In this blog you'll find mostly my thoughts and experiences as well as poems in regards to my Al-anon 12-step recovery.
I hope you enjoy. Please feel free to leave me comments.


If someone's drinking, drugging or sobriety is bothering you or if you grew up with drinking or drugs in your home, please find an Al-anon meeting.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Year's Resolutions or Just for Today?

I want to talk about New Year's resolutions.

I don’t believe in them. If you do, that’s fine. I’m a big believer in To each their own, but making a resolution to be held for the entire year just doesn’t work for me. I’ll tell you why.

I am a member of Al-Anon, and my program teaches me to live in today. I have learned the value of living one day at a time. It’s only Tuesday, and Tuesday (or whatever day it happens to be) is full of enough things for me to worry about. Work, kids, home, husband, and let’s not forget, ME. I’m usually tied in knots over something emotional and it’s all I can do to just focus on what’s in front of me. If I start thinking about tomorrow, or, God forbid, a year from now, then nothing gets done.

In truth, I do fail at this regularly. Good thing the program also teaches “Progress, not perfection”. I fail because I am human and my mind has…well, it has a mind of its own. It’s magical. It takes most things I perceive and magnifies them. It takes information, obtained from nowhere, and makes it fact.

Let me clarify that “living in today” does not mean that I never plan things or look at future goals, because I do. That’s human nature too, and it’s not a bad thing to do. I just try and avoid obsessing over things that I have no control over or projecting into the future what I think may or may not happen with any given situation. When I do this, I get into trouble. And before I know it, nothing’s been done. Work wasn’t finished, the kids are crying, the bills aren’t paid, the house is a mess, and worse, my husband is furious.

My mind is a dangerous neighborhood that I need to learn to stay out of.

Another reason why I don’t make the typical yearly resolution is because I already make resolutions daily. Sometimes I am successful, but most times I’m not. Today my resolution was to focus on work. Get done the things I needed to accomplish since I’ve been out for 2 weeks on stay-cation. I did get most things completed in regards to work, with minimal distractions. I had several moments during the day where I became caught up in my own thoughts, my own selfish wants and desires, as well as obsessing about things I am not happy about in my life.

It’s obvious that for me, making a yearly resolution is a recipe for disaster.

I function much better when I break it into smaller pieces.

Here are the Alanon “Just for today” principles. I can’t tackle all of these in one day either. But, I can pick one that makes the most sense to me that day and work on it.

 Just for 
Just for today I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle all my problems at once. I can do something for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt that I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today I will be happy. This assumes to be true what Abraham Lincoln said, that "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

Just for today I will adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my "luck" as it comes, and fit myself to it.

Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will study. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.

Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn, and not get found out; if anybody knows of it, it will not count. I will do at least two things I don't want to do - just for exercise. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt; they may be hurt, but today I will not show it.

Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress becomingly, keep my voice low, be courteous, criticize not one bit. I won't find fault with anything, nor try to improve or regulate anybody but myself.

Just for today I will have a program. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. I will save myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.

Just for today I will have a quiet half hour all by myself and relax. During this half hour, sometime, I will try to get a better perspective of my life.

Just for today I will be unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe that as I give to the world, so the world will give to me.

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.

0, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved, as to love; for it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Note: The "Just For Today" thoughts are from a bookmark produced by:

Al-Anon Family Group
Headquarters, Inc.
1600 Corporate Landing Parkway
Virginia Beach, VA 23454-5617
Phone: (757) 563-1600 Fax: (757) 563-1655

Thanks for reading
~Wookies Girl


  1. Inspirational post. I think we all have our determinations renewed by the change of the year on a calendar, who knows why. It might be because we like new shiny things, and everyone is always looking for a brand new opportunity.

  2. This was wonderful. I especially loved the line, "My mind is a dangerous neighborhood that I need to learn to stay out of."

    I think we ALL should practice living in today. Thought provoking post :)

  3. Thoughtful and thought-provoking - thank you so much for baring your soul to us. "Be in the moment" is my daily "Just for today" reminder and has been for years. I'll get the hang of it... ;-))

    You've helped me.

  4. Hi my dear!
    This post resonates with me, because I don't believe in new year's resolutions either. first of all, I think the act gives people permission to delay and wait for another day to cross something off their list (after all, they have a whole year to get around to doing whatever it is they feel they ought to do).
    Second, just the meaning of the word--"Re Solve"--sounds like insanity (repeating the same thing but expecting different results). If you have to keep re-solving things, then you may need different goals or action plans.
    And, that's why I believe you, my dear, are set up to succeed: because you understand that goal setting and progress is more important than a vague idea of "arriving" at a resolution, or worse, never moving toward any kind of progress.
    Big Goals in life need to be broken down. Those little goals/milestones passed along the way toward the big goal gives me that feeling of success and accomplishment; and, the little bursts of confidence help to keep me on that path toward Big Goal.
    I can't wait to see what today brings for us my friend ;)

  5. Thanks for sharing this post with me. I could practice a few of those principles myself. Thanks for the reminder. Much love :)

  6. what a great post! didn't feel like i deserved to tweet with you lovely gals again until i took my time digesting this... and i must say, very moving & with a sense of clarity all on its own :) looking forward to more great stuff! -gina

  7. Those are great principles. I agree with Gina, took my time to digest it all, love the clarity.Keep breaking it into smaller bites. Good philosophy since eventually you chew and swallow all of it. The more progress the more you won't mind being in your mind even when it's chaotic. Lovely post and thanks for sharing it :)

  8. I love this post. Thank you. I agree about resolutions. My program teaches me to focus on this day only. Simple to say. Hard to do. We aren't perfect, as we say in our closing. Thank God. Love you! xo