Category Archives: Setting Goals


Breathe deeply and slowly!

Welcome to recovery. I bet it took you a long time to get here. Breathe. Your life is about to change for the better – if you stay on your recovery road. You may experience some hard bumps along the way, but it is worth the effort to work through and smooth them out. If you don’t return to using, you WILL realize many positive changes in your life. Until you start recovery, you are stuck in “Nowhere Land,” with your mind confused and your heart caught between two worlds. Treatment professionals call this the pre-treatment stage. During the pre-treatment stage, your addict self falsely believes using is the answer to all your problems, while the dopamine in your brain, altered by your addiction, incorrectly sends you the message that you need to use to survive. At the same time, you know you need to change your lifestyle. What a struggle!

It takes courage to start recovery, courage you have shown even by picking up this book to learn how to change your life for the better. By using your inner and outer resources, you can keep traveling along your recovery road, and be successful, no matter what is thrown your way. Stay courageous! You can do it!

Recovery begins as you commit!

To Get a Good Start:

  • Contact your physician! Have a check-up! Be honest! Follow all medical advice.
  • Practice abstinence from all addictive substances and behaviors.
  • Join a recovery program. Sit there, listen, and take it all in. You do not have to do a thing. Magic can happen if you just keep going back.
  • Accept recovery into your life. It takes work, but consider whatever event that got you into recovery as a blessing. Do whatever it takes to stay the course. As you progress along your path, acknowledge, nurture, and reward yourself.

It's in Your Hands - Honesty, Acceptance, Nutrition, Direction, Support - Five Keys for recovery!

Learn about the PINK CLOUD that is experienced in early recovery. You may not consciously want to use, the abstinence may feel wonderful, but when this “pink cloud” collapses (and it will), your fall to earthly reality will be much easier if you have begun building your recovery structure.

See yourself successfully completing your first steps!

If you want to start your recovery, don’t allow your addict self to sabotage what you want by indulging in, “I’ll do it soon,” or “I’ll be okay,” type of thinking. If you truly cannot begin now, set yourself up for success by taking action to ensure that you will follow through ASAP. Examples of taking action are: contacting a referral center and asking for help; making an appointment with a counselor for the first possible appointment time; going to a self-help support group meeting; or signing a clear and specific, time-limited contract with yourself and putting it in a visible place. Whatever you decide to do, commit, take whatever action you can, and follow through.


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Your Recovering Future

Your Recovering FutureTM – These highlight boxes assist you in creating a vision of your recovery in the future, to see how your life will change and to begin to feel the benefits of being in recovery.  Your Recovering Future is a powerful, positive image of your ideal recovery. Make this imagined recovering future so desirable that you’re compelled, in the present, to do whatever it takes to create it and keep it.   The YRF image that you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell needs to be realistic and obtainable.

A recovery program with a structure has to be at the heart of YRF. You’ll use that structure to help set yourself up for success. You’ll be molding and managing your recovery daily and reviewing it weekly, monthly, and yearly. The YRF model has three important aspects:

Structure is your friend!


Set yourself up for success with a structure    that makes it easier to stay on your recovery path than it is to get off of it. If, on both sides of your recovery road, there are recovery reminders, supportive people, and a solid program, you’ll be aware when you’re sliding off – just like how you would know if you were running over speed bumps, hitting orange construction cones, or going up a steep embankment. Your structure makes it easier for you to go straight down your recovery track.


Visualize the completion of your next positive recovering event or milestone, such as celebrating your next recovery chip, completing a step or a page n a recovery workbook, or attending a family event. Like a motion picture playing in your mind’s eye, imagine your future with all five senses – take a few minutes to do this every morning and at night. Make your vision as detailed an image as you can – or start with a simple snapshot that you can build on.

Acknowledge the total truth of what’s  happening today in relationship to Your Recovering Future. For example:

  • “I’m having a bad day. I want to use, but I have three days of clean time that I don’t want to throw away. My goal is to get 30 days clean. I’m not going to use because I want to feel proud of myself in My Recovering Future.”
  • “I’m excited, confused, and scared about starting my new recovering life, even though I hope it will be wonderful.”

Keep all negative beliefs and attitudes out of your speech and thoughts. It’s difficult to do this when, chances are, negative thoughts and emotions triggered you to engage in your addiction. Once you start thinking or saying, “I can’t do it,” or “It’s too hard,” or “F___ it – it’s not worth it,” RUN to the nearest phone and call someone in your recovery support group.


