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How to Create New Habits and Make Them Stick for the New Year

The upcoming new year often makes people reflect on their lives and become ready for a change. The New Year often makes us consider resolutions for addiction recovery. And on January 1, we are ready to jump in–full throttle. But sometimes, carrying out our resolutions is short-lived, and we are left to wonder: what went wrong? The biggest culprit is not understanding our purpose and being intentional in our actions. If your teen needs help following through with their resolutions, contact Destinations for Teens. Contact us at 877.466.0620 to discover how our team of professionals can support the teen in your life.

Understand Your Purpose and Values

Often, people believe the first step to a resolution should be setting goals. However, the first step in making strong New Year resolutions is to understand your purpose, which allows you to find long-term fulfillment in any goals you decide to achieve. And like your purpose, understanding your values–what is most important to you–will allow you to make and achieve your goals. Think about this: if you focus on understanding your purpose and values, you will be able to follow through with any goals you set for yourself because you understand what is most important to you.

Create Goals to Support Your Recovery

The foundation of making New Year’s Resolutions is your purpose and values. The next step is to set goals. Goal setting helps us see the future, understand what we want, create a plan, and stay on track. The downside is that it takes us out of the moment and emphasizes what we don’t have in our lives. We tend to set goals we hear are good for us and force them upon ourselves, hoping they will lead to greater health and happiness. Setting goals that are not aligned with our truth and values will often lead to failure. When we experience failure, our self-esteem and motivation decrease, leaving us feeling stuck and hopeless. Sometimes we become preoccupied with goals because we are deeply uncomfortable by feelings of uncertainty. Not knowing what the future holds can be anxiety-provoking, leading us to invest more fiercely in our preferred vision of our future – not because it will ultimately help us achieve it. Still, it gets rid of uncertainty right now. What would it mean to turn towards uncertainty and embrace it? We can have a broad sense of direction without a specific goal or precise future vision. We can drift with purpose. Uncertainty is where things happen. It is where opportunities for success, happiness, and growth are waiting.

Be Intentional

Once you’ve identified your purpose and values, it is time to focus on intention. To accomplish your goals,  you need to have a mindset that allows you to be intentional. When we are intentional in our actions, we focus on being true to our values, maintaining a vision of who we want to be, and positively contributing to the world. If you are ready to make strong resolutions for addiction recovery, you have to focus on achieving your goals no matter what. For instance, if someone wants to lose weight but realizes that walking on the treadmill is too boring, they don’t give up on their intention to lose weight. Instead, they are focused on finding an exercise method that will allow them to lose weight. Perhaps instead of walking on the treadmill, they find a walking path to get fresh air. Or, they decide to swim daily. When you focus on the intention, you’ll be able to see your goal through–even if the specific habit does not stick. Selecting an intention will also stimulate your brain to look for other opportunities to engage in this behavior, whereas only focusing on a single way will cause your brain to shut off once it is marked off your checklist. Intentions allow flexibility, focusing on the overall theme instead of the specifics. Setting and living your intentions based on your values allows you to focus on who you are in the moment. This raises your emotional energy, which in turn raises your physical energy because you are meeting yourself where you are – not where you think you should be. When our intentions reflect our values, we can let go of outcomes. If we value expressing ourselves through writing, we can let go of perfectionism by just showing up to write that blog or that difficult email. We don’t need to get caught up in self-judgment or high standards. Mastering the “art of showing up” helps make this behavior a habit. By continuing to write, even for two minutes a day, you become the person who writes every day.

Set Resolutions For Addiction Recovery With Destinations for Teens

Your teen is at a transitional moment in their life. They’ve taken the first step to overcome their substance use disorder. A huge part of your teen’s recovery will understand their purpose and values. Then, they can focus on setting intentional goals that will support their addiction recovery. At Destinations for Teens, we offer:

  • Residential treatment programs
  • Partial hospitalization programs
  • Intensive outpatient programs
  • Therapeutic services
  • Education program

Our treatment options will support your teen as they learn coping methods with substance use and then develop resolutions that will help them remain sober. Contact us at 877.466.0620 to find out how Destinations for Teens can help the young adult in your life.