven.  In our work, there aren’t many “gray areas” for sobriety.  Either you are or you aren’t clean.  If you are smoking marijuana, you are not 100% sober. 
  • Timely: Giving yourself deadlines, both small and large, gives your recovery resolutions a greater sense of urgency.  Look at small goals that can be achieved on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.  Our most successful patients know to take it one day at a time, but they also have an over-arching, larger goal in mind.  For example, “I have been 82 days clean and want to continue daily meetings for the next 3 months”. To write down your own S.M.A.R.T recovery resolutions visit the following page: 

At The Coleman Institute, we specialize in helping people get clean clean and stay clean from alcohol and drugs. If you or someone you love is in need of detox from opiates, alcohol, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitant to call Jennifer Pius at 1-877-77-DETOX (33869).  Have a happy, healthy new year!

Courtney Harden, NP 

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