By Steps to Recovery on November 15, 2012

This is a follow up to THIS POST about how to be successful in early recovery. In the first post, I discuss how important it is to take care of yourself, not make any major life changes and build a support group of likeminded individuals. Early recovery is hard, but there are many things you can do to increase your likelihood of success. Here are 3 more guidelines to add to the list.

Structure. Life can be pretty chaotic when you first begin your recovery journey. Everything can seem so confusing and overwhelming. The best thing you can do for yourself to alleviate some of the stress involved with adjusting to being sober is to create a structured schedule. Recovery experts have found that creating and sticking to a schedule is one of the most basic and effective first steps for the newly-sober individual.

Having a daily schedule certainly helps you to better manage your day-to-day life, especially during the first 90 days of recovery when you are the most vulnerable and uncertain. Having a structured schedule definitely helps you better manage your day-to-day life, especially during this high stress and uncertain time. Adhering to a schedule relieves the worries of not knowing what to do with yourself, or even just remembering to take medications or other important life tasks.

Set goals. It is so very important to realize your dreams and set goals, to be able to envision the kind of life you want to build for yourself. If something is worthwhile and important to you, it will be the most rewarding thing in your life to find a way to make it happen. Set some short term goals that are realistic and within reach as well as long term goals that seem more like a vision of your future. Pace yourself, take your time, it doesn’t all happen at once. Think of your future often – the one you envision for yourself – and work toward it one step at a time. And make sure to celebrate your victories, however big or small.

Take it easy. It’s during the first 90 days of recovery that most relapses occur. These days especially are so critical to your long term success. Whether it’s in the beginning of recovery or down the road a ways, relapse can and does happen to many people. Relapse is more likely, typically, if the recovering person tries to move things too fast, do too much too soon or thinks they are strong enough to revisit old friends who use. It’s best to start off really slow so that you don’t become overwhelmed by all that you are trying to do. Recovery isn’t a race. Recovery is a lifelong journey, take it at a pace that is right for you.

With the proper knowledge and tools, success in early recovery is possible.