AA 12 Step Worksheets

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AA 12 Step Worksheets

Questions that you can copy and paste into your Personal Diary Book

You may choose to copy and paste some or all of these questions into your Personal Diary Book (also referred to as "Online Personal Journal"). You may also choose to copy these questions and answer them in Private or Public Groups. This way you will engage others to share with you their experience, strength and hope.

The following questions have been taken from the online book "Steps By The Big Book". You can download a free version if you click here. Note that this book is not an official Alcoholics Anonymous material. You may contact AA at Alcoholics Anonymous World Services at www.aa.org

Questions for Alcoholics Anonymous

Step One Questions
  • What were all of the types and amounts of alcohol and drugs I used, from my first time to the present? What did it cost me or others – purchases, income, fines? Emotional cost?
  • When have I experienced the abnormal physical reaction to alcohol? "One drink leads to another." Suggestion: Describe the last drink or a similar episode in detail.
  • When did I recognize that I lost control of my drinking? Examples: I drink to excess. I cannot stop when I want to. Heard in a meeting: “When I drink I break out in a binge.”
  • In what ways have I attempted, and have failed, to control my drinking? Did I use alcohol, or did alcohol use me?
  • What were the things I did while acting out on my disease that I would never do when focusing on recovery? (ie: destructive behavior, loss of memory and blackouts, being abusive physically or verbally, insane and suicidal behaviors, etc.)
  • What would my life be like if I admitted being powerless over alcohol and other dysfunctional behaviors?
  • What other aspects of my life am I powerless over?
  • In what ways has my disease been active recently? How do I behave compulsively?
  • When and how has my mind told me that one drink will not hurt?
  • How did jails or institutions take over the management of my life at different times?
  • How am I addicted to changing my mood? What was I trying to change? In what ways am I addicted to looking outside of myself for exterior things to change the way I feel?
  • Are there situations that I fear will be so painful that I will drink again?
  • How is my addictive thinking and behavior manifested in my life today? Be specific.
  • What is it like when I am obsessed with someone or something?
  • Do I maintain a crisis mentality, reacting to every challenge as a personal insult? How has this affected my life?
  • Do I insist on having my own way? Do I consider the needs of others? How has this behavior/attitude affected my relationships?
  • What in my life can I truly manage?
  • What managed my life when using, and what manages my life in recovery?
Step Two Questions
  • What is my understanding of my own sanity and insanity? The Big Book authors define sanity as sane and sound. "healthy, whole" Insanity is a lack of proportion, of the ability to think straight, and crazy is an appalling lack of perspective.
  • What things have I repeatedly done that move me toward my own destruction?
  • How has my life been out of balance? Have I lacked perspective? How and when?
  • In what ways does my insanity say that things outside myself can make me whole or fix all my problems?
  • What does the phrase came to believe, mean to me? What do I believe in?
  • What are my negative thoughts, feelings, attitudes or beliefs that block my spirituality?
  • Can I believe that I can get well? Why? How, and in what ways?
  • What is a power greater than myself?
  • What are my grievances against a higher power?
  • What is the evidence that a higher power is working in my life?
  • What are the characteristics my higher power does NOT have?
  • What characteristics DOES my higher power have? [If you choose, you can use this understanding of higher power as a beginning for now.]
  • What type of sanity is Step 2 referring to?
  • Where in my life do I need sanity now?
  • How have I sought help from a higher power today?
  • Who do I know who is recovering well? What are they doing that is working?
  • Have I sought help from my sponsor, gone to meetings, and reached out to other recovering alcoholics? What were the results?
  • Have I used a meeting or the fellowship as a higher power? What happened?
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Step Three Questions
  • Who or what made my decisions for me while drinking?
  • Can I make a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of a higher power of my understanding – just for today? What fears or reservations do I have about turning my life over?
  • What actions will I take to follow through on my decision to turn my life over to a higher power?
  • How have I been self-centered? How have I been defiant?
  • Which problems have I tried to resolve through willpower? What were the results?
  • In what ways are my troubles of my own making?
  • How do my reactions to life events make me suffer? Be specific.
  • In what ways am I an extreme example of self-will run riot? (62: 2) How have I acted on self-will?
  • How has my self-will affected others?
  • Have there been times in my recovery when I have found myself subtly taking back my will and my life? What alerted me? What have I done to recommit myself to the Third Step?
  • Who or what makes my decisions for me in recovery?
  • Why is it okay to have a different higher power from everyone else?
  • How is my higher power working in my life today? How do my higher power and I communicate? What do I do in order to be open to my higher power?
  • Is my current concept of a higher power still working? How might I need to change my concept of a higher power?
  • What are specific examples of how I turned my life and will over to my addictions?
  • How would my day look if I were to turn my will and my life over to the care of a higher power of my understanding?
  • What are my fears about making this decision?
  • Which thoughts and behaviors am I willing to turn over right now? Which am I holding on to?
  • How do I take action to turn my will and my life over to my higher power on a daily basis? Are there any practices I do regularly? What are they?
  • What have I done recently that demonstrates my surrender to recovery and to working a program?
Step Four Questions

