Now that you’re in recovery from drug addiction, you have made it past some very big hurdles. You have made huge life changes and you should be proud of your accomplishments. However, recovery does not mean you can stop improving yourself and your life. Once you are out of rehab and back to so-called real life, it can be easy to slip back into old habits. Even if you avoid relapsing, you may not be living your best life if you go back to your old ways. Here are some of the best expert tips on making positive and lasting changes in your life.
- Make positive choices. This sounds annoyingly simple, but it is a simple truth. You make changes by making choices, and you have hundreds of opportunities every day. When you wake up in the morning, you get to decide if you roll over and go back to sleep or get up and exercise. You get to choose to be nice to someone at work or take your bad mood out on him. You get to choose to sulk at home feeling bad for yourself or to go out with friends. Remember that you have choices and that these are how you make positive changes.
- Set goals. Considering every choice you make every day is important to making changes, but if you don’t know what your goal is, you are making choices blindly. You can achieve any goal as long as you make it specific, reasonable and timely. For example, if you want to lose weight, set a specific number. You want to lose 20 pounds, not just some weight. If you are 20 pounds or more overweight, this is a reasonable goal. You can actually achieve it. Set a time limit and a schedule. You want to lose one pound a week for 20 weeks. Now that you have a goal, every choice you make can be directed toward it.
- Start small. You have made some major life changes already in becoming sober. Now that you are on a roll, you may be tempted to change everything else all at once. This will only be overwhelming and doomed to fail. When you fail, you will find it even more difficult to motivate yourself to make other changes. Choose one goal at a time to focus on and save others for later.
- Rely on support. Social support is so crucial to everything we do as human beings. In getting sober, you relied on the support of your friends and family, your peers in rehab, and your therapists and other caregivers. Now that you are in recovery and looking to change your life in other positive ways, you can continue that trend. Enlist a friend to work out with you. Go to regular support group meetings. Tell your partner about your goals so he can help keep you accountable.
- Reward yourself. Making changes is not as easy as this list of tips makes it sound. It is incredibly difficult to change your behaviors, as you know. When you reach goals or even milestones within your goals, give yourself a reward. Just make sure it’s a positive reward and is in line with your new changes.
Making positive changes isn’t always easy, but it is worth the reward. As you learn to live your life sober, take the lessons you learned from rehab and these tips in order to become a better person with a more fulfilling and satisfying life.