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Every year, millions of people mark the New Year as the start of a new goal. Quite often, that takes the form of a sober New Year’s resolution. However, the odds of this sticking are not very good, no matter how well intentioned or motivated we may be.

Why The Sober New Year’s Resolution Fails

Our Orange County drug and alcohol treatment center has seen plenty of people who had a lot to lose, and were still unable to put down the drinking or drugs. As someone said recently in an article in the Huffington Post: “If you really need that extra night to party, most likely you aren’t ready to stop.”

No human power can relieve us of our alcoholism and addiction, and that includes our own. That same article mentions a woman who has tried repeatedly—and failed—to get sober on New Year’s. That small detail gives a lot of insight into the reality of the alcoholic mind. If it was just a matter of saying, “Okay, I’ve had enough. I’m going to stop now,” the world would not be as rife with addicts and alcoholics as it already is.

New Year’s resolutions are notoriously prone to failure in the first place, with up to one-third not even making it past the first month.

Not exactly great odds when dealing with a force like addiction and alcoholism, which already is a disease that is ever harder to overcome.

Why a Sober New Year’s Resolution Can Work

Because getting clean and sober is the result of a Higher Power working in our lives, and relieving us of that burden on His time, that means that it could be any day if we are truly ready. Case in point, our own Thurman Hines has New Year’s Day as his sobriety birthday (happy birthday, Thurman!), so it is entirely possible that our Higher Power may make the call for us on New Year’s.

As they say: “Don’t leave before the miracle happens!”

However, there are 364 (or 365) other days that it could happen on—if it happens. It is a hard reality to accept, but there are many who unfortunately don’t get clean and sober ever—let alone due to a sober New Year’s Resolution.

If it was a matter of just putting the drink or drugs down, there’d be much higher rates of success, but clearly, that isn’t the case.

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