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12-Step Slogans You’ll Come To Love In Recovery

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H.O.W.- Honesty, Open-Mindedness, Willingness

“Tell them how you did it!” is usually the last thing someone giving us a chip or a token says before giving us the opportunity to share. Our program of recovery is based on many key tenets. Honesty, open-mindedness and willingness are probably the three most important. We have to be honest with ourselves about the fact that our drinking and drug use has gotten out of control. Open-mindedness is the way we can look for the similarities, not the differences (another great recovery slogan). Instead of fighting against recovery, we learn to work with it, and let it work with us. Willingness is the absolute necessity to taking any kind of action. Regardless of outcome, we have to be willing to be willing to at least give it a shot.

One Day At A Time

Recovery doesn’t happen all at once. The Big Book explains that each day we are given an opportunity for reprieve from the obsession to use and the phenomena of craving. “Make it ‘till midnight” we are often told- then, start the clock over. We can’t go back and fix the past. We can’t move forward to control the future. We have right now. Thinking too far ahead can cause anxiety and stress. You only need to do the best you can today, by staying sober. If nothing else, that makes a successful 24 hours.

Keep It Simple

The 12 step program of recovery provided by Alcoholics Anonymous is incredibly simple. “Clean house. Trust God. Help others.” Pray and meditate. When you are wrong, promptly admit it. Be of service. Carry the message. These aren’t “tall orders”, but simple forms of action we take for staying sober, one day at a time. It isn’t complicated. It can’t be. Recovery is simple: don’t pick up no matter what. Everything else is a matter of detail.

Acceptance Is The Answer To My Problems

Acceptance is a major part of the serenity prayer, recited in most AA and other 12 step meetings: accept the things we cannot change. A famous personal story in The Big Book finds a man writing that once he realized his problems only start when he finds himself unable to accept people, places, and things. Acceptance doesn’t mean complacency. It does mean realizing that you can only change you, and you don’t have to drink or use over anyone or anything else.

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

“Rule 62”, it is called. Recovery is meant to be fun! We aren’t professionals, though we feel we’ve gained an immense education. We aren’t saviors, though we feel we have been saved. We are men and women who have found a solution to the problem of addiction and alcoholism. If we start to take things too seriously, we lose sight of the light heartedness and simplicity of the program. More importantly, we cease to be “right size” and can grow back that pestering ego.


Change follows action. The Big Book tells us the solution to addiction and alcoholism happens through becoming willing to take action in our lives. Freedom in recovery is possible for everyone. If you’re in need of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, call Design For Change today: (877) 267-3646.

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