Nothing happens until you DO something, until you take ACTION. The drive to act begins with motivation. What is it? How do you get it? How do you keep it going?
Action 1: Motivate
If you try to change everything in your life you will likely find yourself drowning in change. To be successful in your efforts you need to know where to focus your actions. You will be surprised to learn that you don’t have to change everything! By identifying and working on key issues, the rest will come along for the ride. A good evaluation is like having an invaluable road map that helps you know exactly where to go.
Action 2: Evaluate
Addiction, as well as many other issues in your life, are chronic, meaning they have been with you for a long time, and likely will be with you in the future. If you attempt to get rid of these issues you will continue to be frustrated because by their very nature they are not going away! So what is the answer? You need to learn to manage these issues in a way that takes the power out of them and relegates them to the backseat. The idea of managing addiction may seem impossible if you believe you are powerless over your addiction, but let me assure you, not only can you learn to manage your addictions just like other chronic medical conditions, you will find that you have a lot of power to do things you never thought possible.
Action 3: Resolve
There are many issues in your life that you should not manage, but instead resolve, permanently. Being homeless, suicidal, in the criminal justice system, or in physical pain are just some examples. Differentiating between what you need to manage versus resolve is critical to getting the results you want. Mixing these issues up, which is easy to do, will leave you very frustrated.
Action 4: Manage
You are more than your addictions. More than your life challenges. You are a LOT MORE! But way too often I see people define who they are by their addictions (Hi, my name is ________ and I am an addict). Just as common, I see that the more people focus on eliminating things in their life, the more these things materialize. The key is finding a balance between working on problems/issues (manage and resolve actions) and focusing your energy on creating cool stuff that changes the world (create actions).
Action 5: Create
The essence of addiction management is to find a path that limits or eliminates addictive behavior and maximizes opportunities for living life to its fullest. The two goals are not independent, but inversely related. The more you live the life you want, the less desire and need there is for addiction.