When you first start in recovery, you have a lot of things to keep in mind. Success in recovery depends on making changes in every area of your life. You have to develop new habits, new goals, and new ways of thinking. Even if you are are committed to recovery, keeping track of all of this can be unwieldy. Sometimes you finally get the hang of one thing and something else goes out the window. Your life starts to go a bit wobbly and you aren’t quite sure why.
One thing that helps is making a list of things that works for you. These can be things you discuss with your therapist or with your group or they can be things you have found through experience that work well for you. Keep the list handy, where you can easily look at it every day. This way, you won’t find yourself solving the same problem every few weeks or so. Here are some examples of checklist items to review at the end of every day.
Did I prioritize my recovery?
Did I focus on today, rather than regretting the past or worrying about the future?
Did I avoid people, places, or situations that might tempt me to relapse?
Did I ask for help when I needed to?
Did I attend a counselling session, a meeting, or take action on one of the steps?
Did I periodically check on my levels of stress, anxiety, and boredom?
Did I deal with stress, anxiety, and boredom constructively?
Did I stick to my schedule?
Did I spend some time with friends and loved ones who are invested in my recovery?
Did I experience any cravings? If so, what was happening and how do I deal with it?
Did I get a bit of exercise and fresh air?
Did I get eight hours of sleep last night?
Did I meditate, pray, or take a few quiet minutes for myself?
Did I eat healthy and avoid foods that make me sick and tired?
Did I take a few minutes to write about what went well today, and what I can do better tomorrow?
Have I been totally honest with myself?
The last question might be the most important because unless you’re honest with yourself, none of the other questions matter. The above list includes many habits that work for most people. You might want to include some cues or quotes that put you in a good frame of mind.