Resolutions are something it seems everyone talks about doing before the end of a year, going into the new year ahead. It seems few people actualize those goals and make them happen. Resolutions are not just something to talk about, they require an action plan. Making an action plan is much more effective than resolutions but they also require resolute change.

Why Resolutions Don’t Work

Resolutions often fail because people have good intentions but not good follow through. They are overdone by society at large because we focus on big, broad goals that are too big to achieve in a year’s time. If a person is new to sobriety, trying to hit a huge target out the gate is a recipe for disaster. Early on in recovery, there is enough to do that doesn’t require focusing on things that are not achievable in this season of recovery. The danger of being highly motivated is that you tend to overdo it, then, when it is not achievable, you feel at your core you have failed. Instead of settling New Year’s resolutions, focus on crafting goals that are realistic and achievable.

Creating an Action Plan

An action plan is a goal broken down into achievable steps. The New Year’s resolutions to get clean and sober can be a huge goal but quite daunting to think about. It may be better to set a goal for a week to start with, using old recovery wisdom of taking things one step at a time. Start with:

  • How you will achieve the goal
  • When you will do it by
  • How confident you are it will happen

Getting to the Goal

Setting goals is fun, but failing to meet them is not. It can actually be a trigger for relapse to people in recovery already struggling with self esteem and confidence. Once you have a goal, put a time frame on it and ask people to hold you accountable. A time frame is necessary to help you be successful. When a person is overwhelmed, they cannot keep their goals. Set short-term goals, instead. Achieve goals to build confidence and help reinforce positive changes that you can follow through on. When you write it down, it becomes more real to you. Once you have your action plan, write it where you will see it and post it somewhere you can be reminded what you

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