How Changing Your Habits Can Set You Up for Success
Give yourself a nudge in the right direction by switching things up a bit
Success is something that means different things to different people. Achieving what success means to you is a matter of deciding what your priorities are, taking the proper steps, and developing the habits necessary in order to fulfill those priorities.
For a person who has been through an addiction treatment program, staying sober is a big priority, but it is not the only one. The treatment alone is not going to help most people achieve success. It is like setting the table for the rest of your life. No matter how attractive the table looks, if you don’t actually sit down and eat, you’ll still be hungry. You’ll still be unfulfilled, and it is that feeling that can make it more tempting to relapse. For success to happen, going back to old habits is not an option. It is not enough to give them up. They must be replaced with good habits that bring purpose to your life and reinforce the idea that you, your recovery, and the rest of your goals are worth the effort it takes to succeed. A good treatment program takes all this into consideration and continues to provide necessary support, so participants have the best possible chance at a better life.
Developing the Right Attitude about Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths and Weaknesses are things that everyone has to deal with. One of the things that people that suffer from addiction deal with is low self-esteem. These people have a tendency to magnify their weaknesses in their mind while downplaying their strengths. When they are actively using, many of their other faults are nurtured while their strong points are neglected. Even the brightest parts of a person will not shine as bright when that fire is not properly fed.
Thinking and talking negatively are among the main things that can derail success, but weaknesses need to be acknowledged so that they can be defused as much as possible. Getting past them involves a willingness to keep going, even on the hard days. It involves finding the right people to support you—people who will help you stay strong and are willing to pick you up when you stumble. Asking for help is not something that should make you feel guilty, but you should always appreciate those who are there for you.
The Importance of Purpose
Good habits are formed when you have a purpose in mind that makes you feel good about the way you live your life and nurtures your strengths. Developing the right habits is a big part of that, and it is something that takes time and a consistent effort. When you first embrace a new positive habit, take things slow. Don’t decide to run a marathon when you aren’t accustomed to walking around the block. The walk is an achievement. Commit to it and do it consistently. When it is comfortable, do a little more. Keep developing goals, but don’t have an end goal. The opportunity for improvement is something we all possess, regardless of how successful we might be.
Building a Positive Mind
The right mindset is important if you want to succeed in anything, and there may be things you have to become accustomed to doing that are not in your comfort zone. The only way to get comfortable with these things is to do them. Some things you need to be willing to do include:
- Taking Care of Yourself — Often, people think of others that need their care, such as children, spouses, or pets, and forget that they are important too. Make a point to look your best. Get regular exercise and eat better. Take part in relaxing activities, such as crafts, reading, or even watching an uplifting sitcom. Feed your spiritual needs with meditation, prayer, or other rituals.
- Letting Others Help You — There are times when there is too much to do. When others offer to pick up the slack, let them. If they don’t offer, ask.
- Taking Risks — Taking risks that have proven to be destructive isn’t a good idea, but some other risks might be. Go ahead and talk to someone you didn’t have the nerve to talk to before. Apply for a job you really want. Start the new business you’ve been dreaming of. Disappointment is a possibility, but it won’t kill you. You can’t succeed if you don’t try.
- Deciding to Improve — Whether you are going back to school or making a choice to make the bed each morning, any commitment you make to be a little better than you were before will make you feel better about yourself.
- Accepting Delayed Rewards — Today’s society has groomed people for instant gratification, but real achievement still takes time, and it doesn’t always come in the expected way. Don’t stop trying when things don’t work out right away.
- Purging Negative or Destructive Thoughts and People — Old (bad) habits die hard, and they die even harder when others wave them in your face. If your old friends can’t enjoy a sober get-together or if they repeatedly try to convince you that “just one” won’t hurt, you might have to let them go. Don’t let yourself or others tell you that failure is inevitable, even if it has happened before. Stay away from those who sabotage you as much as possible.
- Helping Others — Making a commitment to help someone else is a great way to put everything in perspective. No matter what you are doing in your life, it isn’t just about you. When someone else is counting on you, it can be the extra push you need to come through for yourself.