10 Ways to Boost Your Recovery by Learning Something New in 2017

Your recovery is your key to creating a life you have always envisioned for yourself

Your recovery is your key to creating a life you have always envisioned for yourself. The clarity of mind that comes with putting drug and alcohol use in the past, building up clean time, and learning new coping mechanisms for stress and positive communication skills all lay the groundwork for accomplishing whatever you want to accomplish in life.

As you walk into 2017, if you are feeling stable in recovery, now is the time to begin expanding your horizons by learning something new. As long as your new hobby, skill, or focus does not threaten your ability to stay sober, there are no limits to what you can do in 2017. Whether you are looking to increase your marketability with a new job skill or certification, learn a new language, or just keep your mental acuity sharp, here is how you can make it happen:

Learn Something New

1. Consider your options

Not sure what new thing you want to focus your time on this year? Whether you have so many ideas that you are having a hard time picking one or no ideas at all, take a moment to consider some different ideas. What skills do you already have? What do you enjoy doing? Is there something you’ve always dreamed of turning into a reality? Make a list of possibilities that might work for you and whittle it down to your favorites.

2. Get out there and start doing it

For each item on your short list of options, go out and start making things happen. If you want to learn a new language, sign up for a weekly language course. If you are considering moving to a different country, do some research on what you have to do to make it happen. If you would like to get into a degree program, look into different schools to see what the admission requirements are. Keep it simple for starters to see if your goal really resonates before jumping into a full-time or complex project.

3. Go for the gold

Once you have found the goal you are going to dedicate your time to in 2017, completely immerse yourself in it. If you have decided you are going to learn a new language, attend classes, listen to podcasts that teach you the language and ones delivered in that language, read easy books in the language with the English translation at your side, and try to find someone who will chat with you as you learn the basics and beyond. The more immersed you are in your new skill, the more quickly it will become second nature, according to studies.

4. Make healthy lifestyle choices that promote energy, good mood, and clarity

If you are low on sleep, eating junk food, and surrounded by negative people, it is going to be immensely harder to accomplish your goals. Instead, make sure you get 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night, eat healthfully, exercise regularly, and spend time with happy people to improve your mood and energy levels.

5. Make small goals that are based on behavior rather than outcome

If you simply say, “I want to read all classic Victorian novels this year,” you will have a harder time realizing that goal than if you say, “I’m going to read for 30 minutes a day to try to read one novel a month.” Make a list in advance of the novels you would like to read.

6. Simplify the rest of your life

For example, it is not going to be easy for you to enroll in a certification program if you are simultaneously trying to hold down two jobs or go out of town two weeks per month. Keep your life simple – simple food, simple schedule, simple commitments – in order to spend the bulk of your time focused on your new life skill.

7. Learn good study habits

No matter what you will be learning this year, it will help you if you learn some positive study habits to help you absorb and retain information. The less time you have to spend going over and over information, the more quickly you will develop your skill and put it into practice.

8. Make a three-month commitment

It takes time to build new habits and to truly become proficient at a new school. To help yourself get through the first stages, commit to working on your goal in some way every day for three months, developing positive new habits pertaining to your new skill that will become ingrained.

9. Reward yourself

As you make progress toward learning your new skill, track what you are doing and reward yourself along the way. Did you read every day for 30 minutes for a week? Did you complete the admissions packet for your certification course? Did you listen to a podcast, read, or converse with someone in your new language every day for a month? These are huge accomplishments, so take the time to acknowledge that by rewarding yourself.

10. Stay positive

Taking on new challenges can be intimidating, but if you stay positive, you will have an easier time managing any challenges and you will be more likely to see your goals through to the end. Learning something new may not always be easy – schedules can get complicated and not everything may be intuitive – but studies show that believing in your own intelligence will help you to accomplish your goals.

How Much Exercise is Appropriate During Your Recovery

Physical activity is an important part of the recovery process, but it's crucial to approach exercise with caution and care. Your body needs time to heal, and pushing yourself too hard too soon can do more harm than good.

It's important to listen to your body and follow your doctor's recommendations when it comes to exercising during your recovery. Depending on your condition, you may need to start with gentle movements such as walking or stretching and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. Your doctor can provide you with specific guidelines based on your medical history and current condition.

Here are some general tips to keep in mind when it comes to exercising during your recovery:

  • Start slow: Begin with low-intensity exercises, such as walking or gentle stretching, and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts over time.
  • Rest and recover: It's important to prioritize rest and recovery during your recovery process. Give your body time to rest between workouts, and don't push yourself too hard too soon.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your body feels during and after exercise. If you experience pain, discomfort, or other symptoms, stop exercising and consult with your doctor.
  • Follow your doctor's recommendations: Your doctor can provide you with specific guidelines for exercising based on your medical history and current condition. It's important to follow these recommendations closely to ensure a safe and effective recovery.

Remember that every recovery process is unique, and it's important to approach exercise with care and caution. By listening to your body, prioritizing rest and recovery, and following your doctor's recommendations, you can help ensure a smoother, safer, and more successful recovery.

Activities to Avoid During Your Addiciton Recovery Process

  • Attending social events where alcohol is present: Attending social events where alcohol is present can be tempting, but it can also be detrimental to your recovery. It's important to avoid situations where you may be tempted to drink, and instead, find alternative activities that don't involve alcohol.
  • Engaging in high-risk activities: Engaging in high-risk activities such as extreme sports or reckless driving can put you at risk of further injury or complications. It's important to avoid these activities until your healthcare provider gives you the green light to resume them.
  • Ignoring warning signs or symptoms: Ignoring warning signs or symptoms of complications can delay the healing process and even lead to more serious health problems. It's important to pay attention to your body and report any unusual symptoms or changes to your healthcare provider immediately.
  • Skipping follow-up appointments or physical therapy sessions: Skipping follow-up appointments or physical therapy sessions can slow down the healing process and even cause setbacks in your recovery. It's important to attend all scheduled appointments and sessions to ensure that you are on track with your recovery plan.
  • Taking medications that are not prescribed: Taking medications that are not prescribed by your healthcare provider can be dangerous and interfere with your recovery. It's important to only take medications that are prescribed by your doctor and follow their instructions carefully.


Addiction recovery is a journey that requires patience, commitment, and support. It can be a challenging process, but with the right mindset and resources, it is possible to achieve sobriety and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Remember that recovery is not just about abstaining from drugs or alcohol; it's about making positive changes in all areas of your life.

This may include improving your physical health through exercise and proper nutrition, seeking counseling or therapy to address underlying issues, and building strong relationships with friends and family who support your recovery.

By staying committed to your recovery plan and taking things one day at a time, you can overcome addiction and live a fulfilling life in sobriety.


Since joining the Townsend content team, Shlomo has become a thought leader in the addiction field. He is a Seinfeld junkie, a recovering Twitter fanatic, and a sports expert. He enjoys milk shakes and beautiful views from rooftops.