Many of us make new year's resolutions at the end of each year and find that a few weeks into our new gym routine or diet regimen we begin to falter and fade back into our old unwanted habits. One of the very best ways to stay on track with your new goals, especially when you are an addict in recovery, is to create a plan that will help keep you motivated. There will always be struggles and moments when you aren't sure you can go on but when you have a plan you can quickly regain your footing. Read on to learn a few great tips on how to make a plan and stick to it!
Make a list of the reasons why you are making the change:
You have committed to making a change. Great! Now you need to stay motivated. First thing you need to do is make a list of all the positive reasons why this life-change will benefit you and what those benefits are. Make a few copies of this list and put them in different places that you know you will see every day. Some reasons don't need to be written down but instead could be represented by a picture of someone you love or the person who motivates you to stay with your goals. These images and your list will keep you focused on the positive benefits your new goals will create in your life.
Make another list of things that encourage you:
What motivates or encourages you? Is it a song or a short video? Maybe someone famous or someone who has accomplished the very same goal you are in the process of achieving? Make a habit of listening to the song that pushes you or watching the video that encourages you whenever you are struggling. I have found that Youtube.com has thousands of inspirational videos that will motivate you. Here are a few of my favorites:
Lean on your friends, family and your sponsor:
Everyone needs a healthy support system of family and friends, whether you are in recovery or not, who will help you along the way. Remember who will push you to be better in this group and make a point to speak to them regularly about your progress or even your lack of progress. Your sponsor is an excellent well of strength and encouragement, so use them as much as you feel the need to. They will give you the pep-talk that you need to correct your course and realign with your commitments. You can even schedule when you plan on interacting with your sponsor or motivators each week to stay honest.
Start writing in a daily journal:
There will be hills and valleys along your path to change. Writing your daily gains and losses is a healthy way to keep track of how you are doing on a daily basis. This action also makes you much more accountable for your actions and inactions. You will see when you miss an activity or a goal and will be more inclined to make up the activity at a later time instead of just forgetting about it. Listing the reasons why you missed doing something you were supposed to do can be an eye opener in and of itself. You will learn what works for you and what doesn't, what triggers you and what doesn't.
Find a home group and attend regularly:
Our family, friends and sponsors are an excellent start to a strong support group but attending a regular group AA meeting is also a major step in the right direction. Listening to the hardships and accomplishments of your peers in recovery is a powerful thing that will push you even more. Sharing your own losses and gains with others is another great way to stay focused.
Treat yourself the in the best way possible every day. Your goal is not to be perfect but rather to consistently strive to improve your physical and mental health, your quality of life and your personal relationships. Stay sober and take the next indicated step and all else will to fall into place. Everything is NOT going to go the way you planned, but if you can continue to strive towards your goals, you will be succeeding on your path every single day.