January is here and a new year has begun. Now is a time when many of us are looking forward instead of looking back. There are a whole twelve fresh months in front of us waiting to be lived. Each day, week, month, and year of our lives in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction are a gift. Looking to 2018, we gaze with eyes of optimism and hope.
Many people make resolutions this time of year. A resolution can be defined as “a firm decision to do or not do something” or “the action of solving a problem, dispute, or contentious matter.” Those who have lived in active addiction to drugs and alcohol know that no decision is really firm. We are familiar with changing our minds, finding ways to change a firm decision, or abandoning the consequences of a decision altogether. Though the true consequences always caught up to us, we resolved to do better next time.
Resolutions are hard to keep, which is why many people don’t keep them. Goals are easier to manage, but can be abandoned as well. A commitment, on the other hand, is different. Making our plans for the new year, we look to what we can commit ourselves to doing. Commitments can be adjusted. Commitments can also go without being upheld. The personal consequence of a commitment is different than that of a resolution or a goal. Resolutions and goals are not binding. Commitment, by its very definition, is: “an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action”. Commitment can also be defined as “the state of quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.”
Commitments keep us obligated and engaged. Recovery has given us a freedom we have never known before as we have broken the chains of addiction. To the cause of recovery, we have become committed. We have seen first hand what we are capable of when we become dedicated to a cause like our recovery. We didn’t “resolve” to “be addicted less” and we didn’t make a goal to “quit using drugs and alcohol”. In one swooping moment, we made a commitment to ourselves, our mind, our body, our spirit, our family, and the whole world, to recover and be sober. If we had resolved or made a goal we might have faltered. Instead we made a commitment to ourselves. Each day, we follow through.
As you are planning for the best year ever, fill your plans with commitments, not resolutions.
Life is full of possibilities for adventure because life is an adventure. Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program located in Portland, Oregon. Our program pulls inspiration from the magnificent nature of the Pacific Northwest to help men find freedom from addiction. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men learn how to live sober with adventurous lives. Call us today for information: (503) 850-2474