Recovery Workshop: Lesson Sixty-Three
Health Monitoring IV
One of the common traps that people fall into when monitoring their health is the propensity to see this monitoring as a 'pass/fail' event. Or, as an activity to complete. There is no 'completion' to health monitoring. There is only an ongoing shifting in how you monitor your health.
Shifting Your Monitoring Approach
Note how your daily monitoring has already shifted from a mechanical assessment to one that is more fluid. That you have moved to a more fluid daily monitoring does not mean that you have 'passed' the need for mechanical monitoring. There will come times in your life where you will want to return to a more mechanical means to achieve focus on a particular area of your life that you have become complacent in managing. Even if this focus lasts but a few days, that is often all that is required to 'kick start' your awareness. To this day, some eighteen years after my own recovery, I still return to mechanical daily monitoring during those times when I find my life getting out of balance. You should too. This ebb and flow of monitoring is both natural and necessary...and not indicative of failure.
Over the next week, renew your awareness of your general daily monitoring WITHOUT using mechanical means. In other words, make sure that you take five minutes each day to think about where you are in terms of emotional balance, how you are being stimulated, how congruent you are being with your values, etc.
Lesson 63 Exercise:
Evolve Your Weekly Monitoring
Review your current weekly monitoring and assess whether or not the areas you are assessing are 1) necessary and 2) adequate in strengthening your value system.
1) Health monitoring has two major elements: daily monitoring and weekly monitoring. Daily monitoring is about gaining focus and awareness over a particular life area; weekly monitoring is about establishing balance and warding off complacency. By now, you should have evolved your use of these tools into a means of life monitoring and management where one (weekly monitoring) triggers the other (daily monitoring). For instance, while conducting your weekly assessment, you realize that you are becoming complacent in your transparency with your partner. This then triggers a daily monitoring assessment for a few days that will allow you to focus on this particular life skill. For a life that has been observed to have become out-of-balance (through the weekly monitoring), the daily monitoring would then kick in to help establish one's focus on priority and value. You must understand this evolution and if you don't, review the associated material to find out where you went wrong. Most likely, the answer will be that you took this part of the workshop for granted, seeing it as an activity, rather than a true, valuable tool.
2) Early in the workshop, people are asked to develop both a daily (Lesson 14) and weekly assessment (Lesson 35). Use your personal experience with implementing your health monitoring to provide an example of what was effectively implemented and/or what was neglected. The goal here is not to focus on yourself, but to teach people the importance of not just completing these health monitoring tasks, but actually understanding why they are completing them. That each has a specific purpose as a staple of life management.
3) As you examine their initial daily monitoring effort (lesson 14), offer them brief feedback on the following:
- Are they limited to ten or so items (e.g. are they manageable)?
- Are the majority of these items focused on values-based areas of their life?