New Year’s Resolutions for a Sober 2024

Another year is upon us. Time to think about setting goals, creating opportunities, taking your sober life soaring — and, perhaps, helping someone else soar into sobriety too

December 29, 2023
New Year's Eve sparklers

With 2023 in the rearview, the hour has come to go down our New Year’s mental checklist. 1) Express gratitude for the year that was — or at least for making it through! Check. 2) Reflect on our breakthroughs, blessings, fulfilled goals, fresh starts (and false starts) of the past 12 months. Check. 3) Make some sober New Year’s resolutions for crushing it in the year to come!

Why Is It Important To Set Goals in Recovery?

If you’re in recovery, you probably know it’s helpful to be setting goals year-round. If you’ve gotten caught up in holiday pell-mell these past few weeks, well, set aside some time to set up some goals now.

But let’s back up a second to ask why. What’s the point of goal-setting in recovery, anyway?

You need to set goals to get stuff done, sure, but having goals is also tied to the concept of living “one day at a time.” If you get too stuck in the past or too overwhelmed by the future, you can easily forget to be grateful for all you’ve accomplished in the here and now. For most of us, the biggest accomplishment is being sober. It’s the foundational achievement all the others are built on.

In both early sobriety and later on, people sometimes lose sight of the pride they should feel in this. Getting sober often requires changing your whole life with little certainty about what will come next. It’s an extremely bold thing to do.

Keeping it “one day at a time” doesn’t mean entirely ignoring the past or the future, of course. Reflections on the past and resolutions for the future can help you in the present. For example, many people in recovery use their past experiences of addiction to try to help others struggling with sobriety.

And you can use your dreams about the future to set reasonable goals for what you’ll do next in your sober life. Then, you’ll break those goals down into daily actions to accomplish them. Goals are important in recovery because they show you the progress you’re making on your sober journey and keep you accountable to your recovery plan. The turn of the new year is a very fine time to set some new goals and make some resolutions for a sober 2024.

Making Resolutions for a Sober 2024!

Lots of people make New Year’s resolutions, and some even believe they’re going to follow through on them. They don’t always, of course. Life gets busy.

However, most folks in recovery understand that setting and slaying goals is vital to the whole project of sobriety, so there’s a much better chance you’ll keep the resolutions you make for a sober 2024. So, what kind of resolutions might those be?

Of course, the most important one is staying sober. As you know, that always comes before everything else. With that sobriety, you have the clarity, energy and security to think bigger.

Some sober resolutions may include traveling to new place, which you may have some extra money to do now that you’re not spending on alcohol or substances; reconnecting with friends, which you may now have the energy and emotional capacity to do; getting in shape; or picking up an old hobby that alcohol or drugs may have gotten in the way of. Another sober 2024 resolution you could make is to devote some time to helping others.

Spread the Sobriety: Help Others Have a Sober 2024 Too

As we often write, sobriety is best achieved and experienced in the company of others. Addiction is isolating, and you may have felt extreme loneliness as it took away everything and everyone you’d once cherished. Now that you’re sober, it’s time to get those things back in your life, if you haven’t already. And you’ll have to keep others in the forefront to do so.

If you have a little sobriety, you might also resolve to go beyond that, to work with others who are working through early recovery. Helping others also helps us. It is one of the positive paradoxes of recovery: “We must give it away to keep it.” The old “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous has a whole chapter called “Working With Others.” The authors write that “nothing will so much ensure immunity from drinking as intensive work with other [people in recovery]. It works when other activities fail.”

So yes, you should absolutely make resolutions for yourself for a sober 2024. Get that new job! Save up for that Bali trip! But remember you also have the power, now, to do something bigger than yourself. You can help someone else have a sober 2024, and in doing so, play a role in breaking the cycle of addiction.

A Rockin’ New Year Is Here

Everyone has a past, present and future. In recovery, yours is full of possibilities. Perhaps the greatest thing you can do with your recovery is help someone else overcome their past and set up their own bright future.

Many people dread the time around New Year’s because they fear the unknown. You may have, once, too. But you can ring in 2024 with a full heart, because you know that in sobriety, the future is friendly.

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