Happy (Belated) New Year!
My hope is that the year ahead brings you peace, joy, and good health. Maybe you’re the kind of person who makes New Year's Resolutions, or maybe you’re like me and you know those are little more than good intentions. If we’re going to achieve better health and a higher quality of life this year, then we need to set some meaningful goals and ensure that we have the accountability we need to ensure our process earns us the results we seek.
A Good Time to Make Changes
In all the years I’ve worked in recovery from substance use disorder, January tends to be the month in which we see the biggest number of people entering treatment or returning to treatment. There’s just something about the holidays that causes us to take stock of where we’re at and where we’re going. Maybe it’s time spent with family or the nostalgia of past holidays. Either way, we have a greater awareness that things need to change.
Maybe this is a time for you to make changes in your use of substances. I remind folks that you don’t have to have to agonize over whether you’re an alcoholic. You could always just choose not to drink. Dry January is a great example of that. It’s an opportunity to go 31 days without consuming alcohol.
It’s funny to me that we only think of detox as something that people do when they’ve hit bottom. Folks who are very health conscious know that anytime we make an effort to not ingest toxins, we give our bodies the opportunity to detox everything unhealthy that we retain. Alcohol of course is full of toxins. What we often forget is that it’s also full of sugar and empty calories.
If your goal for the coming year is to lose weight, Dry January is highly conducive to that. If your goal is to get up earlier, get more organized, and/or exercise more, abstinence promotes those goals as well!
Share Your Goals
I encourage you to set some goals for the coming year and to share those goals with folks who will not only support and encourage you but who will also hold your feet to the fire and promote your follow-through.