Setting yourself up for success is about taking action now. For example, if you need to do something next week that you know will trigger your addiction, right now, while you are thinking of it, arrange to be accompanied by a recovering friend(s) who can support and remind you to stay on task.

Remember to live your recovery one step at a time – but don’t lose the vision of your future. That way, your unconscious will adopt these new visions and assist you with creating Your Recovering Future.

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Thriving Beyond Addiction’s Red Dot Reminder Check-in System

Red Dot Reminder

Red Dot Reminder Check-In System – Like a red stoplight or a hand signal at a crosswalk, these highlight boxes offer reminders of recovery skills, tools, and strategies.

When you see a Red Dot Reminder, it’s a cue for you to stop and focus on your recovery by:

  • Remembering to breathe and relax.
  • Observing yourself and your situation.
  • Reminding yourself what’s most important to your recovery.
  • Remind yourself that doing this check-in is helpful.

The Red Dot Reminders help you stay aware that there are forces within yourself that may undermine your recovery. Your own instincts, emotions and past behavioral patterns can thwart your desire for recovery. You have compelling reasons you seek recovery – the Red Dot Reminders help you remain aware of those reasons even when your past behavioral patterns try and reemerge.

Red Dot Reminder highlight boxes serve to keep you on track and remind you why you want a healthy recovering lifestyle. Examples are:

  • I need to feel proud of myself, to see a look of pride in my (family’s) face!
  • I want to live a spiritual driven life!
  • I want to be a good parent and a role model!
  • I want the best life I can have!
  • I want to live happy, joyous and free!
  • I never want to experience the negative consequences of addiction!
  • I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!

Each time you check in with yourself, it’s a chance to consciously refocus. In time, the new behavior will sink into your unconscious mind and will become the new you!

Hand - Red Dot Reminder

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Starting Your Journey
motion blurred road and cloudy blue sky background

There are several important things you need to know as you start your recovery:

  1. My book, Thriving Beyond Addiction, offers an ideal model. Strive for it, but feel okay with something less than ideal.
  2. You probably have many questions. Relax, breathe, get out of your own way, and engage in a recovery process that tens of thousands of people before you have successfully followed.
  3. I will offer many resources to help you clarify and find answers for the who, what, when, where, why, and how of recovery. It introduces you to traditional and cutting-edge recovery options. It helps you in adapting a program to meet your needs.
  4. The best approach for you is the one that fits or intuitively matches you, because you’re more likely to follow it. If you interpret this to mean an easy, simple, or limited approach, it’s doubtful that it will be effective. At the start, an excellent strategy is to embrace a universal, time-tested structure until you and your recovery support group members agree on how to improve your program. If you do change how you’re going to handle your recovery, stay active in your current approach until you are engaged in the new one.
  5. There may be some undesirable consequences in your decision to deal with your addiction. Examples are: you may need to let go of a true friend who’s still using, or your family might become upset because recovery is taking up a lot of your time.
  6. In your approach, you may need to let go of old beliefs, fears, and strategies that have guided your life thus far. This can be difficult; commit to new changes for a few weeks, and it’ll get easier. Your best approach will be a holistic one that includes:
  • Bio-Nutritional
  • Mental-Emotional
  • Learning-Growing
  • Relational-Social
  • Spiritual-Quantum Physics

Drug Free Means Life

  1. Whatever approach you choose, you must open up, become involved, and evolve. You may have to move out of your comfort zone. You don’t have to be enthusiastic or even like it, but you must be willing to go through the process. You may question whether you are changing and whether these changes will be permanent. Expect that others will have the same questions. Those closest to you will notice your behavioral and emotional changes, especially if you consistently follow your program to the best of your ability. Take this opportunity to be totally honest with yourself. Ask yourself the tough questions. Listen for the answers. Sharing your journey with other people will help make it real.
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Wake Up & Thrive


Move beyond your addiction and become who and what you really want to be!

The Thriving Beyond Addiction ™ model encourages you to move past your substance or behavioral addiction(s) and onto living your best recovering life!

The goal of Thriving Beyond Addiction is to offer you facts, resources, and wisdom about recovery in a user-friendly way. This information will help you to move through the recovery maze and onto better days. The process will be stimulating. Your beliefs will affect whether your experience will feel scary, sad, and limited, or happy, joyous, and free. If you accept that what you’re leaving behind is a destructive addiction, you’ll be more likely to embrace recovery.

A Defining Moment

I’m assuming you’ve had your moment-of-truth and that you’ve accepted that you are an addict. Hopefully, your Defining Moment brought you the clarity that it was time to accept the challenge of recovery. If not, ask yourself, why not? You may need to take a deeper look at your addiction, motivations, or goals. Take the Addiction Evaluation. Explore your answers for their accuracy and then make a decision. Do you want to recover?

