Happy New Year Resolutions: 4 Ways to Achieve them

What if you actually did everything you plan to do?

What do you have on that resolution list?
Total abstinence, cutting down on substance use, practicing your coping skills, learning new coping skills, learning something new you have always wanted to?

Whatever it is, I am sure it is something that will change your life for the better. I suppose you were not able to do it in 2021 because of ‘certain reasons beyond your control’. Well that is in that past now, so what are you going to do to bring it into your control in 2022?

1. Set Realistic Goals

Are you sure you can achieve whatever goals you have set for yourself? Or is too big to reach. It is good to be ambitious, but being overly ambitious is one of the reasons why people are not able to achieve most of their set goals. Do not bite more than you can chew and get choked in the process. For instance, a person who had just been in recovery for a few weeks decided that he was healed and wanted his friends to also get healed so he started visiting them in the ghettos and encouraging them to get help. He relapsed in under a week! That was a good goal but was too ambitious for him to achieve because at the level of his recovery, he had not been grounded enough to achieve that goal, so he failed. Do not be in a hurry to do too much, do a proper assessment of your strengths and know what you can do and what you cannot do.

2. Break your goals down into objectives

Start with little things like for instance, if the goal is to learn and master five new coping skills a year, you can start by reading about one of them, then learn about it, then you can practice a couple of times, then you can move to the next one. Do not try to do everything at once, it may be confusing and overwhelming which may frustrate you and eventually cause you to abandon the goal.

3. Set realistic timelines for your goals

Do not be in a hurry to achieve your goals too quickly. Take it a day at a time and little by little, before you realize it, you have achieved it. Do not give up too easily, just keep working at whatever you are doing, keep practicing, you are almost there.

4. Make a promise to yourself

You can make a long list of things you want to do in 2022, that is nothing new, you have probably made such a list before but did not follow through with it. This time, promise yourself that you are going to actually do the things you said and set a ‘Promise Prize’, which you will give to yourself once the goal or goals are achieved. Have a trusted person who cares about you keep the Promise Prize which will be given to you when the goal is achieved. If you are true to yourself, the Promise Prize should be a powerful motivation to keep you going.

Have a fruitful year. I know all your dreams will come true because you will actually work at getting them to become a reality. Do not give up, you can do this!

Seek Recovery First

What is important to you as a person? What do you seek first and most in life? If I were to ask ten different people the same question, I may get ten different answers. This is probably because all those ten people are in very different situations that may require different needs.
People from all walks of life strive everyday for many material things like houses, cars, clothes, lots of money in their bank accounts; in short, many possessions. So many of these material possessions are wished for and even given to people on their birthdays. But interestingly, only one or two things cannot be given as a gift but can only be wished.
What am I getting at? I am thinking about life and good health. I think that for someone to be able to successfully pursue and grasp all those other possessions I mentioned earlier, a person must be able to strive to take care of their health which will hopefully guarantee a long life (even though this may not always be the case because accidents, unexpected disasters, pandemics, genetic conditions and other unexplained circumstances sometimes do take away life abruptly).
Most of the time when I speak to clients about their goals, I hear very interesting things, like, ‘I just need a woman to take care of me and satisfy my sexual needs’. Others say, ‘I want to travel outside the country’. Most of them see these goals as the solution to their Substance Use Problems. Most clients especially in the early stages of treatment do not understand that the most important thing is to seek recovery first and then all those other goals will follow.
What most clients fail to understand is that, with everything that we acquire, there are different levels of quality that a person can have depending on his/her health status, financial status, social status and a whole lot of other ‘relevant statuses’ (I find myself laughing at that). Life and good health gives a person hope of being in the right frame of mind and body to effectively go after and acquire all those other physical needs and wants.
I just want to encourage everyone struggling to acquire all those physical and even emotional needs to the neglect of seeking treatment for their Substance Use Disorder first, thinking that, those will be enough to solve their problems. There cannot truly be any quality in a life which is plagued with bad health, running a risk of loosing that life at any point due to Substance Use.
My friends, by all means seek a comfortable life, cars, a life partner, money in your account but in all your seeking, if you have a Substance Use Problem, seek to recover from that first, because, that is a guarantee to a better quality of life which will essentially lead to a better quality of acquisitions in terms of all those other things.

