With personal growth comes change. The process of personal growth in recovery has more to do with change than it does with will power.  The readiness for personal growth and change is a personal destination. Some are there, some are on their way there, and some are not even close to being there.

To experience long lasting transformation, a person needs to be ready to change physically, mentally, and emotionally.  The journey from substance use to recovery is complex and needs more than just the power of will, it must come by surrendering completely to change.

No matter where we are on the journey from substance use to recovery, people do have the power to grow and change. Every day is a new day for change and with that, a new life full of possibilities. Change is one part of life a person can affect, and that change starts with action.

Below are five ways you can affect growth and change in your life

  • First and foremost is the decision to change your mind. Deciding to change your substance abuse behavior is the biggest and most important change. Remember all the reasons why you want to make this change; you want better relationships, you want a steady job, you want to stop lying and stealing, and you want to feel happy. Today, it’s time to change your mind.  You don’t get over an addiction just by not using. You recover by creating a new life.
  • Decide every morning that today is the day you will affect change for yourself. Your entire life is just a string of events strung together by time.  Become aware of where things aren’t working in your life and start there.  If you feel like there is not enough time in the day, wake up earlier and make use of that time to get things done.  If you feel like the people you surround yourself with don’t hold you accountable for being your best self, change your social circle and find those who do support you as the best version on yourself. Make small changes today that you carry into tomorrow and into the next day.
  • Change the way you take care of your physical self.  Feeling good and looking good can be a powerful motivator for change.  As your lifestyle becomes healthier in recovery, you will feel better and naturally look better.  Joining a gym, a sports team, or join a meetup group to become more active in your community where you will meet people who also lead a healthy lifestyle.
  • It is time to be intentional about who you share your time with. Now is the time to change your social circle.  Deciding to act and change your network of friends is one of the best changes you can make in support of your sobriety. Find people who share your interests, join a church group, or a meetup group.
  • You have already made the decision to change the direction in your life.  You chose to walk toward sobriety and leave the world of substance abuse behind.  In your new life of recovery, you can go back to school, start a new career or travel.  The world is your oyster!  Maybe you decide to focus on repairing relationships with yourself and your family.

Now is a good time to devote yourself to growing and changing personally.  The action in growth is the difference in a life that you own, and a life owned by the substance you use.

How do you start making changes?  Start by making small changes. Make a list of your dreams, your aspirations, and your goals. Get clear on the things that are important to you: career, finances, family, education, art, health, spirituality.  By writing down your goals, your goals will become actions and you will find a deeper meaning in life.

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash