How to Stay Committed to Sobriety
Sobriety is an ongoing journey that requires consistent effort, dedication, and commitment to stay on track with your recovery goals. While you might not feel the same level of commitment every day, the good news is that the more you take notice of the benefits, the easier it is to stay the course.
In this post, we’ll provide an overview of the relationship between your commitment to sobriety and achieving your goals as well as steps you can take to prioritize accountability in recovery, even on the hard days or when you encounter a high-risk situation.
What Is Sobriety?
The word sobriety is commonly used to describe a state in which someone is free from the influence of drugs or alcohol, but in the context of addiction recovery, it becomes more than that. When someone is committed to sobriety, they take responsibility for their actions, and not only make improvements to their current lifestyle, but they also follow through on healthy behaviors that motivate them to continue living free from the bonds of addiction.
The Relationship Between Sobriety and Recovery
When in recovery, someone committed to sobriety puts in the work required to become a better version of themselves. That does not mean they no longer experience unpleasant feelings, triggers, or cravings, and it’s unrealistic to expect to eliminate them altogether. Instead, people who are committed to sobriety learn how to cope with these challenges in healthier ways while acknowledging that encountering them is not a good measure of their commitment.
What is a good measure of commitment, however, is that you’re responding to cravings and triggers in healthy, productive ways. For certain individuals with demanding jobs or professional lives, this can be especially difficult to accomplish when being in the public eye introduces an additional stressor and potential setback to recovery. Since it takes time to unlearn unhealthy habits and learn healthier ones, sobriety is an ongoing process that requires persistence and dedication. It doesn’t happen overnight, and just because you experience a trigger or craving doesn’t mean you aren’t growing.
Ultimately, your commitment is tested by what you do next!
The Commitment to Sobriety Starts With Defining Your Ideal Day
In our experience, the best way to stay committed to sobriety is by defining your ideal day, just the way Jason Wahler does. You have to start by finding a daily routine that suits your lifestyle, and then stick to it without the influence of drugs or alcohol. For Jason, “consistency and structure are the foundation of long-term sobriety.”
Since your ideal day is all about you and what you need to do to deepen your recovery, you can get as creative as you want. You can experiment and fine-tune as you grow and find new areas that help improve your life, meaning your ideal day can evolve with you!
Once you’ve done your best to live out your ideal day over a couple of weeks, reflect and take note of any emotional, spiritual, and health benefits you have encountered. Focus on your list whenever your commitment waivers, and remember that you’re aiming for an ideal, so there’s no benefit to being too hard on yourself if you miss the mark. What’s important is that you identify any pitfalls or roadblocks interfering with your ability to live out your ideal day.
Outlining your ideal day can be beneficial for just about anyone—no matter what stage of recovery they’re in or how many days of sobriety they have under their belt.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your ideal day, take a look at Jason’s routine here.
Next, Identify Triggers and Develop Proactive Coping Strategies
Even in the course of your ideal day, you’ll eventually encounter triggers or cravings. It’s part of the recovery journey for everyone, and in the moment what matters is not that they’re happening—what matters is how you respond to them.
Without drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms, you have to find other things you can turn to when you’re committed to sobriety. For instance, you may realize that the stress of a long day is a trigger on the drive home from work, and in the past, you stopped at the liquor store to alleviate it. Moving forward, you may redefine your ideal day as stopping at the gym to alleviate stress.
In this way, you can identify recurring triggers and experiment with healthy coping strategies that not only make your ideal day more realistic—they’ll also help you get closer to living the life you want.
Always Prioritize Self-Care
In the long run, sobriety should eventually start to look like a broader commitment to self-care. Stress-reducing activities like yoga, meditation, journaling, drawing, or painting create a space for reflection that ultimately leads to making healthier choices in the future.
Additionally, taking the time to make and eat healthy, nutritious meals throughout the day provides your body with the energy and focus you need to stay committed to sobriety, regulate emotions, and cope with triggers. This can also help you avoid substituting one addiction for another, including seemingly harmless things like junk food or video games.
Don’t Forget to Build a Support Network
When you’re feeling committed to sobriety, it’s easy to get lost focusing on your own individual goals, successes, and efforts. But what you have to realize is that there will be days when you can’t get through it on your own. That’s okay, but you can’t use those times as an excuse for relapse or failing to achieve your recovery goals.
That’s why the best time to prepare for a lack of individual commitment is when your commitment is at its highest. Don’t just reach out to your support network when you need them. Reach out even when you don’t, so you can feel confident that they’ll be there for you when you do need them. And you might just happen to reach out when someone in your support network needs you.
Stay True to Yourself, Set Realistic Goals, and Reach Out for Help When You Need It
At the end of the day, staying committed to sobriety means that only you can stay true to yourself and what you care most about on a daily basis. Give yourself reasons to wake up each morning and stay sober. When that isn’t enough, call on your support network. If you’re currently looking to build one, have you considered how a sober companion can help?