5 Things to Stop Doing Now to Make Your Best Year Yet in Recovery

With a new year comes a tabula rasa, a clean slate, and the opportunity to focus on letting go of all that wasn’t working for you in recovery in 2017. In 2018, you have the chance to pick up some new habits that will improve your overall quality of life as well as your ability to stay sober. But what things do you need to stop doing right now to make room for all the positive changes on your agenda?

1.Hitting Snooze

Start your year off right by starting your mornings off right when the alarm goes off. Rather than pushing the snooze button over and over, choose instead to set your alarm for the time you need to be up, and when it goes off, pull yourself out of bed.

Studies show that it is disruptive to your natural sleep cycle to continually press snooze and fragment your sleep. Your ability to function throughout the day will be inhibited due to sleep fragmentation, and your ability to get yourself on a regular sleep schedule will be impeded in the days following. When you make changes that improve your quality of sleep, you are better able to handle stressful situations and stay focused on treatment and recovery.

2.Spending Too Much Time with Negative People

On the one hand, you may not be able to help running into people with bad attitudes. In 12-Step meetings, at home, and at work, there are a mix of personalities and you can’t control any of their choices.

On the other hand, you can thoughtfully choose with whom you will share your free time. For example, if people you call your friends are frequently judgmental of you or seem to suck the oxygen out of the room with their emotional need or sniping about everyone and everything around you, then you can make the choice to ease these people out of your life and increase the time spent with positive people who recognize how incredible you are

3.Spending Too Much Time on Social Media

It may be entertaining to get sucked into your feeds on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, but it can be overwhelming to your ability to stay sober if you check every single alert available and allow yourself to get lost in it all day. It can even be detrimental to your ability to stay sober if you start to buy into the false “reality” that so many work hard to put forth on these platforms and begin to compare yourself and your life to what you believe to be the perfect lives of others. The fact is that everyone is putting their best versions of themselves forward, and while it is nice to see the high points of others’ lives, your focus should be on creating your own best version of your life in recovery.

To that end, it can be helpful to put some boundaries in place when it comes to your phone. If you can’t turn it off completely, then avoid using it at all for as long as possible after waking up and make sure to give yourself a few hours’ break from the screen before bed.

4.Laying on the Couch

If you want to accomplish anything in 2018, you’re going to have to start by getting off the couch. Laying around and spending too much time staring at the TV or your phone is a good thing to cross off your list. As soon as you stand up, the question becomes, “What do I do next?”

5.Striving for Perfection

We all have different versions of what we believe “perfect” is or what our lives would look like if everything were “perfect.” But perfection is impossible, and even the people who have some of the things that we view as the necessary ingredients for a perfect life have their own struggles and demons.

Instead of striving for perfection, shoot for happiness instead, working to make little choices that make you more comfortable, peaceful, and content in this moment and spending time living in gratitude for all you have in recovery.

What will you stop doing today to make room for abundance in your recovery in 2018?

Was this page helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.

American Addiction Centers (AAC) is committed to delivering original, truthful, accurate, unbiased, and medically current information. We strive to create content that is clear, concise, and easy to understand.

Read our full editorial policy

While we are unable to respond to your feedback directly, we'll use this information to improve our online help.