Have you noticed that crises (like the pandemic) affect people the same way life affected us as we went from active addiction into early recovery? Think about it. Having paid attention to what is being shared in the media, online and via podcasts during the stay-at-home mandate, the language being used, and coping strategies and advice given is the same as what we learned in sobriety. For example, suggestions such as:
- Live one day at a time…
- Focus on the present moment…
- Learn to live in the unknown…
- Surrender to what is out of your control…
- Finding a renewed purpose
During this pandemic, many people have been forced to renew their purpose, because circumstances have changed their normal; they are now in a new normal – even if for a short period of time.
However, for those of us in recovery, our new normal is lifelong. Therefore, finding a purpose is paramount for a healthy, strong and committed recovery. One way to do this is by creating a personal mission statement.
Creating a Personal Mission Statement:
4 Simple Questions
Just as goals are best followed if written down on paper, a personal mission statement works the same way. It’s a written commitment with a plan to help us stay on the path, and for us in early sobriety from alcohol use disorder, that path is recovery. Now, I know, many hear “mission statement” and cringe. They think it’s difficult or technical, like writing a business plan. I’m here to tell you, it’s not. It’s quite simple. You just thoughtfully review four questions and write the answers down. Let’s look at the questions.
Question #1: What do you want to create?
This is where you decide what is it you want. What I wrote was, “I want to create an enriching sober life, where I’m 100% committed to my life in recovery and where there is no place for alcohol. In short, I want to create a sober life.”
Question #2: Why do you want to create it?
If we rephrase this question, it would read, “Why do you want a sober life?” Good question. What I wrote was, “My sobriety is the most important thing in my life, because I want to be the best version of myself as a mother, wife, friend and professional woman.” What would your answer be?
Many people know what they want, but they don’t know why. They’ve never stopped to think through why this goal is so important to them. This is key. When we know the why, the how becomes simpler. It’s like a switch has been flipped and it moves to the top of our priorities seamlessly.
Now, don’t confuse the word simple with easy. Simple means anyone can do it if they want to, but make no mistake, it will require effort. Okay, let’s continue.
Question #3: What will this bring to your life?
Now that we know what we want and why, we need to understand the reward or benefit. When I accomplish this goal, what will I gain? Jim Rohn, business development leader, called this the promise of the future. When the promise is clear, the commitment is absolute.
What I wrote was, “Being alcohol free helps my family feel comfortable, happy and secure, where everybody can relax most of the time.” What’s your answer?
Question #4: How will this happen?
This is where you create your plan. These are the action steps necessary to support and achieve this goal. You want to list everything that nurtures and nourishes your recovery.
What I wrote was, “To maintain my desire to have a sustained recovery, I need to:”
- Attend daily AA meetings, whether in person or, (in our current situation) online.
- Live by the 12 steps.
- Call my sponsor daily.
- Ask for help when needed, including a recovery coach or addiction counselor.
- And, above all, use everything and every system I know to stay sober and avoid relapse.
So, there you have it. A simple formula for a powerful personal mission statement. This is where women like us can energize our recovery. It’s a golden opportunity to ignite our purpose and connect it with our mind, body and spirit, and have it all working in unison. This is what really makes for lasting results.