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The holiday season is coming to an end with tomorrow being New Year’s Eve; and for those of you working a program of recovery a sigh of relief is in order. While Thanksgiving and Christmas are often dreaded due to the feelings the two holidays can incite, the New Year can bring with it a feeling of accomplishment and promise for the days ahead. And, if you haven’t already, today and tomorrow are a good time to take some time to reflect on the past year, especially regarding your strengths and weaknesses of your program.

Programs of recovery should always be measured one day at a time, but it can’t hurt to take stock of the progress you have made, the things you are grateful for and what you would like to accomplish in the coming year. If you have been in the program a while, you know that with every day the sky’s the limit. You can witness this just by attending meetings. An example being when you first see the light return to the eyes of a newcomer, who but only a short time ago was on the edge of despair.

Maybe 2017 will be the year that you direct more energy into helping newcomers discover the miracles of recovery, by way of sponsorship or just being a friend. Perhaps your inventory will indicate to you the need to volunteer your services to the program more, maybe pick up a service position in your home group. There are several ways to strengthen your program by way of volunteering, the value of which should not be undervalued.

The end of December is usually when people begin working on their list of resolutions. Like improvements you would want to make in your life in the coming year. Scores of people in the program, while sober, still hold on to certain vices such a tobacco and caffeine. While the latter may be relatively harmless, tobacco is not good for anyone—being linked to many life-threatening health disorders. What’s more, research shows that those who use nicotine products are at greater risk of relapse than their peers who do not smoke.

If you have yet to give up tobacco, maybe 2017 will be your year. Scores of people with a history of alcohol and substance abuse have used the program to be free from tobacco. In conjunction with smoking cessation aids, quitting cigarettes or chewing tobacco is possible and can greatly improve the quality of your life and the strength of your program.

Hope by The Sea would like to commend everyone who maintained a program of recovery in 2016. We hope that you will remember that even one day sober is worth being proud. We wish everyone a safe and sober 2017.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” — Einstein