I have found a really great way to improve motivation and help me to realise my options is to check in, morning and evening – a little review, if you like. Some people have a routine called ‘morning pages’ where they write or verbalise their plans daily, and this routine can help to inspire and direct. The swan groups on Facebook have morning and evening check ins which are there to help people recognise behaviours which may or may not be helpful to them.
For most of us, not everything always goes the way we want or plan it to. There are times when we will think that we could have done better or wish we hadn’t done ‘something’ in a particular way. If I had a pound/dollar for each time I messed up, I would be living in a villa in southern Spain and swimming in my pool while staff looked after my every need…
We could all spend time beating ourselves up and feeling sad about what could have been. It’s a choice. Another way to deal with these ‘somethings’ both big and small are to treat them as learning opportunities. What we learn from our ‘somethings’ can very easily be transformed into something more important.
They can be transformed into new and different behaviours, options and responses that could make a difference in how we take on the world and the effect we have on others. From my own point of view, as part of my recovery journey I went through a stage of wanting everyone to just stop drinking, now, immediately, no compromise, no negotiation, no ifs or buts. My language was often harsh and my comments frequently cutting. I upset people. I still do, but in life there will be people who you upset no matter what you do…you can only try your best. It’s part of the territory when you learn to stop people pleasing and follow your heart’s desire.
I still believe drinking is not ok. I will never tell anyone it’s ok to drink the drug alcohol. However I am grateful to have added compassion and patience to my list of must haves – not consistently good at this, but I have learned not to push others when they are not ready to be pushed. I have learned that I have no right to put a time limit on other’s recovery or insist they do things ‘or else’… I have learned that I am not responsible for others’ recovery. I can be there, have infinite time for them, but I am not in charge of how they deal with their stuff. None of us are. We can only direct our own stuff.
You may already have your own review system, where you learn from your ‘somethings’. If not, I would recommend at the start and end of each day you watch your own movie…where you do good and where you would prefer a different option for tomorrow. It might only take a few minutes. Consider the interactions and behaviours you want to improve or change, and maybe rehearse mentally what the new behaviours and interactions feel like. Like I say, I am still learning how to do this, but daily check-ins make a massive difference to how I deal with life and my stuff.