Today we’re talking about intentions versus resolutions. Everyone’s pretty familiar with the concept of New Year’s resolutions. For a lot of people, they can be very helpful; they can help you get in shape, they can help you potentially fall in love, they can help you to pick up an exercise habit for instance.
However, they don’t necessarily set you up for the exact kind of outcomes that you are looking for. In the sobriety world, it’s incredibly important that you are an active participant and a person who sets their intentions for what they want to achieve in their sobriety. That’s an important distinction to make and it’s one that we encourage people to spend some time and effort doing.
Yesterday we talked about gratitude and developing an attitude of gratitude. Here are just a few of the things that people were thankful for from yesterday’s post. Big thanks to everyone who participated by the way!
- My cat
- My mum
- being able to afford to eat
- my music
- 5th New Years Day in a row without a hangover!
- A warm dry place to sleep
- Food to eat
- Clothes to wear
- People i love and who love me
- Good health for me and my family
The reason we bring up yesterday’s post because today we’re talking about this concept of intention. Setting your intentions for what you want your life to be like enables you to build a very clear picture in your mind of what that ends up being for you.
It’s an important distinction between a resolution which is kind of a one-off thing that you achieved or it’s a state that you can get to. An intention is more about setting something into the world that you want to achieve and having the universe come back to you with the exact conditions needed for you to be a success.
You can set intentions in a couple of different ways. The most obvious way that a lot of people are probably familiar with is the concept of visioning. Visioning is an incredibly powerful way to set some intentions for your life; especially in sobriety. If you’re already in sobriety or in recovery and you haven’t set your intentions we would challenge you to examine the type of life you’re leading and whether or not it’s what you envisioned it would be.
Many people have never envisioned what that life will look like! So they end up living a life that they weren’t necessarily interested in living to begin with.
Through the process of intentional living, you can begin to see dynamic changes in your own life manifested in ways you never thought possible. Live Rehab is a perfect example where we’ve set our intentions early on that our life in sobriety was going to be fun and exciting while giving back to the community in various ways.
Things continue to happen for us and we’re now living that life because we set those intentions and the universe has responded by delivering situations like the Steemit community for instance.
Another way that you can set intentions is that you can spend time writing down things that you want to accomplish 3, 5, 10 years down the road.
These can be very specific. In fact, the more specific you can get on these things the more likely they are to come back to you in the exact manner or way you expect them to. So we would definitely encourage you to be extremely detailed in these.
We specifically exclude the first three years because the first three years are often the most difficult to get through in sobriety.
By focusing on the long-term vision and the long-term plan for yourself you end up getting into a situation where you’re much more in tune with what the future has to offer.
While we’re on the second day of January and lots of people around you are trying to keep that New Year’s resolution we want you to work deeper. We want you to work a little harder on the process. You want you to spend some time in those deep thought areas doing the work that really pays off.
So, like always, we like to challenge everybody who is reading to put some of their work into the comments. Let’s start off with this question:
What is something that you want to be doing in three years from now?
Addiction is a complicated topic. There are many types of addictions ranging from substances to behaviors. An addiction professional should have a broad range of understanding the many models and theories of addiction as well as physical, psychological and social problems related to using substances or engaging in dangerous, addictive behaviors.
This means that an addiction professional should be competent in research and theory both scientific and theoretical. In addition, an addiction professional needs to understand the criteria and methods involved in evaluations of models and theories and how to appropriately apply it to their practice. Because the science and research is constantly evolving it’s equally important for an addiction professional to stay up to date with these findings and know where to access the literature from multiple disciplines.
Addiction professionals should always be open to information that challenges their existing and personally held views. It’s important for addiction professionals to appreciate the complex nature of addiction while valuing many different forms of concepts and theories. An addiction professional should be a critical thinker and be able to form their practice around the knowledge they are receiving on an ongoing basis.
It’s Extremely Difficult to get Sober if Your Partner doesn’t Give it Up Too
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If you have a partner that drinks or is not willing to give up alcohol when they are around you, getting sober will be very hard. It is so important, and I mean so critically important, that your partner is there to support you and does not drink around you, or gives it up entirely. If they are not willing to, I am here to tell you that you will need to have the strongest will power or you may need to take a break for a few months until you can stabilize.
