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Life is tough. No one is perfect. No one, who is honest, will say that everything has always been simple or that they have everything they have ever wanted or needed. This means that in order to make a good life for ourselves we must work toward a goal, put in the hours, and be patient while those goals and dreams come to fruition.
When someone chooses to enter recovery it means they have made a conscious effort to change their lives. Whether your addiction was to gambling, nicotine, heroin, or whatever does not matter, what matters is that you have made a decision to stop letting that thing control your life. It would be a lie to say that you are totally in control of your life when you first enter recovery or that you will ever be fully in control of everything, but knowing this actually makes the process easier. In fact there will always be things in life we cannot control, but life will not end just because we need to flexible.
Finding true happiness in life typically requires effort and persistence. This means you must have self discipline to succeed at what you are doing. In fact, the things that come easily are not usually the most satisfying in life. There is something about working toward a goal and finding success that is overwhelmingly great. Some people feel that addiction is an attempt at bypassing self discipline as you simply use as often as possible. This means that in recovery people will benefit from having self discipline and restraint. This inner resource will offer the skills to deal with the challenges of recovery and rebuilding a life. There is no short cut to learning self discipline, it takes time and practice, but the benefits are numerous. One of the benefits is remaining in recovery long term.
In order to make self discipline a habit you should set up a system of rewards and benefits for yourself. This can be accomplished by setting realistic goals that are measurable and once achieved can be rewarded. For example, maybe you are trying to lose weight. If you lose ten pounds in a certain amount of time then reward yourself with a concert or a trip to the movies. If you do not reach the goal the reward is not gained and you could possibly take something from yourself.
When you are first learning and practicing self discipline choose an activity you enjoy and want to improve. Perhaps you really like painting and would like to learn a new technique. Take a class and learn the technique and then reward yourself for bettering the skill. Keep a journal to monitor your progress and the reward you will get if you meet the goal.
Self discipline is not something everyone wants, but it can be life altering. So start setting goals today to better yourself and learn this important skill. However, remember that no one is perfect and sometimes your goals will not be reached. Simply regroup, set a new goal and get to work. You have come too far in life to give up.
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