New Year’s resolutions have been a part of history since 2000 B.C. when the Babylonians began each New Year by repaying debts to their borrowers. Thus began a tradition that has become woven into the fabric of our society. Four thousand years later, chances are most of the million or so revelers to jam the streets surrounding Times Square this past New Year’s Eve showed up with plenty of resolutions of their own. Even if those resolutions didn’t include paying off any old debts.
Those of us in the recovery industry see people making resolutions all the time, but usually not until they’ve hit “rock bottom”. With their lives falling apart all around them, they finally resolve to get sober and put themselves, and their loved ones, out of their misery. This is thoroughly reasonable motivation, but also helps explain why so many resolutions don’t last (source: http://www.statisticbrain.com/new-years-resolution-statistics/). Because they are made under extreme duress, resolutions often fall by the wayside once the duress eases up. That’s why we encourage our clients at PVRC to see every day as an opportunity to re-invest, and recommit to their recoveries. Our treatment plans gently nudge people away from resolutions – which may feel more dramatic, but also come with greater expectations and, with those expectations, greater opportunities to fail – and towards a more effective approach to confronting their problems that leads to real solutions. And repaying old debts if necessary!