Motivation is a key component to long term success in recovery. Not only do you have to be motivated and willing to go to any lengths to recover, but you also have to stay motivated to stay sober. In early recovery, motivation is high and plans and ideas are made to remain sober. As time passes, things happen, such as uncontrolled life events, and motivation starts to decrease. For this reason, there are some tips to have in place to help.
Create a Gratitude List
This is probably one of the most important tasks you can ever do in recovery. “A grateful heart is a happy heart.” Recovery is not easy. You will have both good and bad times. Even when things are difficult, there is always something to be grateful for. Get in the habit of making a daily list.
Set Achievable Goals
Another great way to stay motivated is to set both short-term and long-term goals. Goals should be measurable (How close are you to achieving it?) and specific (Can you define when your goal will be met?). Set checkpoints to help keep you on track and give you that rewarding feeling of accomplishment and progress toward each goal.
Connect with the Recovery Community
It is so important to have a strong support system within the recovery community. There are always the traditional AA/NA meetings available in your local communities that you can attend. Social Media is another great way to connect with people in the recovery community; there are various recovery groups you can join on Facebook. Also, there are online meetings with interactive chat sessions that one can participate in to stay connected. Staying connected with others that are going through similar situations is a sure way to stay motivated in recovery. You are not alone in this fight!
Keep a Recovery Journal, Blog, or Videos
Keeping a journal of your thoughts and feelings will help you to get things off of your mind each day and will also help you to see your progress and growth in your recovery. Anytime progress is made that is a great motivator to want to keep working hard to get better. Also, you may eventually want to share your entries to help others that are struggling.
Stress and chaos can be overwhelming. Having a structured schedule of positive and healthy activities each day helps to create a sense of order in your life. This is also a great way to set and achieve your short and long-term goals.
A 12-step program keeps you accountable and provides great fellowship and spirituality. Obtaining a sponsor and working the 12 steps will help to guide and keep you motivated to continue to progress in your recovery journey.
It is so important to give back in recovery. Helping others that are struggling can give you the strength and hope you need to continue in your recovery. It can help you to recognize where you are and how far you’ve come. Service work can vary from individual to individual and can be something as small as taking someone to a meeting with you or a doctor’s appointment, or it can be as big as becoming a sponsor to someone and helping them work through the 12 steps.
Life can be so stressful especially for someone in recovery. It is important to take at least 20 to 30 mins a day or more to practice self-care. Do something that you enjoy, something that relaxes you! You have to have a good balance so you don’t get overwhelmed and stressed out. Take a short walk or walk your dog, listen to music, read a book, meditate, pray, write in a journal, or practice a hobby.
Connect Spiritually to a Higher Power
Organized religions, AA/NA groups, nature, music, groups of people, or an understanding of a higher power can help you find meaning in spirituality. This can change, grow, and evolve. When you establish your higher power, it helps you to feel connected to something bigger than you. This can help keep you motivated to continue your recovery journey and also keeps you accountable.
Maintain Healthy Sleep, Eating, and Exercise Habits
Living a life of addiction wreaks havoc on our bodies. Staying healthy and practicing good health habits can help boost our mental health and alleviate anxiety, depression, and bad moods. It is important to get plenty of sleep, water, exercise, and healthy foods to keep our bodies fueled. This will help us feel so much better mentally and physically.
Seek Help if You are Struggling
Recovery is a journey. It’s important to remember that it is about progress, not perfection. There will be bumps along the way and even a possible relapse, everyone struggles with this. You have to be honest and reach out to people in your support system so that they can help you! When you go back and work through what happened and the circumstances around the relapse, this motivates you to want to do things differently the next time so it doesn’t happen again. Build a support system and reach out to the people in your support system! That’s why they are there! They can’t help you if you don’t speak up!
Staying motivated is the key to long term success in addiction recovery. There are so many tools and resources available these days to help you get through, one day at a time. If you or someone you love is looking for help with an addiction or has any questions, please reach out to Recreate Life Counseling. We look forward to hearing from you.