Goals have to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound (SMART) in order to actualise. Every year on 1 January everyone magically springs into action promising that they will lose weight, go to gym, stop smoking, stop drinking, stop using drugs… This list is endless and a month later very few of these promises have been kept.
So why do we do this year in, year out? It’s not that our intentions are insincere, we may really, really want a better life free from drug abuse and for the first few months actively engage in a psychiatric and recovery programme.
The truth is that habits take time to establish themselves and even longer to break. Becoming an alcoholic or a drug addict doesn’t happen overnight. It is a subtle change in behaviour and often a way of coping with a traumatic event. Even if the traumatic event occurred some time ago, that pain and heart ache lingers.
At Recovery Direct, we teach you better coping mechanisms and habits in a non-punitive environment where we get to the root of the problem. We ask the important question: What trauma has caused such self-destructive behaviour? Our treatment is based on trauma therapy and explores the psychological reasons why people abuse substances.
You can achieve all your goals and more but it’s how you go about it that matters. If you need help, contact a Cape Town based rehab for help. You don’t need to go through life in pain, you can heal with the right treatment in a caring environment.
Here are a few things to consider when recognising why New Year’s Resolutions don’t work:
- 1 January is a terrible day to start.
Usually the first of January comes after a night of celebration which more often than not involves alcohol. Thus goals are not implemented in a fresh state of mind but one clouded by substances.
- The holiday season cheer is still strong.
In reality most of us will be returning to work, school or university soon, so why not go out with a bang? Bad idea.
- Expectations are set too high.
The first step in a journey up the steepest mountain starts with a single step. But after that there are many more hurdles to get through and it is easy to become discouraged.
- Momentum dies and so too does our motivation
We set ourselves up to fail, then fail and then feel like change is impossible and the cycle repeats itself.
Hint of advice…
This is your life. Own it. Make a list, set those goals. Pursue them and be authentic and honourable in how you achieve them. Take it slow, one step at a time. Recovery isn’t a race, it is not a competition, it is about taking command of your life and truly becoming the best person you can be. And most importantly – be kind to yourself.