I believe that in Recovery we should definitely have long-term goals etched out in our minds.
We should have a rough idea of somewhere we would like to be, somewhere we could see ourselves, and things that we would like to accomplish in our lives, in the long-term, as sober humans.
In early recovery my only long-term goal was to be at peace.
It sounds like a vague goal, I know, but that is all that I envisioned.
I wanted that life.
You know, the life where I would be happy with the simple things.
A state of being that I would be able to enjoy simple days.
I would be a person who could have plans or not have any plans, and still be happy.
Some days would be exciting, and other’s wouldn’t, and that would be okay.
I was just tired of chasing the idea of contentment and truly just wanted to ‘be’ …and to be at peace with just ‘being’.
So you could say that my personal long-term goal was not exactly mapped out with specific routes to get me to that place that I had imagined, but at least I had vision.
In early recovery most of us are told to only allow ourselves to focus on the twenty-four hours that are in front of us, and those hours only.
Why are we told so many times over to live and plan for only one day at a time?
How can living one day at a time be beneficial?
1. At this crucial stage staying sober is priority #1.
You don’t need to get overwhelmed.
Early Recovery means fresh emotion. Emotions running high.
Emotions all over the place.
They’re inconsistent and seem to want to dictate everything.
Most feelings are being felt for the first time in a long time and don’t make sense.
A lot of us have had personal experiences where our minds are playing tricks on us.
Our bodies hurt and aren’t understanding this new change.
We may have legal or professional issues to handle as well.
For these reasons it is vital to focus solely on the now and to avoid any additional & avoidable stress. Typically, this is something that we can agree to commit to for right now.
2. We are learning to value ourselves.
By setting daily goals and striving for small changes
we begin to see that we are in fact capable of change; albeit, small change.
We are setting new and attainable standards for ourselves and the way that we are choosing to live our lives. Each day that we take on with intention, we continue to live as this new person.
Every single day proves to us what we had previously thought was impossible for us. As each day passes we begin to realize that we are capable of doing good things.
3. By slowing down, we learn to rely on God throughout each day,
moment to moment if need be.
We live one day at a time, and for most of us, one moment at a time.
We use this 24-hour-format to teach ourselves to slow down.
We learn to analyze ourselves in our environment.
We begin to see the value in embracing what comes each day.
We take a long hard look at our reactions, how we interact, how we respond to others, how we treat others.
We learn to take the time to pause and take note of these things.
We ask for help from God when we need it and if that means right in the moment, then so be it.
Taking each day for what it is allows us to strategically peel off each layer. We take note of the good, bad, and in between every day. We share our heart with God, and we learn to see that whenever and wherever we are He is there, and He is real, and cares about our individual situation.
4. We begin to appreciate and value hard-work and prefer it over instant gratification.
It has been a long time since we believed that hard work can produce good things.
Instantaneous gratification is what we have been chasing.
We got used to having what we wanted, when we wanted it, by any means necessary.
It has become unnatural to have to put in such hard work for what seems like little reward.
Over time we will begin to see the value of the effort that we have put into living a sober life. We become more determined and more focused, despite having rough hours or difficult days.
We begin to see that the easiest way is not always the right way, the best way, the most healthy way and certainly– not the most rewarding.
Things will get a little bit easier every single day that you make it through.
You will make mistakes, but guess what?
You are going to try again tomorrow in the next set of 24-hours that we are given.
You can only get so much accomplished in one day.
You aren’t competing or racing anyone else.
This is your journey and you are doing a great job embracing this new thing.