If you want to help a loved one who suffers with an addiction, educate yourself so that you can be helpful when they’re ready to change.


Breathe! – You’ll Be Okay

If you’re feeling down because you’re an addict and if in your mind you’re using words like “loser” or “stupid,” stop now. Give yourself a break! As Billy Joel sang in Second Wind, “You’re only human; you’re supposed to make mistakes.” The reality is that addiction is a human issue; many struggle with it to some degree. Among those who suffer from it, some struggle with addiction their whole life, while others are able to let go and embrace recovery.

It’s vital to know that you’re not responsible for your addiction, but you are responsible for your recovery. The family, genetic, nutritional, social, or spiritual issues that contributed to your addiction need to be managed, neutralized, or eliminated. You didn’t start out using alcohol, placing a bet or super-sizing your meal with the goal of becoming an addict. Yet, if you’ve had major life problems due to using and are not in recovery, you’re choosing to be ill. This is your Defining Moment! Please choose health!

Though emphasizing drug addiction, it is the approach is for those recovering from any addiction because:

  • The process of addiction and recovery is similar for all addictions.
  • Most addicts deal with two or more addictions. Recovery from all of them is best done at the same time, showing your total commitment to recovery.

Though recovery is similar for all addictions, there are some behavioral differences that may arise when recovering from individual addictions, such as:

  • An anorexic’s voice saying, “You’re fat.”
  • Intense shame for a female sex addict.
  • The constant need to “look good” for someone who is a codependent partner.
  • Physical damage from consumed substances.
  • Food addicts who are overweight.
  • Reward-seeking for the success and fame addict.

By understanding exactly what recovery is, it’s more likely you will embrace it. Recovery isn’t a one-time event. There are some addictions in which you can’t be totally abstinent from, such as food for the food addict and shopping for the shopaholic. Therefore, recover is a lifelong process of observing your behavior while adapting and moving toward a more positive and healthier lifestyle. To succeed, you’ll need to change some of your beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors. You are intelligent; you just need to learn about the tools and strategies for successful recovery. In recovery, you’ll learn to be happier and healthier. Not entering recovery is a decision to walk the path of self-destruction. Make a commitment to do whatever it takes. This will make it much easier to live your best life, for the rest of your life.

Taking Action

At a basic level, there are two things you need to do:

  • Choose to be abstinent or abuse. Consult your MD before you stop using physically addictive drugs.
  • Your body will naturally detoxify from drugs and sugar, but work with your medical doctor to ensure no damage is done to your body during the detox process.
  • Connect with yourself, others, and The Source.
    • Yourself: Connect with your thoughts, emotions and sensations, needs, motivations, and goals.
    • Others: Find supportive, knowledgeable, and objective people.
    • The Source: Find a spiritual guide or participate in a spiritual or religious practice.

It’s frustrating and even overwhelming to start a new life journey without knowing the rules. Don’t Allow Yourself to Get Overwhelmed! Start by taking a few deep breaths and honestly acknowledging your current situation. YOU NEED TO CHANGE!

To do this, you’ll have many tasks ahead of you, but you have the rest of your life to work on them, one day at a time, or even one minute at a time. Recovery will move you forward and help you to create new life goals. The key is to do whatever it takes to get started and to keep moving until you are successful.

The pilot of an airplane must go full throttle to get the plane off the ground. Once the plane is flying, the power can be reduced and the plane will stay in the air. It may take a major effort to get your recovery off of the ground, but once you’ve leveled off, it will be easier. In addition, your life will start to change in many positive ways.

Take a desirable action right now, this very moment, because action breaks up the negative emotions that keep you stuck, unhappy, and in your addiction.

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Recovery Coach Tom Rohrer – Things Self-Destructive People Do That Makes Their Life Harder

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to have a really difficult time in life? Have you often thought that they should turn their life around? Well, we have, and here are some things we’ve noticed that self-destructive people do that makes their life much harder.

Look things in a different way! Success Works Coaching can help you find your reason to live and love. Get the book now!

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Recovery Coach Tom Rohrer – Tips For Setting And Achieving Smart Goals

Whatever your reasons used to be for not setting goals, it’s time to set them aside and use goals to dramatically increase not only how much you get done in life, but how fulfilled you feel. Make your recovery fast by setting smart goals.

Don’t let addiction hinder you from setting and achieving your smart goals. Call me now for a free consultation 925-595-6433

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