Article At A Glance:
For anyone struggling with an addiction, getting sober and quitting booze or drugs for good is often at the top of the New Year’s Resolution list.
When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, this is a good one to have. However, it isn’t always as simple as quitting, so developing this mindset at the start of the year is a good place to start.
In this article, we will discuss some key actions to take as you begin your sober journey in the New Year, as well as how to keep your New Year’s Resolution sobriety promise.
1. Accountability is a Priority (Burn the Bridges)
When you decide to take your first (or re-step) into sobriety, this should be at the top of your to-do list.
Getting accountable entails telling others, such as close family, friends, or community groups, that you have decided to live an addiction-free life.
Make this step simple; simply inform people that you will not be drinking this year. Something as simple as accountability burns bridges and reduces our chances of ever turning back.
Learn in greater detail how to burn your bridges in this article.
After long periods of sobriety and while writing Hacking Your Addiction, I discovered certain scenarios or events that triggered or exacerbated cravings.
I reasoned that if we could better understand these substance-cues, or “triggers,” as I call them, we could improve stress adaptation and shift our coping mechanisms.
Substance-cues are simply opportunities for relapse, or familiar scenarios that your body associates with the addiction or the feel-good sensation that results.
I discuss more on substance-cue’s over in this article and provide more context and examples, definitely give this one a read!
Start the New Year with Good Habits
It’s all too easy to become so focused on our New Year’s Resolutions and our sobriety journey that we fail to fill the void that was once filled by alcohol-induced activities.
Getting sober is one thing, and understanding our substance-cues is another, but if we don’t cover some basic foundational habits, such as our health, our journey will be much more difficult.
The last note to keep in mind is that failure is never a bad thing, and in fact, using it for positive growth will only extend your sobriety and create a successful sober new years resolution.
Failure is your stepping stone towards success, and when following the sober journey, can help you establish a monumental purpose.
Every time we make a mistake, it’s as if our internal compass is gently nudged in the right direction.
Failures define our efforts to achieve greater success, and our willingness to act regardless of the consequences.
To learn a bit more about this concept, read this article on Addiction Relapse: The Importance of Failure in Long-term Sobriety
Using Supplements during Sobriety Hardship
We’re all human, and at times staying sober can be difficult no matter the situation, especially when we’re just starting.
This is why using Supplements to our advantage can be a massive help, such as N-Acetyl-Cysteine or Glutamine, which can do wonders for cravings.
If you’d like to learn more about these supplements, I recommend some articles such as Alcohol Cravings: 3 Supplements That May Help You Stop Drinking For Good and Creatine: Could This Widely Used Sports Supplement Be Used to Curb Addiction?
Kicking off the New Year with a goal to push alcohol and drugs to the side is absolutely life-changing, it’s like having a superpower.
I have never been a fan of setting New Year’s Resolutions, but when it comes to sobriety, it can be the best time to turn your life around, especially if you’re struggling with addiction.
We can achieve long-term sobriety if we take the right actions and steps, such as holding ourselves accountable, removing substance cues, and developing good habits.
If you have any questions regarding this article, reach out.
- Boyle, N., Lawton, C., & Dye, L. (2017). The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress—A Systematic Review. Nutrients, 9(5), 429. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9050429
- Cherasse, Y., & Urade, Y. (2017). Dietary Zinc Acts as a Sleep Modulator. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(11), 2334. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18112334
- Cryan, J. F., & Dinan, T. G. (2012). Mind-altering microorganisms: the impact of the gut microbiota on brain and behaviour. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 13(10), 701–712. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn3346
- Hepsomali, P., Groeger, J. A., Nishihira, J., & Scholey, A. (2020). Effects of Oral Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Administration on Stress and Sleep in Humans: A Systematic Review. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 14. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2020.00923
- Imtiaz, S., Ikram, H., Ayaz, M., Qadir, M. I., & Muhammad, S. A. (2018). Effect of glycine: Studying memory and behavioral changes in mice. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 31(5), 1943–1949. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30150193/
- Kawai, N., Sakai, N., Okuro, M., Karakawa, S., Tsuneyoshi, Y., Kawasaki, N., Takeda, T., Bannai, M., & Nishino, S. (2015). The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus. Neuropsychopharmacology, 40(6), 1405–1416. https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2014.326
- Roberts, E. (1974). γ-aminobutyric acid and nervous system function—A perspective. Biochemical Pharmacology, 23(19), 2637–2649. https://doi.org/10.1016/0006-2952(74)90033-1
- Saito, H., Cherasse, Y., Suzuki, R., Mitarai, M., Ueda, F., & Urade, Y. (2017). Zinc-rich oysters as well as zinc-yeast- and astaxanthin-enriched food improved sleep efficiency and sleep onset in a randomized controlled trial of healthy individuals. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 61(5), 10.1002/mnfr.201600882. https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201600882
- Shyamaladevi, N., Jayakumar, A. R., Sujatha, R., Paul, V., & Subramanian, E. H. (2002). Evidence that nitric oxide production increases γ-amino butyric acid permeability of blood-brain barrier. Brain Research Bulletin, 57(2), 231–236. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0361-9230(01)00755-9
Former drinker, Nutritionist, Biohacking enthusiast, self-experimenter, research fanatic, and self-taught writer, Stephen immerses himself deep into the literature of human optimisation and better understand the nature of addiction. His goal is to help people take control of their addiction, reset their cravings, unscramble their broken brain circuitry and use actionable strategies that work ten times better than anything else.