The start of the year is a time when women start resetting goals. Everyone is ready to work on their summer body, push their personal limits, and get a fresh start in life. Sometimes, people think it means putting the previous year (or decade) behind them to start over again. In recovery, women are challenged to think about the ways they want to grow and move forward but take with them the lessons they’ve learned along the way. New year’s resolutions are not about ‘getting it all right’ or ‘hitting the mark’ on every single item. The idea is to create space for goals to be written as a kind of guidepost for the year ahead. Getting too far ahead in recovery can feel like setting a woman up for failure. Keeping it real and authentic means setting expectations at a reasonable level that they are attainable in small steps.
Volunteer or Give Back
The best way to push past this year and embrace the new one is to give back. Depending on where a person is in recovery, it may be a good time to think about how to be of service to others. In fact, maybe that person who needs serving is you. There is no harm in self-care, especially if recovery is brand new. Even if it is not, simply make a resolution to do acts of kindness for others. List some places that seem interesting, gather other lady friends who may want to join and have some sober fun. Give back to the recovery community and become a mentor if this year means being in recovery for a long time and it feels right. Don’t force the idea of giving to others but do it out of the kindness of your heart. Make a resolution to notice little ways to serve others and then find a place to plug in where it feels right.
Get Your Mind Right
There is no cure or complete healing for people in recovery. Women, especially, can struggle in recovery when they feel like they are not completely helping or fixing something about themselves or others. Mindfulness is one-way women can give back to themselves this coming year. With myriad ways to be more ‘mindful,’ it can be confusing where to start. Some tips to think about:
- Look into free apps
- Ask around about meditation classes
- Speak to friends or professionals in the recovery community for pointers on where to go
- Keep a journal and write notes along the way
Mindfulness almost always tops everyone’s lists, but not every person commits to doing it. Take one step at a time and download that app or get that book. Find what works and just get started. It might surprise you how it helps recovery.
Playfulness and self-care kind of go hand-in-hand. When women want to set goals in recovery, they may focus on how to help themselves do better but not how to have more fun doing it. Getting the motions right is not the entire goal. With a focused direction, women have a bit of fun and play in recovery while meeting new people along the way. Some fun things to try this coming year might include:
- Diving into some music or art
- Taking up a new hobby like writing
- Look for sport and social clubs that focus on meeting others in a sober environment
- Book a trip solo or with friends
Trying something new is intimidating. Recovery is about looking at the world with an open view that is willing to explore possibilities. Don’t rush into anything but take time to look around and decide on one or two things that might be fun to try. Don’t judge it – simply be present with what comes up and see where it leads.
One area of recovery women focus on is how to budget and navigate their finances. Spending all that money on substances can be detrimental to a woman’s finances. It can harm present and future prospects for saving or putting money away for emergency funds. Although it is less fun to think about, budgeting for a rainy day is better than being caught in the rain. Women may spend their money on substances when addicted, but recovery is about renewing the mind to think differently this season. Instead of working to save more, create actionable steps towards a goal. Set aside some envelopes with cash and work off that instead of cards. Pay off one credit card or repay a friend or loved one. Working with a money manager or coach who understands recovery can be helpful. Speak with people who helped you in rehab or are in your recovery circle to see if someone can volunteer their time to help get a budget started and support the journey this year. Set up a ‘play fund’ that gives space to spend money on spa treatments or fun things when a goal is met to make things more interesting.
Taking the time to set up a woman for success in recovery this year is key to feeling good about seeing the old year go by. It is not easy to say goodbye to another year. However, it is important to honor the lessons learned and take those with into make future plans and met with concrete goals. This will help ensure some level of success in the new year and keep building momentum for the journey ahead.
Casa Capri provides a safe space for women to feel honored, heard, and validated in rehab. We provide the right tools and resources you need to get started on your recovery. If you have never tried rehab or have been several times, let us be the first place you turn today for help. We are here to help you move forward in the new year by setting tangible goals and knocking them down one at a time. Call us today to get started: 844-593-8020
Melissa Holmes Goodmon, Founder & CEO of Casa Capri Recovery, obtained her BA in Psychology and is a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LAADC) specializing in women’s core issues. She is recognized as a leader in the field of mental health and substance abuse recovery where she has been an advocate since 2006.