There is an old saying that goes like this: “Too much of a good thing is a bad thing.” How it should go, for an addict, is, “Too much of anything is a bad thing.” We as addicts, always do too much of anything. We have no balance unless we work at it. To quote house, “I’m an addict. I turn everything up to eleven.
I have found that, in my life, this is very true. I end up spending way too much time playing a game or staying on my computer. Even though we are not doing drugs, we substitute one addiction for another. We can also transfer our habits to healthy things, such as working out. While working out is better than playing a game, turning anything into an addiction isn’t good for breaking addictive behavior.
For anyone, making a schedule, and doing your best to keep it, can be widely beneficial, and even give us natural, and healthy, highs. When we set a goal, that goal quickly becomes a part of our identity.
One easy goal I have set for myself is to make my bed every day, something I never used to do. I never saw the point, since I would just mess it up later that night. Now that I am doing it, I see how much neater the room looks, and get a sense of accomplishment every time I do see it, even a dopamine rush. Making a schedule to follow every day can keep balance in our lives, and stop us from transferring our addiction.
The primary key to setting a goal is to be realistic. If it is a small goal, and reachable easily, like making my bed, for example, then there is no need to break it down. If it is a significant goal, like mine to go back and finish college, then it needs to be broken down into steps. The brain can release dopamine, once a target is achieved, but it can also punish us when we don’t accomplish that goal. So, breaking it down into smaller, and more attainable, parts gives us a natural high, once we finish those smaller steps and can help our self-esteem.
For my goal, going back and finishing college, breaking it down into, signing up for FAFSA, get all of the supplies and books I need, starting class, etc. gives me reachable smaller goals, while going for the bigger one. Having a daily schedule, which can be slightly flexible, keeps me from being an addict to ordinary things in my life and transferring my drug addiction to something like video games.