As another New Year approaches, the majority of the population will set resolutions. Whether that’s the aim to lose weight, reduce substance abuse or achieve a better work-life balance, intentions are set.

Yet, as January hits, many individuals fail to follow through with their New Year’s resolutions. This failure is very common, mainly down to a lack of preparation. The ‘it’s Christmas’ mindset has developed and made itself at home, making it difficult to break through and take that first positive step.

Before setting your New Year’s resolutions this December, looking at those changes realistically is recommended. At Step 1 Recovery, we are specialists in rehabilitation and transformations. We understand the commitment required to break old habits and work through those customary behaviours. With this in mind, here’s our guide on how to keep your New Year’s resolutions, far into January and beyond.

Why tackle your New Year’s resolutions realistically?

For the last few months, common New Year’s resolutions may have been put off. Just as many individuals say ‘I’ll start on Monday’ for a diet, this attitude is similarly followed with resolutions.

It’s understandable why. A New Year is a great time to start afresh. It marks a new beginning, with the potential to leave old habits in the past. Yet, if those desired changes have been pushed back and delayed into the New Year, what makes people think that as the clock strikes 12, that those changes will now be possible?

With this in mind, and with limiting potential to keep your New Year’s resolutions, it’s important to view your upcoming goals realistically. Setting intentions is important, however, it’s also vital to understand what it will take to reach those intended goals or changes.

Unfortunately, behaviours cannot be changed overnight. When considering a drug and alcohol addiction as an example, continuous, small steps will be required; usually in the form of addiction treatment. Therefore, it’s important to set your resolutions, no matter what they may be as long-term changes, taking that first small step once the New Year approaches.

Are you attempting to break an old habit?

For individuals with deeply engrained habits, change will be difficult. Those with bad eating habits, an addiction to work or consistent abuse of drugs or alcohol will find adaptations difficult to deal with. This is a common experience, after living through routine or dependency for some time.

Afterall, habits and addictions are deeply engrained, both physically and mentally. Individuals may have deeper connections to those habits, viewing them as coping mechanisms. Imagine you’ve consumed alcohol for some time, with the aim to block out your current reality. Yet you’ve set the goal to rehabilitate, for yours and your family’s sake. Once the New Year approaches, attempting to stop drinking, following a cold turkey approach will be impossible. In this situation, it’s likely that relapse will soon be experienced to block out those unbearable withdrawal symptoms. Yet, this negative experience could be avoided by taking active steps to achieve your long-term resolution; all probable by reaching out for addiction recovery. Therefore, breaking habits alone, with little planning will be challenging.

Ultimately, that’s exactly how New Year’s resolutions are branded. They are commonly a negative habit which most individuals hope to steer away from. They can be anything in life, hoping to remove or work away from. Whether it’s something small which can be controlled easily, to something severe, like substance abuse, gambling or an anxiety disorder, planning and support will be required to fully move away from those experiences.

Therefore, before you move into the New Year, it’s important to consider your situation realistically, and how you will achieve your resolutions. By believing that your resolutions can be changed quickly, you’ll be vulnerable to failure. If you fail to keep your New Year’s resolution, a downward spiral of negativity may be experienced, resulting in further behavioural habits.

With this in mind, it’s important to prepare you mind for what’s to come; do so by following our guide on how to keep your New Year’s resolutions realistic and achievable.

Our 3-step guide here at Step 1 Recovery, helping you keep your resolutions

If you’re serious about keeping your New Year’s resolutions, here’s an effective guide by our specialised team.

– Plan your resolutions
As touched on above, jumping headfirst into change is an unrealistic approach to follow. More than likely, failure will be experienced, usually within the first few days into January. With this in mind, planning ahead of the countdown will be recommended. Here you can take accountability for the changes you’re making, while ensuring you’re doing all you can to keep your New Year’s resolutions.

A great example of this is, if you’re suffering with a gambling addiction, researching and sourcing a treatment programme will add accountability. From here, a realistic plan can be created with recovery specialists to help you achieve your resolutions.

– Change your surroundings
For many individuals, a habit may be influenced by the environment they live within. For example, you may consistently purchase unhealthy foods, currently fuelling bad eating habits. If you’re aiming to lose weight this New Year, changing your surroundings by clearing out all unhealthy foods will be recommended.

From here, accountability will be required to keep your resolution through avoiding those unhealthy eating habits.

– Change your mind
Psychology is a key driving force behind habits. With this in mind, changing your mindset and outlook will be recommended when hoping to keep your New Year’s resolution.

Attempting to change or rehabilitate can be a challenge. Completing addiction treatment for example can be difficult, causing negative thoughts and feelings regarding the process. By changing your mindset to follow a ‘can do’ attitude, you’ll view drawbacks as opportunities to grow.

Helping you change for the better

If you’re keen to make some changes, we hope our guide to keeping your New Year’s resolutions has inspired you. If you’re suffering with any form of behavioural habit, mental health issue or addiction, with the hope to recover this New Year, reach out to our team. Here at Step 1 Recovery, we have great experience of helping clients keep on track, turning intentions into reality.