I’m often asked what someone new needs to do to complete their first step with me. The truth is, since my program is always changing and evolving, it’s often different as time passes. However, as of now, here’s a general answer. If you do all of this, you’re definitely working a rigorous program of action, and I guarantee you are loving your love WAY MORE:
1) Order ALL the books (including a journal) on this site. If you can’t afford them, talk to me and we’ll work it out.
2) Get a backpack to put the books in. This will be called your Spiritual Backback, it’s your lifeline to sanity and loving life.
3) Print out the worksheets on the 1st step, along with the page “Sponsorship with Clarification” (SWC). Read SWC, and do the worksheets. The AM Worksheet should be done every day at least until the 1st step is formally finished.
4) Read every page of the 12 Step Sponsorship Book through the end of Step one. Start at the inside cover, where it’s blank. Write something on that, and all other blank pages (like: This book will guide me through the steps, for example), or anything that comes to mind. Highlight one word of what you’ve written, write 5 words or less at the top of that page. Read one page per day, do the highlighting and writing at the top of each page. To finish the step you’ll want to answer all the questions on Step 1 in your journal (rewrite the question, then answer it).
5) Approach ALL other books you’ve ordered in the same way as just mentioned, with the exception of daily readers that are dated (note that the 12 Step Pray Book has dates of pages to read each day – look in the front). For books that run on, you can go over on page and to the end of the paragraph on the next page. If it’s a section, the following day, review what was highlighted before in that section and then continue.
6) Throughout your reading you are to be highlighting that which you find inspirational, or that which resonates for you. Try not to highlight huge sections, but just the meat of it, otherwise the whole of many of these books will be highlighted. I encourage you to also make notes in margins and at the bottom if you choose. When reading and highlighting, you are looking for something really great to text out to others in your Recovery Text Group (RTG). Put me on the group first. If you don’t have texting, you can email it. If you don’t have access to a computer, I suggest writing it in your journal each day (see below).
7) Journaling is the taking of daily inventory. I’ve found it fundamental to my happiness in recovery. Write the date, where you are located at that moment, what’s transpired since your last entry, any feelings you have, amends you may have (I suggest making them in the middle of journaling, right after written, if possible), and then your gratitude list of at least 5 things.
8) Memorize the memorization for Step 1 outlined on the Sponsorship with Clarification worksheet.
7) In order to finish the step, you’ll want to have your questions answered in your 12 Step Sponsorship Book, the pages from the cover to the end of Step One done in the step work book (currently A New Day, A New Life), your memorization done perfectly (not even one word wrong – try printing it out and hanging it in your bathroom and reading it each morning), The pages indicated in the 12 & 12 and Big Book read, highlighted and written upon. If you live near me and we can meet in person, we’ll review the 4 books together (Big Book, 12 & 12, 12 Step Sponsorship Book, and Step Work Book). You’ll recite your memorization and I’ll give you a fun 5 minute 1st step project to do which celebrates the achievement of finishing your 1st step. If you live in another city, state or country, we can do it over the phone, ichat, Skype, or Facetime (if you have the new iPhone).
And that’s my general suggestion what you need to do in order to finish the 1st Step, and move on to Step 2, with me as your sponsor.