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Top Ten Ways to Improve Sobriety for a New You in 2024

Sobriety is a journey that requires commitment, courage, and continuous effort. As we step into 2024, it’s a great time to revitalize your sobriety journey with new strategies and support systems.

Why Improve Your Sobriety Now?

As the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says, we “strive for progress, not perfection.” We should always be looking for ways to improve ourselves because doing so helps us, helps others, and leads to avenues of happiness that were impossible to find while we were using.

Life can be hard. When it is, we need the tools to walk through difficulties with sobriety intact. Better still, those tools can help us maintain inner peace under all conditions. Every day is one in which we should strive to improve our sobriety, but a new year offers new opportunities. Let’s take them and forge a better world for ourselves and the world we live in.

Here are the top ten ways to improve your sobriety and embrace a healthier, happier you this year.

1. Work a 12-Step Program and Go to Meetings

A 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can provide a structured approach to recovery. These programs offer a sense of community and a proven framework for sobriety.

Being sober is about more than just not drinking or using. After all, we didn’t just have a substance abuse problem. We have a thinking problem. No matter what the root cause of our distorted thinking is, the answer to them can be found in one of the twelve steps.

2. Get a Sponsor

We need sponsors and our sponsors need us. Most importantly, we cannot work the steps alone. When working steps four and five, where we review the harms done to us and the harm we have done to others, we need a sponsor to point out what part we played (if any) in the way our lives have played out. Once we understand the patterns of our relationships, we have the power to change them.

Beyond that, sharing with a sponsor takes away the sense of aloneness most addicts and alcoholics struggle with. And, when a problem blindsides us, a sponsor can offer much-need perspective and sanity. If your sponsor doesn’t offer you that feeling of companionship and share with you how to use the steps to navigate life on life terms, FIND A NEW ONE.

3. Improve your Sobriety by Going to Therapy

Many of us have to deal with past trauma, marital problems, and financial problems. Those can be overwhelming to deal with, especially if you are a dual-diagnosed patient who also suffers from depression, bipolar disorder, or another mental illness.

Therapy and psychiatry are additional tools to add to your sobriety toolbox. If you are new to sobriety and in a residential recovery setting, therapy may be part of your program. Take advantage of it. If you have been sober for years and feels stagnant, therapy and medication can also help.

4. Attend a Residential Recovery Program

For some, a residential recovery program can offer intensive support. These programs provide a structured environment to focus solely on recovery.

Breakthrough Recovery Outreach offers programs for teens and adults who need help getting clean and sober. Patients can live in a safe sober-living environment or attend virtual counseling. If you need help getting a foothold in early sobriety, the value of residential treatment cannot be overstated.

5. Build a Network of Sober Friends

Surrounding yourself with sober friends can help reinforce your sobriety. These relationships can offer mutual support and understanding, while helping you to resist the temptation of drugs and alcohol.

6. Develop Healthy Habits

Incorporate healthy habits like regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep. These practices can significantly improve your physical and mental well-being.

When we treat ourselves well and take care of ourselves, our self-esteem improves, and we feel better. Drinking and using are self-destructive. Self-care is the opposite and when we practice it, we can feel the difference.

7. Explore New Hobbies

Finding new hobbies or rediscovering old interests can fill the void left by addiction. Engaging in activities you enjoy can be a powerful tool in maintaining sobriety.

8. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation can help manage stress and improve mental clarity. These practices can be particularly helpful in dealing with cravings and emotional triggers.

Mindfulness and meditation are so important to sobriety that they are part of the twelve steps! Step 11, specifically says, “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”

This isn’t about praying, although that’s beautiful, if you do it. It’s about calming the mind, centering yourself, and discovering how you can be useful and helpful to yourself and those around you.

9. Set Realistic Goals

Setting achievable goals can provide a sense of purpose and direction. Celebrate your milestones, no matter how small.

We can have a tendency to be hard on ourselves and self-deprecating. When we set realistic goals, we give ourselves the chance to achieve them, and set another. It’s a powerful way to achieve things we may never have dreamt possible.

10. Stay Informed and Educated

Stay informed about addiction and recovery. Knowledge can empower you to make better choices and understand your journey better.

There is great power in this tip. Think about the fentanyl epidemic and about how many pills are laced with it. When we are aware of what’s happening in the world around us and the life-threatening effects of using, it