(Disclaimer: This transcript is using AI technology. Please excuse any errors.)
Welcome to the Atheists in Recovery Podcast, where we talk about finding hope in recovery. And now your host, Dr. Adina Silvestri
Bonjour Atheists in Recovery, and welcome to Episode 100. That sounds weird to say, of the Atheists in Recovery podcast where it's my job to interview individuals and address their spiritual and scientific belief systems in order to deconstruct their limiting thought patterns and introduce new behaviors and routines you can use. And today is a solo episode. And we are going to be talking about something that I believe everyone struggles with, including myself consistency. And so how do you develop a recovery routine, when you struggle with consistency? And so today, let's talk about consistency. Why is it so hard? Why are so many of us great at starting things, only to end up stopping them midstream. You know, think training for marathons, or I mean, maybe buying all the equipment for a new hobby only just to kind of let it sit in the garage for years. You know, there are just so many different instances that I can think of where it's so hard to finish, you know, it's easy to start, but difficult to finish. And I'm definitely in that camp for certain things. And so today I want to talk about how to develop this routine. But instead of giving you a bunch of statements, I'm going to list them out as a series of questions. And I've done this in another episode, before where it talked all about routine and rituals. And I'm going to do it again, because that episode seemed to resonate with a lot of you. And so, I do this in my monthly newsletter as well. I'm a big journaler I love to write things down and then allow my brain to do its job with answering the questions that I write down. And so get out a sheet of paper and a pen. And let's get started. Number one, what are your non negotiables regarding habits, if you are not sure, just look at the past year, what created continuity for you over the past year. For instance, a client of mine would start his day with a gratitude list followed by some creative writing that seemed to really help him start his day. And it's something that he's done consistently over the past year. For me, I make sure that I get a walk in, make sure that they get out in nature that helps that helps to give me sort of a reset for my day. And if you need some inspiration, check out Episode 79 that I did with Derek fetcher on rituals for healthy living. And I'll link to it in the resources section below. Number two, what can you do in the am to set you up for success? So this is before the TV goes on? This is before you're checking social media, and all of your different feeds and you're getting pinged left and right. You know, how do you train your environment to work for you? This is just like how you train your body. You work out you exercise you eat, right? This is just how you train your brain. You know, maybe it's meditation that we'll talk about in the next question. Maybe it's, you know, a series of questions that you start and end your day with, you know, how did I do today? Did I live up to my goals? Did I live up to my values? You know, you kind of give yourself a score? What was really good what what do I need to improve upon? So decide what you need to filter out in your days, decide if it's social media or whatever. The thing is that might trigger you. How do you set up your aim for success? Number three, what puts you in "awe" mode. So I recently found a Justin Michael Williams book, stay woke a meditation guide for the rest of us and I just started it but I love so far what I'm reading. So if meditation has been a problem for you, or if maybe you just feel like
it doesn't work. It seems to be out of touch maybe for where you are in life, what your worldview is, well, this might just do the trick with chapters like we chill the EFF out and we stop self sabotage. Or the chapter, we got this sauce. I mean, this is not your grandfather's meditation book for sure. And getting back to "awe" mode, all he says reminds us of the miracle of life that we are all connected to something greater, which, you know, that's basically what this podcast is about, right? We believe in something, doesn't matter what. So puts things in perspective for you minor everyday concerns, that sets never seem all that serious once you realize that it's all part of the great mystery. So what's you "awe?" What's your "awe?" Write that down. Four, what feelings come up when you don't want to do something? And that's going to happen. I mean, this is something that you should probably plan on happening, there are going to be days where you don't want to work out, there's going to be days where you don't want to journal or whatever the thing is, they're going to be days. And I believe that you should just ignore those those thoughts. Yeah. Yep. a therapist just told you to ignore your thoughts and feelings. You know, that I don't want his are going to come, guys, I know they come from me. And so really being clear on how you want to handle them. Let's look at a story about Bob Bob has a lot of I don't want us. Bob is a 38 year old man who wants to stop drinking. But he's struggling. cognitively, he knows what he needs to do. But he just can't seem to take action on controlling his environment, body and mind. But he knows that if he starts eating better, then he starts to drink less. And when he starts to drink glass remembers Oh, yeah, I don't really, I don't really need this, you know, it's definitely has more negatives than positives. And so off we go. Two days are strung together. Day after day, all of a sudden, that becomes two weeks, and then two weeks becomes two months. And so he's stringing these