Think Small and Plan

In Addiction Recovery by Randy Kassebaum


Gaining a sober lifestyle requires a lot of careful planning and dedicating yourself to the ultimate goal of lifelong sobriety. However, you cannot jump into a life of permanent sobriety without making small steps towards staying clean for the rest of your life.

Baby steps are often the best way to finish difficult tasks without getting derailed. For example, an article by states that “Setting the bar too high can serve to de-motivate and discourage you from ever getting started–especially if there isn’t a specific plan for how to get there, or if you aren’t already on a clear trajectory to hit the mark.”

Essentially, an individual needs to start their recovery and treatment by thinking small and focusing on little tasks. For example, instead of thinking “I need to stay sober FOREVER” a person can set a series of steps that increase in difficulty, such as “cleaning all drug paraphernalia out of the house,” “staying sober for 12 hours,” “staying sober for a day,” and “staying sober for a week.”

As people meet these small goals, their sense of accomplishment will gradually increase. Staring at the endless goal of permanent sobriety may cause a person to feel hopeless or trigger a lack of focus. However, feeling rewarded for small, but adequate, steps will help a person stay focused on sobriety and improve its effectiveness.

And larger goals in life, such as finding a new career, can also be used to help them stay on the path to permanent recovery. Other small steps that can help an individual on the road to sobriety include making contact with old friends, buying new clothes, and eating one healthy new food every day.