Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work, and Why You Should Make 2022 The Year of 'The Decision'


Wait. But Reset My Future is all about addressing substance abuse, taking action and making change. Are we seriously not writing a blog about how this is the time of year to do it? Are we not going to persuade you that you MUST call us now and start our program on the 1st of January?


Correct. That is exactly what is happening.


Why would we do that? Because we believe in being honest and setting you up for the best chance of success.


And New Year’s resolutions simply do not work. Not for most people anyway, and specifically not for people abusing substances.


Think about it first. Have they ever worked for you before? Did you really start hitting the gym, give up smoking, kick the substance, as a New Year’s resolution before? Maybe you did manage to commit for the first week, maybe two… at a push maybe you even made it through the whole of January a ‘new you’.


But we are going to bet that’s rare.


And there are reasons for it. Here are our thoughts on why New Year’s Resolutions do not work, and our suggestions for how to make changes in 2022 that really stick.


80% of New Year’s resolutions fail.


And, that includes even the smallest ones like committing to read more, or making the bed each morning.


NOTHING CHANGES, IF NOTHING CHANGES


New Year’s is often an excuse to put off what needs to have been done throughout the year, especially where drugs and alcohol are concerned, as it gives us that excuse to keep going a bit longer, absolutely convinced that by the time New Year comes around we will have the resolve to deal with it. Once New Year arrives, it’s very common to start thinking about the next Monday, the next birthday, the next <insert any significant moment>.


In fact, we find our phone starts going mad about a week before Christmas, as people hit it so hard in the lead up to the holidays thinking it will be their last ‘hoorah’ that it very quickly becomes dangerous and out of control.


If you already had the power and motivation to address the thing you put on the top of your New Year’s resolution list, plus it is significant enough to need looking at, you would have done it by now. You do not develop some mystical willpower as the bell rings at midnight on the 31st December, and that thing you have been struggling with daily all year (and for many years), suddenly becomes manageable.

We think we can make changes by just deciding to do it, and doing it. By ourselves without even considering where we can get help.


Especially where substances are concerned, you need to do something differently if you really want to make a change. Typically, that means seeking some help. It’s just like committing to join the gym and getting fit. Your chances of success are much higher if you engage a personal trainer who will not only show you how to workout the best way for you and your body, but will also give you the support and accountability you need to remain motivated with your training. You need people who remind you why you started in the first place.


PRESSURE TO SUCCEED = PRESSURE TO FAIL


The expectations we put on ourselves to change ingrained behaviour that is not that easy to change, is so immense, that if we happen to make a small slip, most people are not capable of being kind enough to recognise any small achievement. Instead they see themselves as a failure and give up all together. We can feel demotivated and even ashamed of our inability to do something that we say we will, especially if we make a public announcement of our intentions to those around us.


Failure carries shame, which is why we are more inclined to make changes in secret. This very act of secrecy is us telling ourselves we are going to fail from the outset, and right there we have sabotaged any efforts we make from the very start.


WE ARE NOT SMART


Personal resolutions should be approached just like how we would with a business objective- by applying SMART principles. By not being specific, measuring, having an attainable or realistic goal and targeting our approach- we are doomed to fail. How can we make a change if we do not really understand what the goal is and how we are going to go about it?


The smartest thing you can do this year, is look to the professionals in the arena of substance abuse. If you research well, you will find there are plenty of people with years of experience in knowing exactly how to help people approach their substance abuse, alcoholism and addiction, so you will not be spending December 2022 on yet another last “hurrah".


2022. The Year of 'The Decision'


If you are starting to feel desperate to do something about your substance abuse, we encourage you to make 2022 the year you take action. If you paid attention to the post above, you will know we are not about to suggest you go cold turkey 1st January and completely turn your life around in 24 hours.


We suggest you make it the year of “The Decision”. This is the first step towards making a change and accepting that some form of recovery may be the healthier path for your life.


Acknowledge the issue. See it for what it is. Recognise how it is impacting your life. Actually ‘see’ the damage it is causing you and those around you.


And then don’t be scared. You do not have to fear what you now see. There is a better way, a path millions have chosen to take, and you can join them too.


Make this the year your decision allows you to reach out for a hand. Decide on the date you will take the next step- speak to someone close to you about your decision, call someone you already know in recovery for advice (we all know one!) or pick up the phone to us so we can guide you through.


At Reset My Future we focus on helping people who have made the decision to change their behaviour with substances. We do not work with anyone who is 'forced' into it, as we believe it must be entirely your choice. We have a 12-week program which is tailored to each individual, and delivered completely virtually with real people, to fit around your work and home life.


We believe addressing substance abuse is about improving all areas of your life, and not stopping anything purely to focus on recovery.


If you are ready to make the decision, or you're not quite sure but you are curious about what your future could look like, then get in touch.