15 Ways to Start 2018 Out Right in Recovery

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Don’t Make Resolutions – Make Habits! It’s A New Year and Getting a Fresh Start Is in Full Effect.

With the ringing in of the new year, it’s the perfect time to begin implementing some new, positive habits. This is called the fresh start effect. According to the fresh-start effect, people are more likely to take action towards accomplishing a goal at temporal landmarks.

Temporal landmarks signal the beginning of a new time period – the first day of a new week, a new quarter, the first day of a new month, the beginning of a new semester. Not surprisingly, the beginning of a new year is like the queen mother of fresh starts. It represents a time where you can wipe the slate clean and start anew.

15 Habits to Start 2018 Out Right in Recovery

Want to start out right with a fresh start in recovery in 2018? Here are 15 simple ways to kick off a better life – one day at a time:

1. Make Your Bed

Make your bed every morning as soon as you wake up. In a 2014 commencement speech at University of Texas at Austin, Admiral McRaven said, “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”

2. Get Involved

Get involved in service at your recovery homegroup by chairing a meeting one night a week. By helping newcomers, you help yourself. You realize that your recovery is bigger than you and you get the chance to make a positive difference in the life of someone who needs it.

3. Exercise

Sure, you hear this all the time. You already know you should exercise. But, did you know just walking thirty minutes a day three times a week will completely change the way you feel for the better?

4. Don't eat after 8 pm

When you eat late at night, your body works to digest your food instead of giving you restful sleep. Cut yourself off from the fridge every night by 8 p.m.

5. Volunteer in your community

Get involved in a nonprofit group that doesn’t revolve around recovery recovery. This will help you be an active participant in something bigger than you and help you to realize there is a great big world out there that needs your help.

6. Eat more fruits and vegetables

Most of us do not eat as many nutrient-rich foods as we should. Eating more fruits and vegetables gives you the vitamins and minerals you need to live a healthy life.

7. Stop drinking sodas

Sodas are laden with sugar and calories. The only thing that is good about them is that they taste good. Getting rid of sodas will do amazing things for your health.

8. Start a hobby that you enjoy

Many of us get so involved in work and daily tasks, we tell ourselves that we don’t have time for anything that brings us joy. Do something fun just for the sake of doing it.

9. Sing more

Did you know singing increases endorphins in the brain that make us feel better? So, go ahead – turn the music up loud and sing like no one is listening.

10. Make time for friends

Go out for a healthy lunch with a friend who makes you laugh at least once every two weeks. It will give you a boost and make you feel happier.

11. Cut back on the caffeine

Some of us drink coffee, tea, or soda all day long without thinking about how caffeine affects us. Caffeine can cause irritability, mood swings, and it’s bad for the heart.

12. Learn to say no

We are already very busy people overrun with responsibilities coming at us from every direction – yet we still feel obligated to say yes when we are asked to do things we don’t have time for. Saying no is very freeing. Learn the art of saying no.

13. Appreciate the simple things

You’ve heard the expression, “take time to stop and smell the roses.” But, do you ever do it? Slowing down and appreciating the simple joys in life like watching a sunset or embracing a flower goes a long way in promoting joy.

14. Watch less television

Many of us waste our precious time watching hours and hours of television every day. Read a book, go for a walk, or visit with a friend instead.

15. Spend less time on social media

Social media isolates us from the world around us and often causes us to compare ourselves to others. It is a false reality that pulls us away from real life.

These fifteen simple suggestions are all doable. If you will practice these positive habits, you will experience a deeper sense of happiness, greater physical strength, and a better life. Why not start today?

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