Do the Next Right Thing

Optimal Mental Health and Well-Being

Do the Next Right Thing

Have you ever started working toward achieving a goal and then stopped, not being sure what to do next?

I think this is a common experience. Sometimes the excitement of taking the initial steps leads us to believe the entire process of achieving a goal is going to be just as easy. Unfortunately, things don’t work that way as things can actually get tougher the further down the road we get. Our goal, such as going back to school or finally getting in shape, now seems like some distant mountain that we will never reach no matter how hard we work.

But this perception isn’t true even if it feels that way. What happens is that we start to focus more on what “big thing” we need to do to make it happen. Rather than continue with small steps that will eventually lead to success, we actually psyche ourselves out by believing we can’t make it. I see this happen all the time with people who put together a few months of sobriety, only to stop their progress by believing the undertaking is more than they can do. That’s one of the reason why the slogan “One Day at a Time” is so important. We can’t change our life all at once, but we can work towards this change a step at a time.

Have you ever made a resolution to get in shape? You might finally join a gym and work out for a few weeks, but then get discouraged because you didn’t get the results you want. So what happens, you stop working out. Have you ever bought an exercise bike that is now collecting dust in your basement because you don’t use it? The reason you haven’t lost weight isn’t because the exercise bike doesn’t work, it’s because you stopped working the exercise bike.

If you really want to accomplish a challenging goal, it’s helpful to remember that most of us go through times when we don’t feel like we’re making progress. While there is no magic step to reaching a goal, you can reach it by continuing to do the next right thing. Most of the time, the next right thing is a small step that is doable such as going to a recovery meeting or going to the gym even if you don’t feel like it.

Not sure how to know what the next right thing is? For many people, it’s easier to identify what the next wrong thing is. In this case, then ask yourself what is the opposite of the next wrong thing and then do that. Praying and meditating for an inspired thought can be helpful too.

No matter what strategy you use, just remember you need to keep the energy moving toward your goal if you want to succeed. And the way you do that is by keep doing the next right thing.

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