We have all been blessed with the gift of a new year in which to reinvent ourselves and our world. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to begin working on personal growth and self-improvement, and one great way to get going in these endeavors is to start forming new, healthy habits in our daily lives. The process of forming a new habit requires a great deal of commitment and effort, but the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice and will provide benefits to your mental and physical health for years to come. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you attempt to build new habits for the new year.
First, you need to remember that it takes around sixty days for a regular behavior to feel instinctive and automatic. Therefore, you will need to put for a conscious effort in those first sixty days in order to complete the activities which constitute the habit you are trying to form. One of the maxims of 12-step recovery programs is that we seek progress rather than perfection, and this idea certainly will come into play as you attempt to form a new habit. There will likely be a day early on where you forget to follow through with the actions required as part of the new habit, but do not let one day’s failure discourage you! Each day is an opportunity to reinforce this desired behavior as your new normal, one day’s failure need not carry over into the next.
Another idea to keep in mind as you embark on your mission to form healthy habits is the importance of maintaining balance in your daily and weekly schedules. It can be tempting to pack your agenda with a newfound passion or hobby, but overindulging one pastime at the expense of others is often detrimental to our sobriety, especially when we begin to sacrifice recovery based activities. As you evaluate your current routine and seek to replace activities which are no longer fulfilling with new, healthy habits for 2021 make sure you are not eliminating any important components of your recovery program, lest your sobriety suffer the consequences of this mistake.
The beginning of a new year is an excellent time to review your daily and weekly routines, pruning practices which are no longer fulfilling or beneficial to your well-being and replacing them with new habits geared towards self-improvement. Habits do take time and effort to successfully form, and you should not expect to incorporate them into your routine perfectly in the first few months of the year. However, do not let the failure of one day bleed into the next, as this will surely preclude your successful formation of a new habit. Instead, wake each morning committed to putting forth your best efforts at completing the activities planned for that day. So long as you maintain that commitment each day and strive to follow through with it, you will be well on your way towards forming new healthy habits for the new year and beyond.