How many of us find the work we have to do just to make it from dusk to dawn tiring and our schedules full enough without layering in work on recovery from harmful behaviors and habits? I will answer for most of us – we are already busy enough and the idea of adding one more task is enough to send us right back to the very behavior or habit we are trying to change.
This relates to the beautiful idea that most 12 step programs incorporate in the recovery process – “One Day at a Time.” Many in recovery reduce this to the longest they think they can last without going back to the old addiction – “One minute at a time”, “One hour at a time”, “One moment at a time.” This idea hits on the need to go about changes and recovery in manageable doses and with manageable goals.
If one says, “I am NEVER going to drink again – ever!” A part of her brain and emotional center that has used drink as a way to cope sends a message to the subconscious systems that says, “Quick, let’s go into an anxious mode as a survival mode, because she is clearly talking crazy. What is this ‘NEVER’ crap? Like FOREVER? That is too long. ALERT! ALERT!”
It is too much. Too much for us to ask of ourselves. It isn’t nurturing, it isn’t reassuring. It is the truth that with these harmful behaviors and habits we need to not do them again or even allow a crack in a door that says maybe someday, but we don’t have to focus there.
Instead, focusing on one day, minute, hour, moment, or story is the way to get to success. So don’t try and rewrite your entire life’s story. Maybe keep in mind where you would like to go as a general idea, but don’t lock that in, rather, get there with each story.
For example, I want to look back on my life at the end and know I impacted those around me with positive, inspiring support. I want to have treated my body, mind, and spirit with respect and love. I want to have lived up to the person my higher power created me to be. So, I spend each day in a series of moments, rewriting stories when I notice that my reaction to a person, place, or situation creates an urge in me to drink, overeat, say horrible things about myself or someone else, or just get angry as heck.
I think this has given me my great success. I don’t worry about tomorrow or next year or when I die, but I do know that each night when I go to bed I will have moved a little closer to my goals.
Susan Aplin Pogue
began her career in personal development after many years focused on self-development and improvement work. Her experiences led her to discover tools and practices that she was inspired to share with other people through her blog work. Additionally, she has created and facilitated leadership trainings for executive teams in corporate and small businesses. Susan is a public speaker, and has addressed audiences on topics ranging from leadership to time management. Her mission is to share practical and powerful self-management techniques to those in recovery from any aspect of their life that has begun to negatively impact their well-being and quality of life. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Certification in Emergenetics ® , and a Certification in DDI Management Skills ®. Her work draws upon her background in corporate training and human resource departments, as well as her life experiences. Susan’s blog work is published by The Neurosculpting ® Institute. Transform, Inspire, Thrive.