Are you setting goals to keep your sobriety strong? Are you setting daily and weekly goals to keep you motivated? This blog is all about never giving up. We can rise up against the drink and take ownership of who we really are.
Someone said to me the other day, “I have done the 66-day challenge and now I need another goal to keep me going.” It was not enough, the 66 days alcohol-free. She was feeling so good and wanted to move well away from her old reward system of having wine during the day. The wine was her reward for the lovely day, the walk, the exercise – anything she had achieved.
If you are sober and worried that you won’t stay that way, then it is time to tame your monkey mind. Believe that you will always be sober. Change the mindset. And set another goal.
I have also spoken to people who just cannot get out of that “another day one” rut. They feel lonely, they feel sad, they rehash the past events that caused them trauma. Maybe then it is time to get professional guidance to deal with the angst and move forward into a life of joy and light. Taming the monkey mind takes hard work. Why do we drink? Why do we want to stop? These WHYS can be resolved.
There is a huge graph of degrees of sobriety: some people simply stop drinking and can move forward alcohol-free forever after. Other people get stuck on that treadmill of having one drink after a few days of sobriety. The best way to get sober forever is to answer the reasons WHY you have decided to stop drinking. For many of us, the habit became the veil for things that had happened to us in the past.
Why Drink? Why Stop?
Some of us suffered a lack of emotional contact with our parents. Others suffered verbal or physical abuse from their parents. Some of us had addicted parents who simply did not know any better. And then there are all the traumas you can think of that cause a person to reach for a drink or anything to numb the pain. I have even heard of people who become extreme addicts when all that happened to them was a fight on the playground in Grade 4, or a teacher yelling at them in front of the class. We are all affected differently. Therefore we all need to seek our own personal treatment and path to sobriety.
I asked a wonderful woman in the United States what advice she would give someone who kept going back to Day 1 again. She had these pearls of wisdom to share:
- Try to avoid doing too much – take one step at a time and stay focused on this one step at a time journey
- Don’t lose the point – don’t waste time missing out on the enjoyment of life – go back to the WHYs
- Remember: alcohol does nothing for you!
- Don’t deprive yourself: make life so content that that’s where you want to stay (instead of being that victim, that “poor little me” syndrome that many of us experience)
- “Stay here” – you want to stay here instead of depriving yourself of more real, raw experiences
- It’s MY story! Tell yourself you want to be healthy for your loved ones.
She asks: What is your legacy? Be present. Not a drunk mother or father or friend or son or daughter or spouse.
So, let’s get back to goal setting. What do you do when you have reached a goal you set for yourself? How are the Sober Springers doing now that they have completed their 30 days sober? Are they moving on to the 66 days sober? Did they reward themselves with wine then go back to square one?
Set Goals for Now and the Future
Let’s look at some examples of setting goals daily. Remember the WHYS: why do you need to set a goal? Well, it is self-care, it is for YOU, remember?
- Walk at least 10 000 steps
- Save R50
- Write a journal entry or a gratitude note
- Stretch, strengthen, do yoga or Pilates
- Walk the dogs, play with the cats or the parrot
- Get rid of something
- Learn something new
- Breathe deeply – old air out, new air in
- Reach out and help someone else.
These goals are long-term. They will give you a purpose in your life. When I stopped drinking, I signed up for a 2-year Early Child Development Course and it kept me working and learning solidly. Then I did my Kids’ Yoga course and recently I did my coaching course. There is always something to learn, something to strive for.
- Sign up for a new course – look at Udemy or Coursera and other websites where courses are affordable or free
- Start your own sober group – invite lonely people to a local coffee shop to meet up once a month
- Start a weekly creativity group at your house
- Try a new hobby and join a group of potters or wild foragers or hikers.
- Get mega fit – walk, run, do weights, join a Yoga or Pilates group. Do a triathlon!
- Change your diet and be lighter and happier.
- Go green – save the planet!
That is your choice! Move forward and set achievable goals for yourself or give up on yourself and let the wine rule your life.
Providence Recovery has 5 amazing pearls of wisdom we can all use:
1: The Power of Positive Thinking
What you think is what you believe, of yourself and other people. The more you dwell on negative thoughts, the more profoundly they can affect you both mentally and physically. The importance lies in how you choose to implement positivity in your life. Positive thoughts reap positive physical health.
2: Focus on What’s Important – Building a Healthy Life
Holistic health depends on the three dimensions of a happy life:
- Mental and emotional health
- Physical health
- Spiritual and soul health
Make time every day to practice, connect and manage all three dimensions of your health. Remember to rest. Learn how to maintain your sobriety by trying something new, like going for a walk in nature. Connect with faith-based groups or figure out your core beliefs and stick to them.
3: Immerse Yourself in Your Program
Get the most out of your chosen program. If you are connecting with Tribe Sober, then connect. Make new friends. Make an effort. Go online, chat and be you. When you get the most out of your program, you can make more progressive steps towards having healthy wellbeing, being present in the moment, genuinely connecting with people, and cultivating healthy habits.
4: Listen Without Judgement
Very often what you hear from others might be exactly what you too are experiencing. Maybe someone even feels the same way you do, but you couldn’t find the right words to say it out loud. If you listen without judgment, you can develop meaningful relationships and find out more about yourself to help you achieve your goals with a more reflective mindset.
5: Embrace Change
Embrace change, don’t fear it. Without change, we wouldn’t be growing and learning how better to respond to life’s lessons. Change helps us learn more about who we are and brings out the character in those around us as well.
What amazing words meant for all of us!
Send me some wonderful tips where you have set goals and they have been so satisfying that you have set even more!