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  • Writer's pictureChoice Recovery

I Have A Plan

How many times have you told yourself, “I have a plan” with the hope that this plan would initiate change? It is a common theme in life and recovery. In fact, we often develop these “plans” anytime a setback occurs, or we need to convince someone that we will change our destructive behavior. These words are famously uttered time and time again after a break-up, firing, or relapse. The thing is, a plan represents only about 10% of the equation when trying to solve a problem or create habitual change.

Devising “the plan” may be the easiest part of the equation. It only takes the emotional sharing of a few new ideas, and you can convince yourself and others that it will be different this time. Typical plans include getting out of debt, exercising, eating better, controlling anger, finding a job, or staying clean and sober. When we make such proclamations, we feel motivated and gain a sense that transformational change is possible or that this time we really mean it. Plan or not, there is no reason not to be excited about your desire for a better tomorrow. You have the talent, skill, intelligence, and ability to get what you want in life. However, what needs to be known is, do you have the commitment to make it happen? In a University of Scranton study, the researchers found that 92% of people who develop plans fail to achieve them. The individuals studied took the time to formulate their plan, but as time passed and their commitment weakened, their desire for change dissolved. In life and recovery, we must have more than simply a plan, but a genuine commitment to making change a reality and a determined motivation to finish what we set out to do. How to Become an 8-percenter?

  • Put the ego aside: The addict’s ego is fueled by his/her addictive voice. This voice keeps us from letting go, accepting, and asking for help. Until we let go of our failed belief system, accept life on life’s terms, and understand that we do not have all the answers, our plan to live a satisfying life in recovery will be difficult to achieve.

  • Take manageable bites: Develop any size plan you like, big, small, or anything in-between. Have confidence and understand that there is absolutely no reason to limit your dreams. However, make sure your plan can be broken down into a series of manageable and measurable tasks so that your days can be focused solely on completing them.

  • Do what it takes: Ensure that your “plan” is tied to a purpose. A plan without a purpose is like a car without gasoline. Life requires passion, and your purpose is what provides you with the desire to keep going when life gets tricky. Anything worth doing is usually challenging, so on this journey of change, it is almost guaranteed that at some point, you will want to give up and return to the comfort of old behaviors. It is in these moments when you lean on your purpose and passion to push you through.

  • Find gratitude: Be grateful for the opportunity to transform, learn, and grow in good times and in bad.

FOR CONSIDERATION: If you are not using your supports to review, critique, and strengthen your plan, then who is reviewing it? Think about it, if you are the sole judge of your "plan," who provides feedback, suggestions, or challenges your thinking? The answer is your addiction, that voice in your head that has only one objective; to get you using again. To change life’s trajectory, we need new behaviors, accountabilities, and skills. Our addictive voice provides none of this, and that is why our greatest plans never seem to create change. To change our lives, we must have the courage to listen and trust others, even when they tell us what we don’t want to hear.


Choice Recovery is an outpatient alcohol and drug treatment center dedicating to those looking to transform their lives. Our qualified team is here to help individuals overcome the triggers and behaviors that continue to drive them back to drugs and alcohol. Our outpatient programs include group, individual counseling, and support from a personal coach. We offer IOP throughout the day to accommodate most schedules. Choice Recovery takes AHCCCS insurance as well as private insurance. For more information please contact us at 480-527-0337 or


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