How to Keep a New Year’s Resolution to Quit Gambling
Have you come to the conclusion that you have a gambling problem? If so, you may have made it a New Year’s resolution to quit gambling in the past, to no avail. You’re not alone, as studies find that nearly two-thirds of goal-setters abandon their New Year’s resolutions by the end of January. Of course, a gambling disorder is more severe than a typical “bad habit”, so the success rate for quitting is much lower. Data finds that 90% relapse. Whether you consider your gambling concern to be mild, moderate, or severe, the helpful tips below will help you maintain your New Year resolve. Let’s review.
5 Tips to Maintaining Your New Year Resolution to Stop Gambling in 2023 and Beyond
Limit Exposure to Gambling Environments
Stay away from places that encourage you to gamble. You should certainly steer clear of casinos and racing tracks, but sports bettors may need to stay away from sports bars where attendees have their smartphones open to the latest sportsbook and fantasy apps. You may also need to keep away from attending games in-person. Professional leagues and even a number of college football/basketball stadiums promote online sports betting during events. Furthermore, alter your travel plans if certain destinations offer easy access to gambling. Trips to Reno, Vegas, and Atlantic City (etc.) are a bad idea, as are cruises on ships that have been outfitted with slots and table games.
Stay Away from Enablers
Places may encourage gambling, but so can people. Unfortunately, some of them may be coworkers, friends, and even family. If someone close to you is a habitual gambler (even if not at the “disorder” level) you will need to keep away from them unless they pledge to not gamble (online or otherwise) or talk about it (i.e. discussing point spreads on Monday Night Football, etc.) when around you. This may require that you confide in them about your gambling problem. If you’re not comfortable doing so, then you simply need to keep away from them to the best of your ability.
Add an Additional New Year Resolution to Fill the Void
Take advantage of the fact that it’s time for New Year resolutions by adding another (in addition to quitting gambling) that focuses on a harmless activity that is engaging to you. Pledging to workout more and participate in daily fitness is an obvious choice, but it doesn’t need to be that, especially if it’s a goal you haven’t been able to achieve in the past. In fact, failure of this healthier resolution may have a negative impact on your mental health and subsequently thrust you back into gambling.
Choose a New Year resolution for something that you’re truly passionate about. For some it may be fitness related, but for you it could be a hobby such as reading, writing, painting, drawing, building, carpentry, collecting, and more. Setting another goal for something that your passionate about can fill the time void that previously supported gambling.
Try Virtual Gambling Therapy
To understand how to keep a New Year’s resolution to quit gambling, is to understand that it can’t be done on your own. You need help from professionals who specialize in treating people with gambling disorder.
You may be concerned about the cost of gambling rehab, but many are surprised to learn that they may qualify for coverage through their insurance or other programs. Either way, you cannot afford to spend another year lost in the throes of problem gambling. Neither can your loved ones (more on this below). Get help with your worthy New Year goal by giving virtual gambling therapy a try. You have nothing to lose by wagering on your own wellness.
Get Your Family Involved
There’s a good chance that your household and/or extended family has been impacted by your gambling habit. If so, not only will virtual family gambling therapy be helpful for them, it will provide support (from loved ones) that will help you achieve success and avoid relapse. Reach out to get your family involved in your resolve to quit gambling.