hand about to write in notebook to represent the importance of planning in staying sober

Planning is the key to success

So many people ask me what the key to successful and happy sobriety is.

Obviously, there is a combination of factors that come into play – but, in the early days, when you’re just starting to change your old drinking habits into new sober ones – by far the most important factor is planning.

Follow these three steps to plan for your challenges:

  1. Spend a few minutes first thing in the morning noting what challenges/triggers you might face during the day. Answer the question, “What could test me today?” It could be you haven’t slept well, you have a tricky meeting coming up, the sun is shining… whatever it is, make a note of how you might be tested.
  2. When you have a list of potential challenges, make a note of how you can respond to each of them in a way that will make you proud of yourself.
  3. Spend a few minutes at the end of the day noting how you were challenged and how you responded. What worked well? What made you proud of yourself?

Planning for your challenges and how you can deal with them is a sure-fire way to build up your confidence. It also ensures that you’re less likely to be taken by surprise and resort to automatic behaviours.

Recording your wins builds your confidence and simply makes you feel good about yourself. It builds a sense of pride and self-respect which adds to your motivation.

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