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Make a plan

Red and green pushpin on a mapChristmas is behind us and new year has unfolded for many in all, sorts of interesting ways. How many of us made new year resolutions? And how many of us have broken them already?

I remember as a child being told promises are made to be broken. And soon realized how hard promises were to keep. It was because while I was enthusiastic about a promise and had all intentions of keeping it, I forgot the most important thing: my plan. Promises are only made to be broken if we don’t make a plan.

How many of you have made a plan? A plan is essential for recovery. Without it we will be like the hamster running around on the wheel frenetically and falling off, and in the next breath jumping back on for dear life, then and falling off again.

In Buddhism we have a practise of confession. We tell a trusted person our unskilful actions or behaviour. Somebody who we know will not judge us. This could be confessing in front of a Buddhist image or picture, and then to a trusted human being. We then have healthy remorse and commit to not performing the same behaviour again. And then we tell the trusted person what we are going to do to help us keep that commitment. This is what we call the plan.

We can ready many books, listen to many talks and be inspired to change. But nothing much will change if we don’t make a plan. Calling it confession ritualizes our recovery. It is most definitely not Catholic confession. It is most definitely not about guilt. In recovery there is no room for guilt. Guilt will sabotage sobriety, peace of mind and abstinence.

Let go of guilt and take responsibility for your recovery. Act now and make a plan. My New book Eight Step Recovery will help you do just that. It’s out now: Eight Step Recovery – Order your book now

Or try a free sample – For a free sample chapter of Eight Step Recovery – Using The Buddha’s Teachings To Overcome Addiction please email: eightstepsrecovery@gmail.com

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About Vimalasara

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Dr Valerie Mason-John is a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order. She is currently co-writing Eight Step Recovery - Using the Buddha's Teachings to Overcome Addiction. She teaches a weekly meditation class - Meditation for Addiction. She is the author of seven books, including, Detox Your Heart, a book on working with anger, fear and hatred. She is available for talks, seminars, workshops and retreats. Read more articles by .

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