One of the things that people sometimes do when they are overcoming an addiction is to not hold their successes in high enough regard. It is imparitive you celebrate your sobriety as you go through the process. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that overcoming an addiction is one of the most monumental things that you could possibly accomplish. Unfortunately, this is not something that is going to endure for a while and then end, with you being addiction free for the rest of your life. This is something that you’re actually going to be enduring for the rest of your life. That’s why it is more important than ever to celebrate the sobreity successes that you have and the milestones that you have set for yourself.


One of the things that you’re going to want to do is set milestones for yourself, which tell you how far you have come along your journey when you reach them. If we use tobacco as an example, a person might start off with shorter distances and then expand them such as three days, two weeks, 30 days, six months, etc. That is based loosely off of some of the addiction milestones for smokers such as how long until your body is free of nicotine. You will be setting your own milestones for whatever addiction you have, and you will be creating a type of reward whenever you reach that milestone. SETTING UP REWARDS It is important to note that when you set up your rewards you don’t want to do anything that is going to put your newfound sobriety at risk. Whatever addictive behavior that you’re trying to beat, you definitely don’t want your rewards to get you back into that habit. A perfect example of this happening is someone who is trying to overcome a food addiction and they set a reward for themselves – at a certain milestone – to go to an all-you-can-eat buffet and have as much as they want. The problem with this reward is that it triggers the addictive behavior. Doing that, for an overeater, is the equivalent of a heroin addict getting high because they reached six months without any heroin.


Remember, overcoming addiction is a process that happens one day at a time. In fact, that is a common phrase used in Alcoholics Anonymous – one day at a time. That means that each and every day that you are able to make it through without giving in to your previous addiction is a day worth celebrating. While you don’t have to come up with a complicated reward for each day, you can pat yourself on the back and give yourself kudos for making it through another day without succumbing.


One of the things that you can do to help motivate yourself is to track your progress. That’s why it was included in part of the plan that you will be following every day. This chapter is going to show you how to track your progress so that you can understand exactly how far you’ve come and use it in your plan of action to overcome addiction.


One of the things that you’re going to want to keep if you’re trying to overcome addiction is a daily diary that allows you to put down exactly how you felt that day and how you overcame. This is also a great way to externalize some of the frustration they are going to be feeling from coming off of whatever addiction you’re trying to stop. Keeping a diary or journal of your progress allows you to read it when you’re feeling your most vulnerable and see what kind of things you did the last time you are feeling this way to overcome it. The Journal also helps you to see how far you have come. If you look back over six months of diary entries, you will think twice about giving into your addictive behavior.


Have you seen those signs that sometimes hang in industrial warehouses and factories where they list how many days they’ve gone without an accident? This is meant to encourage employees to be safer so that they can get that number as high as possible – that’s the theory anyway. You are going to do the same thing with your own number of days. Post a whiteboard or something else on the wall that you can change easily to show how many days you have gone without giving into your addiction. This will motivate you to keep going and lift you up when you feel as if you are going to give in.


When it comes to some addictive behavior, you’re going to want to track your progress periodically as well. For example, if you are trying to lose weight by overcoming an eating addiction then you may want to keep track of your current weight and the weight loss that you have achieved up until this point. There may be other addictions as well that would benefit from tracking progress periodically.