The Plague called Drug Addiction

I was talking to friend recently who unfortunately has been using drugs for a while now. A young beautiful woman who happens to be in a not so healthy relationship; unfortunately, it is a drug fueled one. Another unfortunate thing in this situation is that, she is expecting!
Apparently, the most important relationships in her life; that which she has with her siblings is also drug fueled. I do not know if it is appropriate to say this but, i think her whole life is ‘infested’ with drugs; cannabis, crack cocaine, heroin and others.
Infested, I hate that word, it makes me think of worms and parasites and locusts and the plagues of Egypt. Whenever someone, anything or place becomes infested with anything, it is almost always devoured. I just remembered the army worm infestation that hit our farms in this country some time ago. It was very bad, most of the affected farms were destroyed because the medicine needed to fight the army worms were not received quickly enough.
My friend used to tell me that she was not addicted to drugs, she said she was just an occasional user. But on this day she started telling me by herself how much weight she had lost over the years (i did not know that), how she used to be successful, had so many friends but had lost all those things now. Then she said, ‘drugs have spoiled my life. Someone I used to smoke ‘the grass’ with told me once that crack cocaine was the devil so I should not try it but I did not listen to her’.
‘The first time I tried it, I could not believe anything could make me feel this way; I felt good so I gave the people around me all my money to buy it with. That’s what I used to do. Eventually my business collapsed because I spent all my money on my friends and drugs, I am generally generous and I cant help it. I used to buy them food, clothes , hair, everything. When I lost everything, they left me, sometimes I did not even have anything to eat but no of them was there for me’.
‘Fortunately for me, I managed to stop but recently I have started taking it again once in a while, when I am hurt. I am always hurt when I remember those times, and also when I fight with my man. I did not even know that he used Heroin until he fell severly ill, I thought he was going to die, I felt helpless and I needed to feel strong and capable of taking care of him so I had to use. Then I felt strong and unafraid’.
We are always fighting so I am always hurt, I don’t know who to talk to. I am hurt, I am always hurt’.She was in tears all through her narration.
Then I asked whether she felt she needed help with the situation so that she could abstain and be a mother to her child, then she said, ‘I am hurt but drugs have hurt me baddest, it has spoiled my life. I want to stop’.
In summary, some people like my friend may use drugs because it is part of what they know and have been thought to be good when they were growing up. Eventually, it may become a solution to their hurts and pains and their need to do and perform better at certain things. However in the end, it becomes a problem when it takes over and infests their lives, slowing killing them. If they don’t receive their treatment soon and on time, they get devoured and perish.
They may be hurting, but drugs hurts them baddest and others around them especially the little babies that may be growing in them who will come out also infested. Or those already born who may be neglected because the person supposed to care for them is hurting baddest.
Help a friend to get help now!

7 Goods for a Healthy Life in Recovery


During active drug use, you may have forgotten about how to take care of yourself in order to maintain a healthy and more enjoyable life. But during recovery, keeping structure and order in your life is very vital to living that amazing life you envision.

That said, how do you sustain your good health? It’s achievable with these 7 goods that are assured to help you enjoy a good life in recovery.

The 7 Goods

  • Food and water
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Medical Attention
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Spirituality

Let’s look at how these 7 goods will help you enjoy a good life in recovery.


