Success in recovery is about making changes and if you want to enjoy the full rewards in your new life then you need to target big changes.
The way to do this is to get aggressive. Sometimes we can drift into this mindset – this comfortable and secure path in recovery where we feel like we are making decent progress with our life, but in fact we are holding back from making the really big changes. We might be doing fairly well on the surface, and so we convince ourselves that everything is good in our life and that we should not rock our own boat.
Of course this is an uninspiring path to be on, and doesn’t serve us well at all. The solution? Target your next big change.
What we are striving for
How do we know what our next big change should be? Simply get honest with yourself. We all know what we should be doing in order to live healthier in most cases. Simply figure out what change would bring the most positive impact to your life.
For example, if you’re still abusing drugs and alcohol, then getting clean and sober would probably have the biggest impact on your life. Or let’s say you are in recovery but still smoking cigarettes – there’s another opportunity to make a big change. Or maybe you never make the time to exercise and feel that this is negatively impacting your health. You get the idea. See where you can make a single change that will have a huge impact.
Figure out what your next big move is. What single change can have the most impact on your life? If you are honest with yourself this is usually not too hard to figure out.
Now, target that change aggressively
Trying to change everything all at once can be overwhelming. So this approach makes a lot of sense and is also very powerful. The idea is to put all of your energy into making this single change and sticking with it no matter what.
If you start with the most important change first then this can also build a lot of positive energy and confidence in your life. Tackle the next big change in your life, succeed in making the change, and then use that momentum to look forward to making your next change. Thus you can harness the power of momentum. Instead of trying to change everything all at once and failing, concentrate your efforts and knock down one goal at a time. Use all of your resources and energy to focus on one goal.
Use overwhelming force
The secret to conquering a goal is to pursue it more aggressively than necessary. Use every resource at your disposal to meet and exceed your goal.
For example, when I made the decision to get clean and sober 8 years ago, I was lucky enough to find myself in a long term treatment center, and I lived there for a period of 20 months. Most people think this is overkill. But it’s a good example of using overwhelming force to meet a goal. Very few people that got sober with me are still clean today. So it made sense to use a powerful approach.
We need to think holistically in recovery and start taking care of our entire self. This means looking to make the big changes that can have lasting impact on our lives. Getting clean, quitting smoking, getting in shape, changing our eating habits, losing weight — these are examples of changes that have the potential to completely change our lives. They are major changes that require a major commitment. But the payoff is tremendous as well for these types of goals.
If you’re not working on the next big change in your life then chances are good you are stagnating and not really progressing in recovery. It’s likely that you’re making minor changes and only assuring yourself that you’re still “working a good program.” Wake up from that boring reality and target your next big change.
If you want to make progress in recovery then go big.