Several times after speeches people have told me things I said (or written in my book) are things they have also learned in AA’s Twelve Step program of recovery:

  • Progress, not perfection. Early on when I was a participant in the Strategic Coach Program®, founder Dan Sullivan preached the importance of focusing on progress, not perfection.
  • One Day at a Time. New Year’s resolutions tend to fail because people take on too many, or ones that are too big. The way to real, positive, lasting change is to make a small change, focusing on it until it becomes a habit. AA’s mantra of taking life one day at a time feels similar, the way it’s better to avoid grand resolutions and watching them fail. According to the Hazelden clinic’s Web site, Richmond Walker, author of “Twenty-Four Hours a Day,” wrote, “If we don’t take that first drink today, we’ll never take it, because it’s always today.”

Those of us who have not had firsthand experience with AA are bound to have seen depictions of AA meetings in movies or on TV. We’ve seen the participants telling their stories. In the book Willpower, which I discussed in a recent post, the authors discuss the way speaking up at AA meetings helps your awareness, a key step to changing habits. Habits are behaviors which are routine and automatic—we do them without thinking about them. If we want to change a behavior, the first step awareness.

Telling your story helps your awareness. There has also been a lot written about accountability for changing habits. If you tell your story at an AA meeting, or if you tell your goals of any sort to a friend, you have others monitoring your progress, helping you to be accountable to your goals.

Do you have a story to tell? Join the conversation with your comments…

Best regards,

David

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