Posts tagged denial

3 steps to help you reach your goals..

New year’s is a time when many people make commitments to themselves and others. Many of those commitments involve breaking bad habits and/or increasing good habits.  This very much applies to peoples struggling with addictions and towards the end of a year many of the addicted people I see in therapy have grand plans about what changes to put in place come the new year.

For any person, addicted or not, the start of a new year can be very inspiring; not least if you sit down and look forward to great projects, trips, ideas or goals and achievements that you are hoping will lie ahead. Just as it can be inspirational it can also be daunting, and again, not least for people with addictions or mental health problems whom might be looking back over the year that has passed with regrets and ruminations, wondering if they can really trust themselves to make those changes, they need in the next year, any more than they did in the one just passed. 

Commitment is a BIG thing and a key part of leading a life that we value and enjoy.  Take a moment and think about the biggest things you have achieved in your life – if you look at what lead you to keep going all the way to the goal line ( if the nature of the commitment has a goal line which is not always the case) you will realise that it was a strong commitment  to stick with the process even when things do not feel great.  The thing to understand here is that we cannot listen to our feelings to decide the level of commitment on any given day. A commitment needs to be made based on entirely different basis – in brief – a basis that align well with our value system and as such can be identified as something that will make us proud of the person we are inside.

For some people, committing themselves equals a huge step out of the comfort zone.  Because it means giving yourself a promise to stick with something. Something that most of us know will be easy some days but really hard other days.  With that we take a risk when we make commitments; we risk letting other people down and by doing so also letting ourselves down.  There’s  no wonder many people I see in recovery are frightened of even making any to begin with!  Unfortunately- without taking that risk; our lives will come to a bit of a standstill. Nothing materialises. No goals get met. We stop growing and developing. And a sense of void and emptiness easily sets in.   Even if we DO get around to make those commitments; the race isn’t over. We now have to stick with them. This is something that the vast majority of human beings struggle with in one way or another. The New year is a particularly common time period for people to get excited about making promises, lay out the plans, make commitments, tell the world about them ...and we all know what often happens a few weeks in.   That diet that never lasted. Or that new gym membership with accompanying outfit that never got used beyond the point of February. Or the addiction that picked up again once the high of early abstinence had settled down.  

So how do we get better at sticking with commitments?

Here are 3 important steps that you can take right now to make the job a little easier:

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