Why Communication is Important
I want you to be open with your partner. It’s important to have strong communication skills so your partner knows exactly how hard this is going to be for you and having their support can mean the difference of obtaining full sobriety or not. Most people who do not have supportive spouses fail. That’s not to say it’s impossible but if you have a supportive partner, it makes things much easier.
Does Your Partner Have a Problem Too?
One thing you are going to want to evaluate is whether or not your partner has a problem too. If they don’t have a problem then not drinking will be easy for them. They’ll be able to not drink around you or give it up completely. If they have a problem, it might not be that easy for them and then perhaps, you should try and get sober together. If they’re not ready to get sober but you are, don’t give up on yourself. Take a break, get some distance, and when you are strong and able, you can go back to help them.
Your Action Item
Is your partner on board or not? If not, are you ready to take a break – get some distance for a few months? Take some time to figure this out. Once you’ve made a decision, communicate this with your partner. To eliminate conflict, it’s important for them to understand that it’s about you and when it comes to alcoholism, the best thing you can do is help yourself first. In the end, you’ll come out stronger.
Being Honest with Yourself
Everyone knows that smoking is dangerous. This is not 1952 and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve certainly seen the statistics or have been taught. However, I challenge you to be honest and true to yourself.
When you were taught about the dangers of smoking, you were likely not smoking then so the truth didn’t mean much to you. It wasn’t enough to scare you away from starting right?
The brain works in mysterious ways. When studies and statistics pop up and challenge bad behavior, if this is behavior we enjoy, the brain will tune it out. I’ll give you an example. Some people love sugar. They are so addicted to sugar that nothing anybody says will make them stop eating sugar. They are the ones who will justify eating sugar and they will not hear the studies and statistics about the dangers. They will say things like, “Oh, I’ve had a hard week, I deserve this chocolate cake.” Or, “This type of sugar isn’t as bad so I don’t have to worry.” You can substitute that addiction with anything and you will hear the same stories over again. Think about alcohol, drugs, porn, food, etc.
You need to be completely aware and hear the facts. Smoking is dangerous and if you continue to smoke you are more likely than not to end up with a chronic disease, condition, or death. Forget anecdotal evidence. I do not care if your granddad lived to 95 and smoke 5 packs per day. Statistically speaking, that is not going to happen to you.
Health Dangers of Smoking
If you continue to smoke you are likely to get (or may have already:)
- Lung Cancer and other cancers
- Heart disease
- Chronic bronchitis
- Leg cramps
You know the statistics so do not think you are special or super human. Do not think that you can do other things to combat the likeliness of a terrible thing happening to you. I had a client tell me that he eats healthy and works out and believed that because he does those things, smoking is less dangerous. That’s wrong. While those things help the human body and will help you in quitting smoking it does not combat the dangers of smoking.
Carbon Monoxide Dangers
You have heard of carbon monoxide right? You probably know not to use a wood burning stove in your home or leave your car running in the garage. But did you know that smokers have a high amount of carbon monoxide in their blood?
The reason this is scary is because it’s not usually enough to kill you but it’s enough to make you sick. You may think you’re feeling unwell because of smoke in your lungs or perhaps something else but if you are having any of the following symptoms, chances are, it’s from carbon monoxide:
- Increased heart rate
- Head aches
- Inability to tolerate exercise
The carbon monoxide in your body reduces the amount of oxygen your cells receive. Without the proper oxygen you are on the road to getting heart disease. Also, second hand smoke causes carbon monoxide levels to rise significantly so think about those around you too.
Reflecting on your Own Health
I want you to reflect on your own health. We’re not keeping score here but just jot down or think about this in your head. Do you have any of these problems?
- Bad breath
- Trouble breathing
- Last time you were checked for lung cancer?
- Blood pressure
- Gum problems
- Dental problems
Here’s another statistic. Smokers get sick more often. How much time have you missed from work? Be honest, about your sickness. While you may not think your flu, bronchitis, headache, etc. was caused from smoking, you don’t know that it wasn’t either.
This blog post is not to frighten you or try to scare you out of smoking. This post is here to challenge you to be true to yourself and to reflect on the fact that you are in danger.
If you take my course on Udemy you can be nicotine free forever. This course comes with a downloadable workbook that will walk you through each step.