together day by day. And now he's sober for more time than he's ever been before. The thing with Bob is, as soon as he gets asked to go out with a friend, he doesn't want to let sad friend down, he doesn't want that friend to feel bad for not wanting to hang out with him. And so then he gives in, and he starts drinking. And this is a common problem. So you've trained your environment to treat you in a certain way, you know, from the people that you choose to the relationships that you decide to engage in to the news feeds that pop up on your phone to the addictions that you choose, you've trained your environment to treat you in a certain way. And so how do we change that? How does Bob change that? If you can go into the environment with some rules, you know, it'd be no bars for the foreseeable future. No friends that only like to hang out in bars. So you're filtering friends, if there's a party that you want to go to maybe bring your own drink, and so there's always something in your hands that people aren't asking if they can buy you one or give you one or whatever. And this is sort of an these are sort of easy tricks, to potential triggers. But you have to retrain your mind at the end of the day, you have to retrain your environment just shape you and in all the different ways, right, the people the places to things. So Bob says, you know, he's he's been trying to retrain his environment, to day by day thing. He doesn't always get it perfect. None of us do. But at least now he can identify when he's most likely to get hammered with the triggers. And he knows how to fend off those cravings when he's in a high, highly triggered state. What is it like 10 to 60 seconds, I believe when the trigger is at its most potent state. And so you know, perhaps he decides to call his mentor at the beginning of the party and at the end, or text someone that he's close with maybe a mentor, just to check in. When he's in that highly triggered state doing something that buys you a couple more seconds can really help. I can really help.
Number five, this is not a question more of a statement. But pick one thing to focus on at a time. I think this is important when you're developing this recovery routine. If you decide to stop drinking and stop smoking, that could be disastrous. So pick one thing to work on and schedule it right now scheduled in your calendar. If you try and do too many things at once, the potential is high that you will fail at one thing, and so then you will decide to stop all of the things. And so, you know, just pick one thing. Put on your calendar, get an accountability, buddy, I do this myself, I think this is highly effective. Tell your mentor, tell your partner, tell your therapist, tell everyone what the what the thing is, you know what the goal is. You have to identify the goal. And then you also have to measure how you're doing towards each goal. And so having an accountability partner or a way to measure to really important. Number six, what's your WHY? So this is your purpose. What is it you're currently seeing right now? And what is it that you want to be seeing right now write it down. Is it to decrease anxiety and depression so that you can show up in a more effective loving way for your family. You know, without this, why these new habits are really hard to stick to. They're really hard to stick to read it on a post it note, stick it all around your bedroom, stick it in places where you look the most stick it on your phone, I've had people stick their goals on the back of their phone with tape. And I thought that was a pretty clever thing to do. Bonus, ruts don't dig themselves ruts are ultimately going to happen. So some other non negotiables just swap in and out depending on your mood. And maybe it's calling your friends back within 24 hours. Maybe it's getting outside daily, maybe it's going to a weekly meeting, whatever it is, get a list going of non negotiables that you can swipe in and swipe out. And again, guys don't demand perfection. You know, we are not robots. So do not demand perfection on yourself. And definitely don't engage in the comparison trap. The quote that I that I love is comparison is the thief of joy. So the only thing that you want to compare yourself to is your former self that should be the only thing that you're the only person that you're comparing yourself to. Alright guys, well I hope you enjoyed this six questions to ask yourself for those that struggle with consistency. Number one, what are your non negotiables regarding habits? Number two, what can you do in the am to set yourself up for success? Three what puts you in our mode? Check out Justin Michael Williams stay woke meditation a guide for the rest of us. Number four, what feelings come up when you don't want to do something been there? Five, just focus on one thing at a time and schedule it now. And six, what's your why? What's your purpose? Okay. So as we wrap up, I just want to remind you to sign up for the monthly newsletter if you haven't already, where we talk about retraining your environment where you can live a bigger and better life at atheistsinrecovery.com. Click on the green subscribe button on the top of the homepage and again, thank you for listening. Bye.
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In today’s solo episode, I outline 6 questions to ask yourself in order to create a recovery routine that works for you. My bullet points below are a series of questions rather than statements. This is similar to what I do with my monthly newsletter. I’m a big journaler and our brains are problem solving machines so let it do its job. Write down each question and then answer it.
For more info, head over to atheistsinrecovery.com and subscribe to our email list. And thank you for listening!