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The Importance of a Daily Schedule

Updated: Jan 26, 2022

When entering recovery, abstaining from substances, or engaging in treatment, there is a lot to think about, and for many of us, a lot of changes that have to be made. One area that often gets overlooked is our daily schedule. It’s common for people in active addiction to struggle sticking to a schedule. This is because they frequently lack the discipline to complete everyday tasks. Personally, I struggled to be on time, to remember my commitments, and to show up in general. It is essential to create a schedule early in recovery because it will help us avoid common triggers like boredom and idle time.

When creating a schedule, it’s important to consider and prioritize the key things you need to do each day for health and wellness. The daily schedule will look different for each person, but they will include the tasks and activities that you need to adhere to on a daily basis to prevent relapse and to set yourself up for success. The following are a few examples of what might be included in a plan:

  • Support system: check-in with the people that support my recovery (e.g., sponsor, supportive family and friends)

  • Attitude of gratitude: express gratitude in some way (e.g., add three items to my gratitude list)

  • Motivation: Am I recovery motivated today? And if not, what can I do to improve my motivation?

  • Exercise: go to the gym, go for a walk, or stretch

  • Eating habits: eat a salad for lunch or don’t eat that third cookie

  • Sleep: go to bed early enough that I will get 8 hours of sleep.

Over the next two weeks, take some time to reflect on the things that you need to do daily to remain in a healthy mindset mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Your daily plan may look like the one above, or it may be completely different. That’s fine! Your plan should be individually-tailored to you.

Download the worksheet below and answer the questions to dig into what your daily routine looks like, how you can add to it, and what your schedule looks like.

Daily Maintenance Plan Worksheet
Download DOCX • 9KB

Kayla Zawislak is the Lead Engagement Specialist at the Addiction Policy Forum. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.


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