Explanation of Self-Help Programs
The three self-help programs I've developed, Wings of Glory Recovery Program, Bold & Fearless Prevention Program, and 13 Choices Happy Life Program are all similar because I believe recovery from addiction, preventing addiction, and discovering high self-esteem are all interrelated. I discuss these three subjects in my book, Wings of Glory: Addiction, Recovery, and High Self-esteem (click here for your free download!)
My son, Jonathan, and I spent many hours on the phone talking about the Wings of Glory Recovery Program when he was in a long-term drug rehabilitation center in Washington. He took this self-help program seriously and wanted to support me in refining it and making it more useful to more people.
After following this program of checking off the Daily Dozen and the Five Elements of Recovery for several months, he called me one day and told me that I needed to find a scripture to back up every principle I wanted to teach. I told him that was impossible. He responded back, “Mom, there’s a scripture for everything!” I said, “Okay, show me a scripture that talks about having clean teeth.” He did—Amos 4:6, And I also have given you cleanness of teeth...
So, I enlisted his help in finding the right scripture to go along every other principle I was putting in my program. He was right. There was a scripture for everything!
The Daily Dozen with Scriptures
The first five goals in the Daily Dozen are spiritual goals to help you connect with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost every morning. The last seven goals are simple, practical suggestions for taking care of yourself that will quickly improve your feeling of happiness and high self-esteem.
1. Pray for a Heart Full of Gratitude
As you kneel and pray for a heart full of gratitude each morning, you’ll find yourself appreciating what you do have instead of worrying about what you don’t have. Prayer is a three-way friendship with the Godhead. Heavenly Father will shower you with his love, Jesus Christ will strengthen and lift you up, and the Holy Ghost will be your constant companion to bring you peace, comfort, and guidance.
“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name...”
— Matthew 6:9
2. Read or Recite the 13 Choices for Happiness and High Self-Esteem
As you read the 13 Choices each day, you will begin to internalize these positive affirmations. You will discover true happiness and high self-esteem as you consciously make these choices a part of your daily life.
“Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”
— Proverbs 4:5, 7
3. Listen to a Song about Jesus Christ
When you listen to or sing songs about Jesus Christ first thing in the morning, you will feel close to Him throughout the day. Music has been clinically proven to improve the functioning of your brain in powerful ways. Music will energize you, soothe you, and heal your broken heart as you carefully select uplifting, inspiring music that helps you feel the close to the Lord.
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
— Colossians 3:16
4. Study Scriptures & Focus on Faith
By taking time to seriously study the scriptures each day, either by chapter or by topic, your knowledge and understanding will deepen and your faith in God and faith in yourself will increase. There is a spiritual power that only comes through daily scripture study, which helps you enjoy and appreciate each day and prepares you to withstand the challenges up ahead.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.”
— James 1: 5-6
5. Write in Journal & Record a Positive Wish
Writing a brief highlight of each day’s activities in your journal preserves memories that can be recalled and appreciated later. It also keeps you in the habit of writing. When those special events or spiritual experiences happen, which really should be recorded, you will remember to write them down. Writing a “positive wish”—something you really desire to do—will increase your motivation to accomplish your righteous goals each day.
“Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come forever and ever”
— Isaiah. 30:8
6. Sleep 8 Hours
Getting a good night’s sleep is an essential priority—don’t skimp on sleep. Studies show that productivity increases when you’re well rested. Taking an afternoon power nap, when you start to feel sleepy, helps rejuvenate many people. Never push the snooze (procrastination) button when the alarm rings when you know you need to get up.
“I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.”
— Psalm 4: 8
7. Exercise 30 Minutes
Exercising for 30 minutes a day brings great health benefits and positive feelings from natural endorphins. Aerobics, weight lifting, yoga, stretching, and competitive sports all improve your health, so find a variety of activities you enjoy doing and not get bored. Walking outdoors helps you connect with nature and feel close to God.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
— Isaiah 40:31
8. Eat Healthy Food & Drink 8 Cups of Water
Eating nutritious, well-balanced meals and snacks throughout the day will help you feel less stressed and more energetic. Avoid processed foods with artificial ingredients and excess sugar; choose wisely what you put into your body. Feeling drained and fatigued is a sign of dehydration—there are many health benefits from drinking plenty of water.
“But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank . . .”
— Daniel 1:8
9. Shower and Dress & Brush and Floss Teeth
Good grooming affects your attitude so choose to look nice for yourself every day. Take a shower, wash your hair, and get dressed in clean clothes and you’ll feel refreshed and more positive about life. Showering isn’t just good for the body, it’s also good for the spirit. Dental hygiene is important for excellent health. Brush your teeth morning and night and floss once a day. You can brush your teeth more often during the day for a quick energy boost.
“Wash you, make you clean, cease to do evil; learn to do well.”
— Isaiah 1:16-17
“And I also have given you cleanness of teeth . . .”
