Structure reinforces accepted behaviors and limits what behaviors are viewed as possible. If you choose to work at a health and fitness club, you start your day at 6 AM, work all day with clients who want to get healthy and fit, and eat at the clubhouse food bar. You listen to people’s success stories and use the equipment for free. It is very likely you will get more healthy and fit, like your clients, and the other staff. Sitting, smoking, and over eating are no longer acceptable to you.
Structure is neither inherently good nor bad but it is a powerful force in life. It’s important for you to use the power of structure in your life to prevent relapse and achieve your goals. Individuals experience reduced stress, reduced rates of lapse and relapse, and increased success in all areas of their life, when they actively plan and schedule positive structure and activities into their lives after stopping use and after detox or rehab (Marlatt, & Donovan, 2005).
Some of the characteristics and behaviors you demonstrate are the outcomes of past structures in your life. An example could be that your family always read together after supper (structure) and as a result you developed a great love of reading (outcome).
Now, take a moment and think of two characteristics or behaviors you currently demonstrate, one good, one bad. Are they the outcomes of structure in your current life? Write down the structure and the outcomes or behaviors.