How to Start Sober and Fresh in the New Year

By Jennifer McDougall

Many people look to the New Year as an opportunity to commit to joining a gym, quitting smoking, or making other, more significant, life-enhancing decisions. It’s often all too easy to find reasons to continue in the direction you’re already heading, but the new calendar year often inspires a moment of pause, a fresh perspective.

Every year, January ushers in a new sense of possibility for change, a better life, and a better self. That’s a fantastic thing. It’s fantastic because this new beginning allows us to recreate our lives and ourselves. It enables us to re-energize ourselves, to let go of the baggage from the previous year, and to achieve anything. It’s all possible!

1. Embrace the present moment. Being conscious of your thoughts is the most straightforward path toward changing your heart, mind, and body. Also, awakening yourself to the environment around you will allow you to see positive opportunities as they come into your life.

2. An attitude of gratitude. Appreciate all you have in your life and find ways to celebrate it. For some people, this means making a list, taking note of all that you have. For others, expressing appreciation to people in your life is more important. Finally, don’t forget to acknowledge your talents and abilities.

3. Be mindful of the company you keep. Not everyone out there can be your dearest ally, but those who are should be held in close confidence. Surrounding yourself with people who reflect the most positive aspects of your life is essential. Still, it’s also vital to stay connected with people who offer realistic advice so you can remain grounded.

4. Wake up hangover-free.

5. Let go. Many times, the tangled web of previous failures, obligations, emotions, and hurdles holds us back. We are unable to change careers since we are accustomed to what we are doing and change is too difficult. We don’t have time to get healthy and fit because we have so many other commitments. We are unable to spend time with our loved ones due to our numerous commitments. All of this is old baggage. A new beginning necessitates a blank slate. Allow yourself to let go of the past (easier said than done, I know). Make sure your plate and palate are clean.

6. Figure out what matters most. What is most important to you in your life? What do you care about the most right now? What energizes and excites you? What would bring you the most happiness? Creating something new, helping others, being a better person, and working on a project that will be an accomplishment to be proud of are frequently the answers. But, whatever your answer is, make sure it’s clear in your mind first thing in the morning.

7. Stay clear of any distractions. The biggest distraction most people fall into is the rabbit hole of social media, meaningless emails, and busy work that is not in any way productive.  In fact, turn off the Internet for a bit if you can. You can return to it once you’ve taken a break. Now it’s time to concentrate. Even if it’s simply for 15 or 20 minutes at beginning, 30-60 minutes is preferable. After you’ve focused, you can take a break and check your email or anything.

8. Reinvent yourself. You are reborn every day. Every day, reinvent yourself and your life. On that particular day, do what is most important to you. It could be the same thing that was important yesterday, or it could be something completely different. That isn’t significant. Today – right now — is what matters. Right now, be enthusiastic and happy. Every day, not just on January 1st, will be a new beginning for you. That, my friends, is the most wonderful thing ever.

9. Clean out your closets & declutter your home, workspace and car. Many people find that organizing and decluttering lowers stress by giving them a sense of control and accomplishment. Decluttering, according to 61.7 percent of survey respondents, reduced their overall stress level. Others find that getting rid of garbage frees up previously unoccupied space in their homes. Some people may only need to declutter their homes before moving. Whatever your motivation for decluttering your home and, by extension, your life, this incredibly thorough guide will walk you through it.

10. Create/Refresh your sobriety tool kit. If you’re just getting started with quitting alcohol, this is a fantastic time to start looking for new release mechanisms. This can help you tolerate the unpleasant and boost your odds of not doing what you’re trying to avoid. And, if you’ve been sober for a while, a Sobriety Toolbox can help you become an expert at both recognizing and managing your emotional states. Your toolbox will grow as your recovery progresses, and it will be able to assist you in dealing with issues other than cravings, including as depression, anxiety, and, well, life.

“We welcome anyone who’s chosen to stop using drugs or alcohol,” said Pax Prentiss, CEO of Passages Addiction Treatment Centers. “The exceptional treatment team we’ve assembled at Passages does an excellent job of empowering our clientele so that they can move forward with their lives.”

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