— Amos 4:6
10. Record Expenses & Live Within Income
To avoid debt, have a daily financial accounting. Plan a budget and live within your income as you pay 10% for tithing, 10% for savings, and 80% for necessities before luxuries. This thought once came to me: “If you’re not in control of your money, you’re not in control of your life.” This is true!
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
— Malachi 3: 10
11. Make Bed & Clean Bedroom
You’ll feel happier and less depressed if you keep your own personal space neat and orderly. A clean bedroom can be your retreat and will allow you to enjoy a sense of control and peace. The skills you learn when keeping your bedroom clean can also be used in other parts of the house over time.
“By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through.”
— Ecclesiastes 10:18
12. Relax and Play & Be Cheerful and Smile!
Relaxing and having a little fun each day really lifts your spirits and helps you think more clearly. Choosing to smile and be cheerful will help you feel more optimistic about life and stay happier throughout the day, as well as being a positive influence on everyone around you.
“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”
— Proverbs 15:13
5 Minute Magical Morning Devotional
Start each day by spending at least 5 minutes on #1-5 in the Daily Dozen when you first wake up in the morning! It is truly magical how your day goes so much better when you do these five essential activities first thing in the morning. You will think more clearly and be more focused on achieving your goals for the day when you are empowered with the consistency of a spiritually uplifting morning devotional.
Try to spend 30 minutes a day studying the gospel of Jesus Christ and filling your spiritual reservoirs. This will give you so you the power to endure difficult tasks, trials, and temptations that might come along. If you don’t have time to spend a full 30 minutes when you first wake up in the morning, then spend at least 5 minutes! On busy mornings, study the gospel later in the day or before going to bed at night.
The Five Elements with Scriptures
One dictionary definition of the word element is “one of the parts of which something is made up.” I believe it is not just one element that helps a person recover from addiction, prevent addiction, or discover happiness and high self-esteem, but a combination of these five elements working together at the same time that is necessary before these miracles can happen. The five elements are: Faith in God, Desire for Change, Accountability, Family Love, and Friends with Integrity.
1. Faith in God
Consistent church attendance is a sign of humility and shows your desire to know and do God’s will. Reach out to others at church—many carry heavy burdens you cannot see. As you do so, your own burdens will seem lighter and your faith in God will be deepened through your loving service to others. As you study the gospel of Jesus Christ at church, you will be strengthened during the week as you put it into practice. One of my motto’s is: “Take the gospel seriously. Live it joyfully.”
“And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.”
— Acts 14: 27
2. Desire for Change
The word desire means longing or wishing for something with great intensity. Without desire, there is no change. With desire, you can become who you want to be. Pray for the desire to improve your life, learn from your mistakes, and move forward with faith.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
— Proverbs 3:5-6
Assuming full responsibility for all your choices gives you freedom to excel in life. Making excuses for yourself holds your progress back. Find someone who will hold you accountable to help you achieve your goals. You may want to develop a mentoring relationship with a friend and both hold each other accountable as you encourage each other to stay focused on the goals you set for yourself each week.
“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
— Romans 14:12
4. Family Love
You have the power within yourself to improve your family relationships. Work on open, honest, kind communication. As you learn to love and forgive yourself, it will be easier to love and forgive your family. Replace all negative thoughts towards your family with positive thoughts to bring peace into your heart and mind and happiness into your home.
“He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”
— 1 John 2:10-11
5. Friends with Integrity
One dictionary definition of integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change. Find friends who have integrity and be a person of integrity yourself. Friendships are important for good emotional health. Build strong, happy, genuine relationships with people who are within your circle of influence and have fun. Laughter truly is the best medicine!
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
— Proverbs 18:24
Goals, Music, and Journal Writing
My three self-help programs, Wings of Glory Recovery Program, Bold & Fearless Prevention Program, and 13 Choices Happy Life Program combine goal achievement, music, and daily journal writing to help you become the person you really want to be.
Daily and Weekly Goals
One dictionary meaning of the word goal is “a thing for which an effort is made; something desired.” The game of life is like a game of sports. To reach your goals, you need to ask for the help of others as you work together as a team. If you will ask for help when you need it, and give help to others when they need it, everyone can reach their goals and enjoy feeling successful together.
The “Daily Dozen” goals and the “Five Elements” goals are designed to help you integrate the “13 Choices for Happiness and High Self-esteem” into your life. If you consistently work on these goals, you will gain greater faith in the Lord and greater confidence in yourself.
If you haven’t been successful in achieving goals in the past, you can start now. As you take time to check off the “Daily Dozen” goals each day and the “Five Elements” goals each week, you will be able to keep track of the progress you are making. The goals you might not achieve one day, try to do the next day. Each goal is important and none should be continually overlooked. When all these goals become routine in your life, you will have the courage and determination to set and reach bigger goals. Having a little structure in your life every day reduces stress and allows you the freedom to be more productive and accomplish those things that are truly essential. Begin the program by completing as many goals as you can—then just try to gradually improve. All that is required is that you do your best.
Reading the “13 Choices for Happiness and High Self-Esteem” (listed at the end of each program) is one of the most important things you read all day. As you read and ponder these positive affirmations, they will gradually become a part of your life without you even realizing it.
Music for Healing
Music experts have often talked about the great power of music. There are countless examples of how music has transformed lives and allowed people to heal from both emotional and physical illnesses. There is an element in music that connects us to the universe in a way that cannot be described in words and is extremely therapeutic. You can experience its spiritual energy as it heals the fibers of your being with renewed health and vitality. Search “healing power of music” on the Internet to find out more on this subject. There are dozens of websites to browse and many books available online or at libraries and bookstores.
Music has the power to change your mood within minutes. If you are stressed or depressed, listen to music that calms you down or lifts your spirits up. Life has a dark and depressing side and also a light and joyful side. Depression draw you into the darkness. Wholesome, uplifting, inspiring music has the power to quickly bring you back into the eternal sunshine of God’s love.
When you are feeling depressed, only listen to music that is spiritually uplifting and emotionally soothing. This kind of refined music will become a spiritual antidote that will help heal the body, heart, mind, and spirit. Religious hymns and good Christian music can inspire you to turn your life over to God. They will also help you feel the Savior’s forgiveness and tender mercies in your life. Hymns bring a special message of hope.
My music album, Wings of Glory: Songs of Hope and Healing from Addiction, was originally written to help people heal from addiction. These songs have also inspired people to avoid addictions and discover true happiness and high self-esteem.
Find and listen to music that motivates you to stay committed to the new long-term goals you make for yourself. Memorize your favorite songs and cling to them in times of trial or despair. Learn more about the healing effects of classical music and find your favorite composers. Start building your own musical library and use its beautiful inspiration daily to become the person you truly want to be.
The Power of Journal Writing
The story of your life is a very individual and private one. It is a story that you will write yourself—one day at a time. Writing in your personal journal will help you understand yourself and begin the healing process as you write your way to peace and happiness. Set a goal to write every day. Even writing one sentence is better than nothing because it keeps you in the habit of writing in your journal. Journal writing will help you analyze your feelings and find your lost soul. Your journal will help you become the person you want to be.
Journal writing is a small commitment, but it can help shape history. Your personal journal is a photograph of where you have been and a road map to where you want to go. As you read your journal from time to time, you will see patterns in your behavior, gain new insights, and find the motivation to keep moving forward. The more you write, the better you’ll feel.
Writing will clarify your thinking and help you keep things in their proper perspective. If you feel confused, keep writing until your mind becomes clear. It will over time, and things will begin to make sense.
Use the Five Elements to guide you in your writing:
1. Faith in God
Write about your desire to have faith in God, to know him, and to do His will. Write a “letter” to God and seek His forgiveness. Share any doubts, bitterness, or pain you might be experiencing at the time. After you write down all your feelings, pause for a few minutes. Then write down any spiritual impressions that come to you from God. I find the quietness of the early morning hours is the best time for me to receive spiritual messages that answer my questions and guide my future thoughts and actions.
2. Desire to Change
Write down all the reasons you want to change. Record the misery that your past behaviors have caused you. Write about the people who are now inspiring you to break free and become the person you really want to be.
Being accountable means a willingness to answer truthfully to yourself and others for every choice you make. Write about the decisions you make each day and how you are learning to be more responsible for your behavior. Write about what you are learning in this self-help program, and any other program you might be participating in right now, which is helping you to be more honest with yourself as you stop blaming other people or circumstance for what’s going on in your life.
4. Family Love
Write about your family—the good and the bad. Enjoy remembering the positive experiences, but be realistic about the negative ones, too. If you know you have offended someone, write them a letter of apology. If someone has offended you, talk to them about the situation if you can. Whether you can resolve the issue or not, choose to forgive those people so you can be at peace. Write about different ways you can strengthen, improve, and rebuild your family relationships over time.
5. Friends with Integrity
Write about friends who have had a positive influence on you. Also write about friends who have hurt you in the past and your pain of feeling rejected. Try to analyze what type of friends you really need and want in your life right now and write down how you can go about making these new friendships.
Working The Program
These three self-help programs are not programs to make you feel worse about yourself because you might not have accomplished all your goals. Some days will be better than others. Some weeks will be better than others. Just be as consistent as you can, and honestly fill out the check-off charts each day. Be content with what you did do, not critical of what you didn’t do. Remember, “Progress not perfection.”
I hope and pray as you work on these programs that you will feel our Heavenly Father’s love in your life and trust in the Savior’s power to heal your heart and help you feel whole and complete. As you listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, you will know what is most essential to do each day. Take “one day at a time” and enjoy the journey of life. Good things are up ahead!