By Mel Jasmin
The New Year is an opportunity to reflect on the year gone by and to approach the year ahead with purpose and intention. A lot of emphasis is placed on this being a time to make big changes in our lives and while this can prove to be a useful motivator for many, it is also important to recognize that meaningful transitions and milestones are happening all year round.
Our efforts in forging forward with life, or as the case may be, with recovery, are meaningful and valuable regardless of when they occur. Taking the pressure off of becoming new and improved versions of ourselves as soon as January 1st rolls around allows us space to grow, learn and move forward at our own pace, in our own way, and on our own time line. For some, the distinct marking of a New Year may be an inspiration for positive change. If the energy of a New Year gives them the inner fire needed to make those changes, then I say all the power to them! However, even if we cannot maintain the full steam ahead attitude we began the year with, or if we find ourselves falling back on old habits, we can still be compassionate and kind to ourselves and give ourselves grace by doing the next right thing. This concept has helped me tremendously in my own recovery journey. By doing the next right thing, we are declaring that we hold the power inside ourselves to make changes when it makes sense for us and in the ways that make sense for us.