Discovering What’s Important to You

Discovering What’s Important to You

Recovery offers an infinite variety of choices and challenges; with those challenges come opportunities that we may succeed in or not.  Either way, what is important is that we have the ability now to try.  

We identify our core values, but do we really know what is important to us?  And, when we can identify these, are we able to prioritize them?  

We  want success, but don’t really know how to define that.  We want a family but are unsure of committing.  We look for something outside of us to stabilize our life, but that never seems to work.   We  wonder if we’re on the right path. We’d like to have balance in our life, but there are so many conflicts that we often find ourselves spending too much energy in one direction and neglecting the other. 

 

Without understanding what is important to us, and being able to  identify what’s most important,  can derail our quality of living and we can’t learn to make meaningful choices.   This worksheet will help you identify your individual  key priorities.

1.  Family & Friends-Identify the most important people in your life.

  • What about these people draws you to them?  
  • What are the qualities they possess?  
  • Are their values in tune with yours?  
  • What about the relationship you have with them is important?
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

2.  Think about what you most enjoy doing.  Stumped?

  • Did you used to walk, run, or hike?  
  • What about floral arrangements or building wreaths?  
  • Do you read or write?  Paint or draw?
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

3.  What might you like to learn?  (Key Point here-this is about exploring–try something, just don’t give up too soon!  If you love it, continue.  If you don’t, move on!)

  • What have you watched on TV or read about that sounds intriguing?  
  • Have you always wanted to learn a different language?
  • Is going back to school an option?  (Get your GED, a college degree or a trade skill?)
  • Have you wanted to learn to train animals?  Garden?  Floral arrangements?
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

4.  What qualities, skills or talents do you have?

  • Looking back at your life, what qualities, skills or talents would you say you have? 
  • When you were a kid, were you great at marbles, ping pong, sledding, multiplication tables, spelling bees? 
  • Did you find you excelled in science or English or math? 
  • Are you skilled in carpentry, landscape design, building things, figuring out how to fix what goes wrong? 
  • Do you lose yourself in artistic expression, creating something from nothing? 
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

(Sometimes what is most important to you is deeply embedded in these qualities, skills and talents.)

5.  List your highest achievements and accomplishments.

  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

(Take some time to jot down the successes you’ve had. It doesn’t matter if it’s a huge accomplishment or something minor.  What does matter is the feeling the result gave you. When you’re proud and excited about your accomplishments, you experience joy and satisfaction in life. It’s also a good hint that these are important to you).

6.  What are your best qualities and strengths?

  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

 

Ask your friends, loved ones and family members to list your best qualities.

7.  What makes you happy?

  • What things make you smile?  Feel good inside?
  • When do you feel the most peace?
  • How do you feel around certain people?  (Hint:  How you feel when you are around someone is an important piece to understanding who you are.  Through  analyzing how you feel around others, you may discover you).
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

8.  Spirituality-Is this important in your life?

  • Why or why not?
  • Do you want to explore more about spirituality?
  • What does this mean to you?
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

9.  Health-Being healthy is the single, most important part of our existence – without good health, our lives can be cut short. That said, it’s important not to take good health for granted and feed our bodies nutrients that they deserve by eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity.

  • How important is your physical and mental health to you?
  • Do you exercise daily?
  • Are you interested in making this a part of your life?  Why or why not?
  • What things can you do now to become more healthy?
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

10.  Purpose-Having a purpose is a fundamental component of living a fulfilling life. Without purpose, we won’t have the motivation to achieve great things or even do something simple such as getting out of bed in the morning.

  • What does having a purpose mean to you?
  • Purpose can be interpreted as having meaning in life, or the reason behind why things happen or what we do.  What do you think about this?
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

11.  Love-Love is the epicentre of every aspect of  life – it doesn’t just relate to having a partner. but also unchangeable affection for family and friends.

  • How do you define love?
  • Do you have love in your life?
  • Do you want love in your life?
  • Some say that to be loved, one must first love.  What do you think about this?
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

12.  Passion-Along with purpose comes passion; our desires, our dreams and our hopes in life. When you’re passionate about something, you’re going to work hard to achieve it.

  • Do you have a passion for something?
  • Many people in recovery have found that helping others has become their passion-they become counselors, sponsors or peer mentors.  What do you think about that>
  • What other thoughts do you have?  
  • ___________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________

Now, review your answers from the above 12 ideas,  and list them below by their categories:

1.  Family & Friends

___________________________________________

2.  Leisure Time, Hobbies

___________________________________________

3.  Education

___________________________________________

4.  Skills & Talents

___________________________________________

5.  Your Strengths

___________________________________________

6.  Your Attributes

___________________________________________

7.  Your Happy Places

___________________________________________

8.  Your Spirituality

___________________________________________

9.  Your Health & Well-being

___________________________________________

10.  Your Purpose

___________________________________________

11.  Loves

___________________________________________

12.  Passions

___________________________________________

 

These are the things that are most important to you;they may change over time with specifics, but this is you!  When you look at each one, ask yourself:

  1.  Is this possible without recovery from drugs or alcohol?
  2. Which is not possible without the others?  (Are your happy things possible without your health?  If family & friends are possible without love?)
  3. Are your skills and talents a part of your passions?  Your Attributes?

 

Now, finally, write them again, in your own order.  (I have taken the liberty and placed Recovery as the most important).

 

  1.  Recovery
  2. ___________________________________________
  3. ___________________________________________
  4. ___________________________________________
  5. ___________________________________________
  6. ___________________________________________
  7. ___________________________________________
  8. ___________________________________________
  9. ___________________________________________
  10. ___________________________________________
  11. ___________________________________________
  12. ___________________________________________

 

All choices you make, make with these in mind.  When to go to bed, when to wake up, what to eat, whether to walk or drive.  Be true to you!  

The Stages of Addiction

Sometimes, these stages may occur simultaneously. As an example, for illicit substances used to feel a “high,” even one use is considered to be abuse. Some of these illicit substances can also result in tolerance within one or two uses. Nevertheless, in the majority of cases, all of these steps are part of the chronic cycle of addiction.

On the other hand, the addictive potential of some drugs may be so strong that what seems to be an immediate addiction may develop. However, for the vast majority of people struggling with addiction, there are stages of substance use or abuse that lead to the circumstances resulting in the person becoming addicted. In general, these stages include: