As a means to motivate your commitment and to reinforce it after it’s made, let’s spend a few minutes in your imagination. In Holy Writ, one of God’s methods of motivating people to change is telling them the future consequences if they don’t change. Parents do the same thing with their children: “If you don’t wash the dishes you won’t get to play with Joey (or eat dessert, or watch a movie, etc.).” Bosses might do it with an employee: “You’d better get that report to me by noon tomorrow, or else!”
The Book, Change Anything, by Kerry Patterson, et al., shares this concept in the context of personal change by suggesting a person create a picture of both the “default future” and the future “when you do the right thing”.1
You can apply this idea to yourself by looking forward into the future and imagining what life will be like if you continue down your current path of addiction. Try to imagine the details using all your senses: Smell. Taste. See. Feel. Hear.
What will your Addiction Destination look like in 5, 10, 20, 50 years? What will it feel like?
What will your family relationships be like? Finances? Health? Peace? Will you still be alive?
What’s the quality of your life? Consider your mental abilities, career, relationships? Will you be in prison?
Take the time to ponder and look into the future. Where will you end up if you continue down your current path of addiction?
Write down your thoughts in as much detail as possible:
Now imagine a future observer of your life. What specific signs of your addiction does this person see? What aspects of your behavior would let them know you have a problem? What about your countenance (how do you look)? What aspects of your family and career would tell him or her you have a problem?
Write down what you think the future observer would see.
Now combine what you wrote in the two prior exercises to create your Addiction Destination. Paint a scene so that someone wanting to turn your story into a movie would know exactly what to show on the screen. If you prefer to audio record your Addiction Destination statement, do so.
Record your Addiction Destination now.