It’s once again time for making those New Year’s resolutions.
Dr. Anne Brown, PhD, RNCS of Aspen Progressive Addiction Solutions and author of Developing Your Backbone: The Science of saying NO, is in private practice specializing in addictions. She offers some helpful hints for those trying to kick those habits once and for all.
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The New Year is here and it is time for all of those New Year’s resolutions. No, you say, I never keep them. Well, what if we make them in a way that will contribute to you having success for 2012?
- Pick something that caused you suffering over the last year: maybe longer and definitely recently so the suffering is fresh in your mind. Some good examples are the unhealthy lifestyles which sabotage our lives, our relationships, our health, our careers and anything else that really means something to us: overeating, smoking, absence of exercise, overspending, drugs and alcohol are good examples.
- Write down your intention in positive language:
- I will live a sober year in 2012
- I will live a smoke free year in 2012
- I will live a healthy lifestyle in 2012
- I will have a balanced checkbook in 2012
3. Write down all the reasons this is important to you
- e.g. all of the goals you want to achieve in 2012.
- I want a loving relationship in 2012
- I want a new career that requires me to be at the top of my game in 2012
- I want a healthy body free from the consequences of my poor choices in 2012
- I want a savings account in 2012
4. Invite a few committed people to join you
- . Pick people who want success, are success, and have a history of making and achieving their goals. Each of you picks one issue you are going to work on for 2012. Write it down, share it with the group, ask for support, and make a plan.
5. Tell yourself you owe yourself one year of living this way. We all can do anything for one year … can’t we?
6. Make a plan. Research all the ways people have had success doing what you want to do. For example, if you want to give up smoking, look for all the ways available to you:
- Hypnosis: find someone with a history of success
- Gum/Lozenges- Nicorette
- Drugs: Chantix
- Meetings: Nicotine Anonymous
- Supplements: antioxidants, immune enhancers
- Go to www.tobaccofree.org for support.
- Call 1-800-quitnow for live support
- Research programs to stop, enter one if necessary
- Design your diet and exercise program
- Replace smoking with something healthy for you
7. Make a plan and research all the ways to give up alcohol/drugs.
- Find an addictions therapist and discuss all of your options: meetings, medications, treatment centers.
- Go to an AA, NA, CA meeting. Just go. Don’t stop at one; go to ten meetings. Sit in the front and listen. Talk to people. You are not there to evaluate the meeting you are there to get help. Just go and stay sober.
- Research Treatment Centers and go if you can’t stop with meetings.
- Design your diet and exercise program.
- Replace your using with something healthy for you.
8. Discuss your plan with your group.
- Make commitments to yourselves and to each other. Be committed listeners and supporters. You are giving each other the authority to give honest feedback! Be committed to each other’s success.
9. Meet and talk as often as necessary. Accountability is important. Have daily phone calls if necessary. Have a plan if you slip. Implement the plan. Your specialized group, e.g. AA or Nicotine Anonymous, will deal with your conversations about the substance you are giving up and this group will deal with your commitments to yourselves and each other. Replace your self-destructive behavior with a self-care behavior that you have always wanted, such as massages, a trip, a dog, a shopping expedition etc…
10. Believe in yourself. Believe in each other. Talk success, be success! If you fall, get up and get back on the road of success! Be committed to your goal for the full 365 days! Good luck and send us your stories!
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