With the first month of the new year coming to a close, now is the perfect time to reflect on the personal goals you’ve set for yourself. Ask yourself which goals have been met, and with which are you struggling? A clear path to sobriety isn’t only just breaking the dependency of a substance. It takes daily work and generous amounts of self reflection as a young man. It means living your life on entirely new terms; allowing yourself to accept, and move on from what once was. Help yourself stay on this new track.

Pay attention the signs

It’s important to always check in with yourself. Whether you’re just beginning your journey of sobriety, or are at a struggling point with your new goals. Be sure to educate yourself on the symptoms of withdrawal and understand your distinct triggers. Be ready to seek out professional help if necessary. Transitioning into a new life should be made safely. Too often we shy away from reaching out for the help we need. Never feel ashamed or burdened by the idea. Ask for help when you need it.

Developing a support system & the importance of community

Although your mind may trick you into feeling otherwise, you are not alone on your journey. Perhaps one of the most important things to remember as you continue to develop your individual sobriety goals is that a reliable support system is key. Talking with other young men who have been where you are currently, and those who are now in a place of stability, can be vital. They can not provide necessary encouragement, but they can help you stay accountable. Showing up for yourself is crucial, and having others that will do the same is invaluable. Involve your family, friends, and loved ones in your progress. Make sure you let them know how they can be present for you.

It may be time to let go

Realize how difficult it is to keep yourself accountable around the same old people and places. If you feel comfortable with how you’re progressing in your goals, it may be time to look at who is still around you. It may be painful, but it is an important step in continued self improvement. Are they helping you in your journey? Are they showing you acceptance, love, and kindness? Are they holding you back, or worse, threatening your wellbeing? If it’s the latter, it may be time to cut ties.

Show up for yourself

It’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed after only a month into the new year. Often times we overextend ourselves with goals that feel momentarily lofty. Pace yourself. This is a journey that will continue well after the start of this year, and all those following it. Write out a list over the next few month of the things you’ve challenged yourself to do. List out any hobbies or pastimes that bring you joy, as well as all the mental obstacles you’ve overcome more recently. Then, decide to make time for those things that bring you fulfillment. Be patient with yourself, and whenever possible, be present with those that show up for you when you simply cannot.