The four points of SMART are points, not steps, and the idea is to work on all of them as needed, often at the same time. That said, their order makes sense for someone just starting on their journey toward freedom from an addiction. First they have to build motivation to abstain from the addictive substance or behavior and then they need to be able to cope with urges they will inevitably experience. In this second of four posts on the points of SMART, I’m going to talk about some of the techniques the program offers to those struggling with urges so they don’t have to rely on some vague idea of “willpower.”
Self-Management Begins with Intention
-Charles A., SMART Recovery® Facilitator
SMART Recovery is about actively managing your self and directing your actions. What do you intend to actively do today… or ‘NOW’… to manage your addiction recovery?
We have the power of choice, but in order to realize this power, forming intentions and doing the work of changing our thinking and behaviors is required for success… so…
… what’s your intention for self-management today?
Here are some examples (different addiction examples are included here.)
- Study in my SMART Recovery handbook for 15 minutes
- Attend a meeting
- Take my vitamins
- Work on an item I’ve put off
- Eat sensibly
- Respect myself by examining and rating my thoughts and behaviors… instead of self-rating and self-downing
- Drive home a different way to avoid my old patterns
- Exercise for 10-15 minutes
- Drink water instead of soda at lunch
- Create an urge log
- Practice unconditional acceptance with myself and others
- Set a new boundary
- Do a Cost-Benefit Analysis worksheet
- Spend 10 minutes reading in the online library, and then practicing what I’ve learned
- Stay in the NOW, rather than letting my mind drift to the past or the future
- Make a journal of the ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) I have each day, and work to dispute them
- Spend 15 minutes cleaning the kitchen
………… and so forth.
You Don’t Have to Become a Fitness Fanatic to See the Benefits
~Green-In-MI, SMART Recovery Online Member
SMARTies who participate in SMART Recovery Online (SROL) will sooner or later hear me sing the praises of exercise as an integral part of recovery. For me, exercise is a valuable Vitally Absorbing Creative Interest (VACI) as well as something that provides a host of side benefits. Exercise offers many benefits during the recovery process and I want to take a few minutes to talk about how it can be a part of your recovery.
It doesn’t have to be complicated: It’s important to recognize that working out can take many forms, from something as simple and low impact as a walk, to training for a marathon or taking up competitive power lifting. In this context low impact does not mean less effective. Extensive research shows that even walking for 30 minutes a day several days a week can reap benefits. Obviously if you want to meet specific goals like increased aerobic capacity or running a local 5K race you need to train appropriately, but throughout this blog post when I talk about working out or fitness I really mean getting out and moving – whatever you can do with your abilities and motivation. Continue reading
Anti-Procrastination Workshop Series
Led by Dr. Bill Knaus, Ed.D.
Friday , July 1st at 7 PM EDT.
Download Informational Flyer
Intro Meeting, Part I
Intro Meeting, Part II
Wrap Up Meeting. Part I
Wrap Up Meeting, Part II
Dr. Bill Knaus, Ed.D., psychologist and renowned authority in the field of overcoming procrastination, will join SMART Recovery® Online to present an Anti-Procrastination Workshop Series during the month of July. The workshop is an adaptation of his highly successful face-to-face workshops and will last for five weeks. The format of the workshops will follow a concept/application presentation, beginning with a Main Event, followed by three Q&A Sessions, and a final Booster Session to provide an overview and ways forward to end procrastination.
Dr. Knaus is a premier expert in the field of helping people overcome procrastination. He originated the self-help movement for overcoming procrastination and has worked with thousands of people in his individual private practice and in his transformational anti-procrastination workshops. Over 1 million people have benefited from reading his bestselling books on procrastination. Continue reading
Goals are important for everyone. Thinking on and reviewing goals are important both before and after you quit using an addictive substance.
What are goals? You can think of goals as being what you want. Generally your goals are happiness and survival. More specifically, you may want a better job or a happier marriage. When you use addicting substances, you seek relief from stress and misery, a high, or fun with friends. When thinking of quitting, you think of getting rid of some of the problems you’ve developed and living a better life.
What about later, when you are well on your way to recovery? You’ll do well to have some goals that are long-term interests. Many people try improving their relationships with others, finding a better job (as mentioned above), or finding a hobby in which they can absorb themselves.
Often this isn’t easy. Addiction creates such a focus on short-term pleasures and solutions to problems that you may not readily find yourself succeeding at enjoying yourself when you quit. Here are some questions you may ask yourself to see how well you are achieving your goals. Occasionally ask them to yourself, be honest with how you answer them, and see what you find.