Alcohol and drugs were something that intrigued me (and that I tried) since I was very young, the problem though, was not the curiosity itself but how I allowed them to creep into my life and become the center of it.
I was an addict for the most part of my teenage and young years; it was an extremely difficult road, but 9 years ago I was finally able to recover my true self.
Addiction recovery has been a long journey for me. For years, I have been dealing with the desire of returning to my old habits.
However, once I started taking advantage of my sobriety I realized I was not missing anything.
It is true, it is not easy to make the decision at all, but since I did, my life has changed in a very positive way.
Some people see my progress and say I was able to do it because I am somehow special. Well, I also consider myself special, but I think my secret does not lie in my uniqueness rather in the new habits learned.
What habits am I talking about? Let me share 4 amazing life habits that have helped me stay sober for over eight years, after addiction recovery:
4 Amazing Life Habits I Learned After Addiction Recovery
1. Establish what you really want to do in life
It is paramount that you determine what matters to you. Since childhood people are asking you what you would like to do when you grow up. You are likely to have given very diverse answers as time went on
At times it is stressful to deal with such an important topic with parents, relatives, friends, guidance counselors, and teachers, in order for us to decide exactly what we want to do. In my case, I found my center in life through meditation and yoga.
It has allowed me to adopt a healthier lifestyle through mindful eating, mindful living and overall a happier life.
The most important thing is that you find what you enjoy the most and what you are great at, and combine them towards a goal in life.
This way, you will be the best you can be at what you do, while loving it at the same time.
2. Set a strategy to achieve your goals
A list of objectives is completely useless unless you have a good strategy to make things happen.
What is a successful strategy? It is simply the best way to achieve a goal.
For example, imagine you don’t have any money and you need to pay rent. In this case, a plan would outline how you hit the mark of paying the rent on time.
There are plenty of ways to accomplish this, so the true key consists of how to choose the best strategy. When I was backed into a corner early in my sobriety and my rent was due, my sponsor and I looked at a few options:
- Taking out a loan at a low-interest rate.
- Moving into a cheaper house.
- Begging the landlord for more time.
- Stealing money from someone.
Even though all options can help you pay the rent, some are wiser than others.
The same situation can happen with your life goals. There are plenty of alternatives, but you need to determine which ones are best for you.
3. Concentrate on what really matters
It’s easy to get distracted in this world full of stimuli. TV, radio, social networks, the internet and so on can keep you away from achieving what you really want in life. How can that happen?
Well, it is very simple. Let’s take cooking to illustrate that point.
Imagine you are making burgers. You are focused on the meat on the grill because you don’t want to ruin lunch. The meat looks good, and you estimate that in 5 minutes they will be ready.
However, at that moment you get a text from your girlfriend and you get stuck chatting about that night’s plans. You try to cook and text at the same time, but after a few minutes, you realize your burgers are overcooked.
What happened? You got distracted. In a few minutes of texting, you forgot about the burgers and lunch was ruined.
As in the cooking example, during your life planning, you may not be able to realize when you are distracted.
You may think you have everything under control, but from one moment to another you can get blinded and forget what you are looking for in life.
In order to avoid this situation, it is advisable to stick to your strategy as best you can. Although you deserve a break every now and then, you need to prioritize the activities that get you closer to your goals.
What should the cook in the burger example have done? Grill the burgers well, then text his girlfriend. The moral here is simple: first, do what’s most important then do the rest.
4. Evaluate your progress
In this moment, you may think: OK, I have established my goals, I have a strategy, and I am focused on the important things. I am ready to enjoy my sobriety.
Well, let me congratulate you on your determination, but unfortunately, you are not ready yet. You are missing one very important component: an evaluation.
If you do not evaluate your progress, you are bound to get stuck.
It is necessary to measure progress on a regular basis. When you get to know why you are progressing you can identify key factors that help you improve.
Likewise, you can determine what hinders your success. This knowledge comes from a sincere evaluation of your process.
You can keep tabs your progress by asking why all the time. No matter the importance of the goal by asking why you can get to know the real reasons behind your success and failure.
For example, if you happen to pass a very difficult but important test, you should ask yourself why you were able to pass it, although with a medium grade.
The reason may be simple, like: I studied for 2 hours a day prior to the exam. The value is in your recognition of what it took to be successful, and what you can do more (like studying for more days instead of just a day prior) in order to prepare for future tests.
These four habits have proven to be a key factor in my sobriety, after addiction recovery.
I’ve established what I really want to do in life, set a strategy to achieve my goals, and concentrated on what really matters while evaluating my progress.
What habit do you find easier or more difficult to implement in your life? Please, leave your answer below in the comment section. On the other hand, if you would like to share a personal reflection on this matter, feel free to do so.
Share this article with your friends and co-works you never know who might need to know this lessons and help with after addiction recovery.