Last year is over. Getting sober in the new year is a great way to move on.Happy New Year! Have you made a resolution to finally kick your habit and get sober this year? If so, congratulations! If you’re still deciding on your resolution but are considering making a change around substance use in the new year—that’s great, too. The new year can be a powerful marker of change in our lives and a great time to build new, healthy habits. 

Today, let’s look at the 4 big steps you’ll want to take if you are looking to get sober for New Year’s. It’s not an easy choice, but no powerful decision ever is. This could be your year to finally start living the life you’ve always wanted. Start planning now so you’ll be ready when the clock strikes midnight!

Step #1: Find Your Why

The first step towards making a change—especially a difficult one—is getting clear on WHY you are making this change. 

  • Are you doing it for your health? 
  • Do you want more time, more money, better relationships? 
  • Are you doing it for your spouse? Your kids? Your grandma?
  • Are you doing it for your career or your schooling?
  • Are you doing it for faith-related reasons?

If none of these reasons are resonating with you, sometimes it’s easier to look at what you DON’T want than what you do want. What about your current situation is not working for you? What are you excited to kiss goodbye? 


  • No more hangovers
  • No more embarrassing scenes
  • No more blackouts 
  • No more hustling to get the next fix 
  • No more lying 
  • No more missed work 
  • No more empty bank account 
  • No more disappointing yourself
  • No more shame  

Make your “why” statement personal and make it meaningful to you. Be as detailed as you can. Write it down and keep it in a place where you can see it often. Look at it whenever you are beginning to doubt your decision.

Telling other people about your intention to get sober is a powerful step towards making it a reality.Step #2: Tell Other People About Your New Year’s Goal

If getting sober was easy, you would have already done it. 

If you feel you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, you’re going to need help getting sober. 

Accountability is key. 

Commit to telling at least one other person about your desire to get sober. If you can’t entrust a family member or friend with this information, tell a counselor or a doctor. Call a professional. Ring up a substance abuse crisis line. Go to a self-help meeting. (Most people don’t know this but you don’t need to be sober to attend most self-help meetings. Don’t show up obviously loaded but do consider going if you are in the process of making a change—you don’t need to have it all figured out. You will be welcomed.) 

Letting another person know about your plans is powerful. Invite them to check on your progress. Ask for their help in brainstorming next steps. 

Step #3: Set Goals for Getting SoberSetting goals for sobriety breaks down the task into easy bite-sized chunks.

Now that you know why you want to make a change and you’ve told other people about your decision, it’s time to start setting goals for yourself. “Get sober in the new year” is too big of a goal. Break it down into smaller steps. 

How about: 

  • Goal #1: Decide what method I want to use to get sober
  • Goal #2: Choose a specific program within that method
  • Goal #3: Set a date for beginning the program
  • Goal #4: Begin the program 

See how that breaks down the problem into smaller tasks? Each task builds on itself towards the larger goal of “getting sober in the new year.”  Be sure to assign a deadline to each goal. 

For “Goal #1: Decide what method I want to use to get sober,” ask yourself how you want to get sober. 

If you’re a heavy drinker, you’ll need medical detox to safely stop drinking. Stopping cold turkey without medical supervision is not only difficult, but it can be life threatening for some people who drink very heavily. If this describes you, don’t quit cold turkey by yourself. Talk to your doctor or give us a call at Transitions Recovery Program and we can advise you about how to stop safely. 

For the rest of us, we have decisions to make: residential rehab (intensive inpatient), partial day-treatment, intensive outpatient, or some type of informal self-help program. At Transitions Recovery Program, we’ve found that most patients benefit from the structure of a formal residential program. If you’ve already tried self-help and it didn’t work, strongly consider a residential program like ours. It’s covered by most insurance companies and it’s quick and easy to see if yours qualifies in one phone call

We’re Here to Help You Get Sober in the New Year

Making the decision to get sober in the new year is a huge step towards a healthier, happier you. Imagine what it would feel like to get back in the driver’s seat and regain control of your life. At Transitions Recovery Program, we help people climb back into the driver’s seat everyday. Give us a call today at 800-626-1980 to learn more about how our program works with your New Year’s resolution. We’re here to support you!