"Excellence is not an act but a habit. The things you do the most are the things you will do the best."
– Marva Collins
Recovery is not an act it is a habit. The more we practice utilizing the tools of recovery the more integrated they become into our lives thus forming positive habits. As we continue doing the next right thing we continue to strengthen our resolve as recovering people. The truth is as we form habits those habits form who we become as people. Therefore, we want to form the right habits in order to build the best life possible.
Building daily disciplines in our lives are essential to a productive recovery process. Arising in the morning at a consistent hour on a daily basis is the start of a productive day. As the old saying goes, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” Once the day has begun prayer and meditation on a consistent basis is one of the daily disciplines that help to promote wellness. Whether it is traditional prayer, journaling, positive affirmations, Eastern Meditation, Yoga, or simply talking to a higher power are all examples of prayer and meditation.
Attendance at mutual support meetings is an integral aspect of the recovery process both in the action and maintenance phases of recovery*. Mutual support whether it is a Twelve-Step process, SMART Recovery, or any other self-improvement program, group attendance at meetings is an essential aspect of the disciplines necessary to make lasting change.
Tony Robbins is quoted as saying, “Success leaves clues.” It is true if you want to recover from a hopeless state a good plan to adopt would be to find someone that has recovered, do what they did and do, and your chances for success increase. In the Twelve-Step community finding a sponsor is the equivalent of this principle. In amateur and professional sports having a coach is similar. Business leaders have mentors and religious folks have spiritual advisors. It simply makes sense to have a helping hand to guide you through the process. The daily discipline is to communicate with the sponsor or mentor every day and to take their advice.
Create a new habit of the lifelong process of developing a Positive Mental Attitude. Start by focusing on the positives you do have in your life. Write out a Gratitude List in a notebook and keep it by your bed. Utilize this tool by writing at least one thing you are grateful for each day prior to retiring for the night. Steer clear of the broadcast news and be cautious watching conspiracy theory types of television shows or movies.
Have and keep your priorities in order. Your spiritual condition first, family second and your vocation third. Be cautious about over working yourself. Don’t allow yourself to get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.
No matter what plan of recovery you utilize to recover, take the time to implement and integrate the principles of that program into your daily of life. If you are utilizing the Twelve-Steps implement them and practice them in all of your affairs.
Finally, always treat others the way you would like to be treated. Honor people and treat people well. Have a kind word for everyone you meet. And always remember that life is good!
* Prochaska & DiClemente, the five positive phases of recovery are Pre-contemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action and Maintenance.
Dan Callahan, MSW
Dan has been a human service professional since 1983 and specializes in addiction treatment and recovery. Dan studied social sciences and received a Bachelors of Science at the University of Stony Brook and completed a Masters in Social Work program at Fordham University School of Social Welfare, New York City in 1997.
Dan is the author of two addiction recovery works: A book of recovery essays, titled, “Recovery Thinking, 90-Days to Change Your Life” and a recovery workbook “Freedom Recovery, 90-Days to Recover” that is utilized as an out-patient recovery guide and an inpatient addiction treatment workbook.