Personal Discipline in Recovery

goals discipline

Do you ever doubt your willpower? Do you expect yourself to fail, instead of just fearing failure, like everyone does?

Developing Self-Discipline

Positive disciplines are crucial. Life is about adaptation, about dropping old ways and learning new ones. Never are these skills more important than during a mental health crisis. As the urge arises to return to drugs and alcohol, you can turn to productive activities and coping methods instead.

The first two steps in this process:

Plan Ahead

When the urge to use drugs or alcohol hits, you should already know what to do. It helps to have multiple plans, each for a different scenario. It may help to go for a walk, but what if you’re stuck at work? You can’t just let the cravings build and build all day; you’ll have to find a way to ease your mind while sitting there. Can you call a sponsor and vent for a bit? Can you meditate? Can you pull out a journal and immerse yourself in some private writing, if that’s your thing?

Find Healthy Alternatives

On a neurological level, drug abuse robs us of our ability to feel joy and excitement from anything besides the drugs. Boredom and numbness are typical of people entering rehab.

Some more “healthy disciplines”:

  • Get Active – Physical activity – exercise daily, go for walks, pick a new sport.
  • Get a Journal – Documenting your struggle is cathartic. Just admitting your struggles on paper can be incredibly self-empowering.
  • Get New Thoughts Healthy self-talk is important for self-discipline because it reminds us why we stopped in the first place. Addiction is partly a disease of willpower, but it also has a lot to do with miscalculations and deceptive thought-processes: Often, we actually believe, logically, that it’s okay to take just one sip or puff, or to put ourselves in a possibly stressful situation because, hey, it’s probably going to be fine.
  • Get a Friend – Make sure they’re the right kind of friend, not just a friend. Even if someone cares deeply about you, he or she can still be a triggering factor, especially if they’re into drugs or alcohol themselves.


When surrounded by healthy peers in a recovery setting, it’s much easier to establish some healthy activities. Give us a call at 949-637-5499 to get started on your recovery journey ASAP.