Food and Water: Why this is good for you

  • Try as much as you can to avoid getting hungry; it intensifies cravings
  • Eat balanced meals; a portion of carbohydrates should be balanced with some protein and vegetables
  • Breakfast is very important since it helps you start your day so don’t skip it
  • Avoid eating too much processed foods
  • Also, avoid taking in junk food
  • Stay away from fizzy and sugary drinks; take fruits, juices and smoothies instead
  • Drink lots and lots of water; it helps to flush toxins out of the body


Exercise: Why this is good for you

  • Exercising regularly boosts energy and improves mood
  • It also helps prevent health conditions such as stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and others
  • Exercising keeps us fit and generally feeling strong thus it is important to exercise at least three times a week.
  • You can jog or go for walks – anything that will make you sweat and or work the heart muscles is good for you.
  • You can get a trainer at the gym to help you through if you can afford the time and money


Sleep: Why this is good for you

  • Sleep is very important in helping relieve stress and improving general well being
  • Every normal adult needs about eight hours of sleep to feel fully rested for the next day’s activities


Healthy Relationships: Why this is good for you

  • Any individual in recovery needs the support of family and friends – Keeping a good relationship with them is key in sustaining abstinence
  • Avoid keeping in touch with ‘old-using’ friends and dealers
  • Try hard not to jump too quickly into romantic relationships because they come with a lot of stress which you may not be ready to deal with



Medical Attention: Why this is good for you

  • It is very dangerous to self-medicate, especially when you have any form of pain because some pain killers are made from opium derivatives which work like heroin and thus can be very addictive.
  • Always consult a medical doctor for treatment when you are sick and do well to take the exact dosage prescribed to you to avoid having any complications


Personal Hygiene: Why this is good for you

  • For a general feeling of well being, keep your body and surroundings clean
  • Take care of your mouth by brushing your teeth at least twice daily
  • Wash your clothes and underwear regularly
  • Keep a generally clean outlook and don’t forget to keep your private areas clean too.


Spirituality: Why this is good for you

  • You cannot beat your addiction without totally turning your life around for the better; one sure way to do that is to become closer to your Maker.
  • Make time every day to pray, read the holy teachings and have regular fellowship with people of the same faith
  • Make sure you practice the Word you read and hear at fellowship


Keep in mind that recovery is not just aimed at maintaining abstinence, but achieving total well being, transformation and improved quality of life. Therefore, diligently practice these 7 goods needed for a healthy life in recovery and you will begin to see a transformation in your life.


Mine has been great! It was not easy to get through though.

I was invited to a friend’s wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony but I couldn’t wait to leave. I just wanted to dodge the reception; there will be alcohol and I didn’t want to have to go through ‘that’ anymore.

I have struggled to get sober over ten years. I was finally able to achieve total abstinence two years ago. I have also made progress in my relationship with my family, I am more focused at work now and have started dating too. Yes, a lot of progress indeed. I do not want to mess it all up. I do not want to disappoint myself as well as all the people in my life.

The ceremony had finally ended, pictures had been taken. Just as I was making my way out of the church, she saw me; an old friend I had attended high school with. It was great to see her, she looked great. ‘Come with me to the reception’, she said, it’s been such a long time. Let’s catch up’. Before I could say a word, she pulled me along into the crowd, straight into the wine and all the alcohol you could think of.

All of a sudden, I couldn’t breathe, I started having flashbacks of ‘those days’, ‘the bad old days’ when I used to drink without a care in the world. Then she offered me a drink. Spontaneously, without thinking, I took the drink. Just as I was about to drink it, I remembered what my counselor said,

‘before you take another drink, think about the harm that could come out of that momentary satisfaction of a craving, which can never be satisfied with a thousand more of that first drink. Think about all the hard work you have put in so far…..’

With an enormous amount of courage, I handed back the drink to her and said, ‘I am AA, two years sober and I got to go now’. I walked out of there with my head held up high. I focused on the joy of the victory of what I had overcome and not on the guilt of what I could have done. I would not forget it though, I’ll always remember this day, as a great learning experience.

So smile and focus on the little victories of the day because always remember, ‘it could have been worse…….’

By Anonymous