I am posting a series of blogs on my favourite Program activity, Inventories. I love them and never tire of them. The benefits are clear and well worth the effort involved. And the more I do, the easier it gets.
Part 1: Spiritual Maintenance
Part 2: Moral versus Personal
Part 3: Writing the Name
Part 4: Special Names
Part 5: Just the facts, ma’am
Part 6: How were you affected?
Part 7: What was my role?
Part 8: The Confessional Conversation
My AA birthday has just passed. Another year sober, and another year of spiritual maintenance.
“A business that does not do a regular inventory goes broke,” as Bill Wilson suggests in the Big Book.
Businesses do an annual inventory to support their financial statements, which are audited by external auditors. Within the yearly cycle, they conduct quarterly internal statements that the Board of Directors use to assess how they are doing. And these are complimented by weekly revenue and cost reports to allow management to monitor cash flow. Businesses with this rhythm are more likely to succeed than those who do not. They find and face facts about themselves and their operations. They see problems and issues earlier, and likewise, solutions.
There is wisdom in Bill’s business reference. Because of this, I do an annual inventory every year, followed by an external audit with my spiritual coach. Every quarter year, I do an internal review to see how I am doing with my annual goals. This is supplemented by weekly and daily reviews to know if I am on the beam.
The annual inventory starts on my AA birthday. It takes a couple of weeks; after dozens of years, they are more natural and more comfortable. Then my conversation with my spiritual coach. We compare last year’s inventory to this year. We discuss the defects and review the strengths and progress that has been made. Then I use the Defects Removal Tool Worksheet. With that tool, I articulate the exact nature of the defects that I have seen in the inventory and develop actions that will lean into those defects. A quarterly review schedule is set with a measurement of those actions. The morning and evening inventory checklists give me a structure to review my day.
I have found inventories on these rhythms to be beneficial.
For the next couple of weeks, I want to dwell on different aspects of these inventory processes.
Continue to part 2: Moral versus Personal