Recovery Workshop: Lesson Seven

Proactive Action Plans II

Building Proactive Action Plans (continued)

In the previous lesson, you began constructing Proactive Action Plans that were relatively straightforward. Today you are going to address those values that are more involved and thus, capable of producing greater stimulation (and imbalance).

Before doing so, there are a few additional insights relating to action plans that you must know:

  • Action plans are not static, they must evolve. And so, what actions your action plan consists of today are not necessarily the same actions that you will take next week. This is a critical insight to grasp in a functional way, because those who don't tend to see their work here as an exercise...and little more. And the value derived from it will be the same.
  • You will evolve your proactive action plans through your health monitoring system. Over the next three months, this will be done for you (letting you know when to assess, update, etc.) but do recognize that you will need to take full responsibility for evolving these tools long after the workshop has been completed. Far too many people abandon this tool because they can 'do it in their head'. And yes, when your life is going well, you likely can manage such things in your head. Value-building should become a quite natural process in your life. But make no mistake, when life isn't going so well...when your thoughts/emotions begin to fall out of balance...your ability to manage your values efficiently will be compromised. And without this system ingrained, you will be vulnerable to the 'shortcuts' that feed addiction.
  • Finally, action plans can be — and often are — wrong. Meaning, you are now tasked only with providing your 'best guess' as to how to strengthen your values. You may or may not be right and that is perfectly fine. The evolutionary process will take care of that — your job is solely to lay the foundation for an evolution of your values to take place.

Lesson 7 Exercise:

A. Take the next week (start today) to develop initial action plans for the remaining 'top priority' values. It is essential that you develop plans for at least the top ten, but if you can reach fifteen...wonderful. These plans will be used to form the basis of your health monitoring system (which you will begin at the end of next week). Post these plans in your Recovery Thread.

Do NOT allow yourself to become overwhelmed with this task. Each action plan should probably take you between five and fifteen minutes. Some of the most complex (like those pertaining to partnership) may take you up to thirty minutes. What you share in these plans will not be used all at once — so don't worry about what you 'can and can't do'. Focus instead on what you think needs to be done.

Over the next week of lessons, you will be switching your focus to other areas of recovery. These lessons will be important (especially if you are in a relationship), but not critical to your recovery. This is by design. If it takes you a week to complete all of your proactive action plans, so be it. The goal is to have them done by the time you get to the Health Monitoring I lesson. But, to work simultaneously on other lessons as you go...not to put your efforts on hold until they are done.

Note: this will be the last of the 'difficult, time consuming exercises' that you will be asked to complete for some time. Lessons and exercises from this point forward should require significantly less time and energy.

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