Living the Just for Today Philosophy in Recovery from Alcoholism and Addiction

Living the Just for Today Philosophy in Recovery from Alcoholism and Addiction


How can a person in recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction live the just for today philosophy?

The idea of living just for today is that you will not worry and borrow trouble from the future.  Instead, you will focus on quality sobriety each and every day, as it comes.  Don’t borrow trouble from the future that is not here yet and may never materialize.

They also say “you can plan for the future, just don’t plan the outcome.”  Good advice, but very hard to follow.  Most of us make plans based on a desired outcome.

We don’t just say “oh, I think I will drive to the grocery store tomorrow and take a random look around.”  No, we have a list, we have stuff that we need, we have a desired outcome.

This can translate into all sorts of areas of our lives.  We don’t just go to the movie or to the ball game for no reason, we go with an expectation of having a good time.  We have a desired outcome.

- Approved Treatment Center -


There is not much point in trying to fool ourselves into thinking that we do not have these desired outcomes in our lives.

How to live just for today in recovery without wasting your life away

My opinion is that you can live day to day and have an effective life, but only if you are intentionally trying to pursue personal growth.

Each day is an opportunity, and it is not to be missed. Do you want to get into better shape? Do you want to be healthier physically? Do you want to improve your diet?

Do you want to work on your relationships? Do you want to meet new people? Do you want to reach out and help others?

Do you want to grow spiritually and get in touch with your higher power?

Do you want to find more meaningful work, or advance your career?

Do you want to become more educated? Learn new skills? Learn a new trade? Start building something?

Do you want to create something amazing? Build something meaningful, something with value, something that will last?

If you can answer “yes” to any of those questions, then you have a personal mission for today! Don’t put off your personal growth. Start now. Most things worth achieving take time and sustained effort. The best time to start is yesterday, or right now.

Just not drinking or using drugs today is not enough

Most people who use the JFT philosophy don’t take it far enough. They say to themselves “I am going to not use drugs or alcohol, just for today. Period. End of story.”

Good for you! Now why exactly did you get clean and sober in the first place?

I did not get clean and sober to be miserable. I did not get into recovery so I could sit around and watch television all day and work a boring day job and not accomplish anything meaningful with my life.

At some point, sobriety is not enough. It is not an end in itself.

Now I can just hear people getting all cheesed off and arguing that they are hard core alcoholics, they are desperate drug addicts, and that for THEM, just being sober is the greatest achievement in the whole wide world, they could never ask for anything more, blah blah blah.

OK fine. So you are still in that phase where “sobriety is enough” to be an amazing gift for you. At some point, you have to do more.

At some point, sobriety will become “your new normal.”

And at that point, if you don’t push yourself to do more, to grow as a person, then guess what?

Sobriety will be boring. And that is a dangerous place to be.

Today, my sobriety is not boring at all. I get out of bed each day with excitement. I am ecstatic to be alive today, I am excited to be working on the projects that I am working on, and I am thrilled to be doing the work that I am doing.

If you are not at that point in your recovery, my advice is to start working towards that kind of enthusiasm and passion for life.

If you want to relapse, then just do nothing. Hit your meetings or whatever and try not to drink or use drugs. Good for you!

But I would challenge you instead to DO something meaningful with your life. Create some goals and work for them. Achieve something. Push yourself.

Life in recovery is supposed to be an amazing adventure.

So, what is your adventure?


- Approved Treatment Center -call-to-learn-about