The dawning of 2021 has inspired many people to make a fresh start, especially after the year that’s recently ended. The availability of two reliable vaccines to halt the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been a ray of hope amid a pandemic that has left hundreds of thousands of Americans dead and caused countless others to struggle with long-term disabilities.
If you’re looking to make objectives you’ll feel motivated to keep, the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous can provide some inspiration. How can you set resolutions that stick, and what are some examples of 12-step-inspired goals you can aim for in this brand-new year?
Tips for Setting Successful Resolutions
Millions of people use the new year as a jumping-off point to plan ways they hope to change their lives for the better. Unfortunately, by early February, up to 80% of people find their ambitions flagging as they fall back into their old habits and behaviors. In many cases, this happens because they’ve failed to follow the right goal-setting strategies.
To make resolutions you can adhere to, experts suggest using the acronym SMART. SMART goals have the following characteristics.
- Specific: Don’t be vague about what you hope to accomplish. Instead of a murky resolution like “I’ll lose weight in 2021,” define how many pounds and inches you want to shed. Think about anything you’ll need to achieve this goal, and don’t be afraid to be detail-oriented.
- Measurable: What metrics will you use to determine your success? Carrying on with the weight-loss example, write down your starting measurements and keep track of them with tools like a scale, a tape measure and a caliper.
- Achievable: Many resolutions fail because they’re not realistically attainable in the long term. For instance, you could say you want to lose 20 pounds in one month, but it’s not healthy, safe or prudent to aim that high.
- Relevant: If your goal isn’t meaningful to you, you probably won’t have the inclination to pursue it as time goes by.
- Time-bound: It’s one thing to set goals, but when you don’t give yourself a deadline, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Choose a sensible date or a series of milestones by which you will meet essential parts of your resolution.
Four 12-Step-Inspired Resolutions to Make in 2021
Now that you understand how to set SMART goals, what are some ideas for using the 12 steps to spark your New Year’s resolutions?
1. Make Amends
The eighth and ninth steps in the 12-step process address making a list of people you’ve harmed and actively working to reverse any pain or anguish you caused. Whenever possible, you should try to do this in person to demonstrate your commitment to change and growth.
2. Own up to Your Mistakes
It isn’t always easy to admit when you’re in the wrong. However, by taking ownership of your mistakes and embracing them as learning experiences, you’ll become more emotionally mature. In 2021, resolve to acknowledge and actively be responsible for things you’ve done wrong.
3. Connect With Something Larger Than Yourself
Following the 12 steps requires you to surrender to a higher power and broaden your affinity with this entity. Though the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous used their Christian faith as the foundation of their philosophy, your source of inspiration could be anything that gives you a sense of awe and togetherness.
4. Support Others
Regardless of where you are in your recovery journey, you can probably make a list of people who have helped you along the way. One 12-step-inspired resolution you can make is to pay it forward by volunteering for worthwhile organizations in your community or becoming a sponsor for someone else’s recovery.
Medical Detox and Extended Care in Taos, New Mexico
If you’re struggling with a substance use disorder, make 2021 your year to break the cycle. Accredited addiction treatment can help pave the way for your new, healthy lifestyle. Contact us today to learn more about renewing your life at Vista Taos.