How Goals And Lists Kept Me Alive

I can’t put into words how important setting goals has been to me over the last 7 years.

Even though alcohol nearly killed me, and I despise it more than words can express – it left a huge hole in my life when I quit.

Alcohol was the centre of my world for years. I became addicted because I preferred life when I was drunk. That mentality almost destroyed EVERYTHING.

But when I stopped drinking, it left a huge hole. That thing that made me whole was gone. That thing that satisfied my addictive nature was now missing.

I realised I couldn’t change who I was, so I needed to find a way to feed the addictive part of my brain. I needed to find a healthy substitute to the kick that alcohol used to give me.

Me with my ITV colleagues at the Royal Television Society awards last month

I discovered that setting goals and working towards them gave me that satisfaction. They started small, like getting a passport or running 5k.

I would write down what I wanted to achieve and cross them off as achieved them. It not only gave me a natural high, but also made me feel like part of society again.

Soon I was setting bigger goals. Starting this blog was a goal. Talking in schools about addiction was a goal. Making a documentary about alcoholism was a goal. Saving to buy my first home was a goal.

Hitting these targets gave me that high that I used to get from drinking.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a bumpy road and I haven’t always achieved my goals. I’ve missed out on jobs I’ve had my heart set on, and some goals have taken a lot longer than I expected.

When I don’t hit a goal, I write another list. A gratitude list. This is a list of the things I’m grateful for, the things I’ve overcome and the things I have achieved.

It sets my head right and then I go again.

This is the system that has served me so well over the last 7 years.

I think this way of approaching life could help anyone, not only those who are battling addiction. It has done me wonders.

So, whip your favourite pen out and start writing lists! It can be a life saver (literally).

Thanks for reading and take care,


2 thoughts on “How Goals And Lists Kept Me Alive

  1. Can’t believe how you’ve turned your life around Toby. Your an inspiration to anyone with an addiction. We are so very proud of you. Neil & Diane


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s