Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, an 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992, when he had a year sober. He's in his 28th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he often disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Each year about this time I start writing about New Year's resolutions. Not that I think people need to make them.

Because a lot of people are planning how they're going to lose weight, or quit smoking, or go to school.

I carry on about resolutions because of how few people follow through with them. Quitting smoking or drinking, getting a new job, going to school, lifting weights or losing weight - I mention them all.

And many I know go into the new year with big plans for self-improvement. Then 30-90 days into the year they're forgotten all about it. At this point I want to give you some help. And it's simple help if you'll follow it.

And it goes like this. Take little steps at a time when carrying out your resolutions. Instead of bench pressing 100 pounds, start light with maybe 40 pounds. Look for that new job every day, even if it's for a few minutes. Circle some numbers in the paper. Ask your friends if they know who's hiring. Look on-line for school grants; ask your friends how they got theirs. At first cut back on your smoking until you think you can take the big step and throw the tobacco away.  That's how I did it 31 years ago.

Remember, you made a resolution. While it must be serious, it's not life or death. But the more little steps you take, the further along you'll get toward achieving your goals. I think I tried to quit smoking a dozen times before I succeeded 31 years ago.

You can do, just don't do it all at once.