Building new habits is a critical step towards lifelong sobriety, and it’s a journey that many people have to go through after rehabilitation. Whether you are currently enrolled in a rehab program or have completed your retreat session and are ready to take full control of your life, we’ve rounded up some five tips that will help you replace bad habits and set yourself on a path to building new and healthy ones.
1. Commit to Change
Change is inevitable, and you can always choose to disrupt before you are disrupted. Building new habits requires a bold move – one that’s evident in not only how you think and say but also in how you act. Once you’ve found that spark of change, you need to fuel it to keep going. You can choose to motivate yourself by reading or watching about people in your position who have successfully built new habits, or you can find a mentor and even go out to meet them in person. However, motivation can only go too far. What you want is to find an inner drive that will keep you on the path to change even when your motivation dies down.
So, how do you achieve this? You dig deep inside yourself and visualize the impact that your new habit could bring to your life, then get ready to pursue it.
2. Visualize the New Life You Want
Assume that you are on your path to recovering from alcohol addiction, and you’re committed to living a healthier, more full-filling life. One of the new habits you may want to develop after quitting alcohol consumption could be meditation, getting in shape, mountaineering, being a good parent, pursuing your career, etc.
By visualizing your new life, you will ignite an inner drive to keep pushing through the life challenges as you aim at the future ahead of you. You can also create an affirmation and remind yourself of how amazing it will feel accomplishing this goal. Just in case you’ll start second-guessing yourself, always remind yourself, “what if I could actually do it.”
3. Challenge Your Mind
One of the biggest obstacles to forming a new habit is our minds. The mind always wants us to be somewhere comfortable, away from any form of pain and suffering. There will always be excuses not to stretch towards your life goals, and if you keep listening to your mind, complacency will set in. A rule of thumb is to stay persistent by eliminating all the excuses that your mind will make up to stay in the comfort zone.
4. Focus on the Actions, Not the End Goal
If you are to build new habits and stick with them, you want to focus on the small, seemingly insignificant decisions and daily actions rather than the end goal. To maintain your sobriety after recovery, for instance, you need to cut your circle of drinking friends and find other hobbies to keep you busy. And to achieve this, you need to stop hanging out in the same spots you used to and instead look for other hobbies to occupy your time. In other words, pay attention to the small everyday choices and actions and make sure they are building up to the habit you want to create.
5. Reward Yourself
The brain’s reward centre is always on and searching for pleasurable moments to celebrate. You can tap into the power of this part of the brain by rewarding yourself for the small wins. For example, if you’ve been consistent in your daily routines and have remained sober for a month or two, you can treat yourself with a new pair of shoes, upcountry travel, a weekend trip, a movie threat, etc. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but you should keep it consistent with who you want to become. Constantly celebrating the little wins and rewarding yourself will motivate you to keep going.
Take Action Today
Building new habits isn’t as complicated as it sounds. All you need is to be honest with yourself and commit to sticking with the above tips. Additionally, take some time to create memories along the way and even journal your path to building your new habits. That way, you’ll have something to remind yourself of the far you’ve come, the commitment you have made, and the little accomplishments you’ve achieved.
If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, we’re committed to helping you break through the old habits, so you can emerge on the other side, ready to take complete charge of your life. Contact us today by phone: 02 9171 2920 or via email @thesydneyretreat.org.au, and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
The Sydney Retreat is a peer led recovery approach that benefits from the lived experience of people in recovery. Not only will you be provided with the tools to stop drinking and using drugs, you will become a part of a community who help one another to get sober and stay sober. If you have a problem with alcohol and or drugs, this is a unique and affordable opportunity that will change the direction of your life. Get help today.