My journey of recovery has seen me make a dramatic shift in the type of person that I’ve become.
I vividly remember being stuck in the cycle of addiction and desperately wanting more from my life.
I wanted to run, read, connect, play my drums, and do work that was meaningful and helped others.
My reality in active addiction was that I started hundreds of things, projects, and courses and I didn’t finish a single one – ever.
I was a starter and never a finisher – this, coupled with the guilt and shame I carried around my substance misuse had a shocking effect on my self-belief and confidence, I was failing.
Fast forward to today.
I’m over three and a half years clean. I’m a runner, a meditator, a yogi, a thoughtful partner, a conscious practice owner, and a person that designs, develops, and builds things with determination and focus.
I’m motivated, action-focused, and I finish.
This is a dramatic shift and it’s available to everyone who is prepared to do the work and put one foot in front of the other, every day.
In ‘Atomic Habits‘, author James Clear talks about making a 1% improvement in your habits and performance each day and suggests that habits don’t add up the compound.
This means that if we can improve by 1% each day for a year we can be 37% better in 12 months. That is huge growth.
James Clear’s 4 key pillars for successful full habit formation
Noticing – Be specific about when, where, and how you will implement the habit.
Wanting – Be the architect of your environment to support this habit.
Doing – Optimise for the starting line, not the finishing line.
Liking – Enjoy the experience and bring rewards into the present moment.
Let’s run an example. I want to meditate, or I want to be the type of person that meditates.
Each day at 5.30 am I want to meditate on my chair in the living room.
Be the architect
Put your slippers, mobile phone, and earphones next to your meditation chair the night before along with a blanket. Get out of bed and the thought of those warm slippers and blankets will take you to that chair where you will sit down, put your headphones in and open your favourite meditation app.
Set yourself realistic goals. Rather than saying I’m going to be enlightened and meditate for an hour a day, set yourself an achievable goal of five minutes with every minute you meditate after this a bonus.
Track/journal your progress or use a mediation app like Insight Timer that tracks consecutive days and stats. It’s a great feeling getting a 7-day streak.
Have a think about how you can implement this strategy to build and maintain other habits that will serve you and your well being and remember these three key things from James Clear
- Every action you take is a vote for the type of person that you want to become.
- True change is identity change. It’s not to read a book, it’s to become a reader.
- Habits are the path through which we achieve internal change. If you can change your habits, you can change your life.
You can join James’s mailing list here
On a personal note….
I’ve recently uploaded a series of free meditations on Insight Timer which you can access HERE. I’d love to see you there and be part of your well-being journey.
I’d also like to invite you to join our new private group “Break the cycle of addiction and regain control of your life and choices”. I will be sharing lots of interesting news and content about addiction, mental health, well-being, and self-improvement.
If you have any questions please feel free to drop them on the wall or send me a direct message and I will come back to you. Looking forward to connecting.
I have also pledged to run 100km in October to support mental health research and ‘The Black Dog Institute’.
Please consider making a donation to my page here
‘The best way to change long term behaviour is with short term feedback’Seth Godin