We suggest to follow your sponsor's suggestions in working step 4

Step Five Questions
  • Am I identifying the exact nature of my wrongs, that is, what is behind my alcoholism and the reasons I acted out in the ways I did?
  • Am I listing all those behaviors and parts of myself that I had vowed would never see the light of day?
Step Six Questions
  • [Optional: Having been granted a perfect release from alcoholism, why then shouldn't we be able to achieve by the same means a perfect release from every other difficulty or defect? This is a riddle….(12&12 64: 2)]
  • Consider having a round robin discussion about one particular defect, and the group’s experiences with Step 6 by the Big Book.
  • In what ways are my defects really basic human traits that have been distorted by my own self-centeredness?
  • In what specific ways am I addicted to outside things to change my feelings?
  • Can I list each defect I have and the ways I act on it?
  • How do I feel when I act out on each defect? What feelings do my defects help me change or avoid? Is every defect another face of fear?
  • What would my life be like without each defect?
  • Am I ready to become willing?
  • Which of my unwanted defects am I dismayed to find are still here?
  • Which of my defects have I had most of my life, and are like survival skills? How did each defect (or pattern or defense or role or mask) protect me?
  • Which unhealthy behaviors do I seem to repeat over and over?
  • Do I fear I cannot change? Does my personality seem to equal my defects?
  • How have I changed so far? What defects do I no longer have to act on?
  • Can I see the principles of 12 Step recovery as being the opposite of my character defects?
  • Am I entirely ready (59: 2) to let my higher power set my character defects at one remove from me?
  • When will the pain of holding on to my defects of character become greater than my fear of change?
  • Have many of my thought-habits brought nothing but pain and degradation to my life? Do I need help in dealing with them?
  • How may I let go through prayer and meditation and reflect on my higher power?
  • How does my surrender deepen in this step? Can I relax since I do not do it alone?
  • What action can I take that shows that I am entirely ready?
  • How may I demonstrate my commitment to persevere in my recovery today?
  • How am I willing to act differently?
  • How may I increase my trust in the God of my understanding by working Step 6?
  • How may I practice the principle of self-acceptance, even when once again I act on a defect against my will?
  • Can I not do what the alcoholic in me says, “I want to do” today?
  • Do I understand this is just for today, one day at a time?
Step Seven Questions
  • How has “my way” landed me in difficulty?
  • Am I acting as my own higher power?
  • How does my usefulness to myself and others depend on my being balanced?
  • How does my gratitude for my life in recovery relate to my staying right size?
  • How may I take a new perspective on the world and so act differently?
  • How may I grow to have “solution-based” thinking?
  • How is humility (55: 4) related to honesty (58: 1) and sanity (5: 5; 37: 1) in regards to my own sense of proportion and perspective?
  • AA literature focuses on humility as seeing things in true perspective, as they really are.
  • Humility is a sense of our own humanness. We are truly just trying our best.
  • How does the spiritual principle of surrender apply to getting out of the way so a higher power of my understanding can work in my life?
  • Have I asked other recovering alcoholics to help me by sharing their experience, strength, and hope in this matter of prayer and meditation?
  • How is the Serenity Prayer (12&12, 41: 0; 125: 2) an expression of Step 7
  • Do I work very hard to act „on target,‟ in ways that oppose my shortcomings?
  • Does my higher power do Steps 6 and 7 for me?
  • Why are defects of character in Step 6 called shortcomings in Step 7? How is my self-centered fear the chief activator of my character defects?
  • Can I see the many faces of my fear (my defects) and not deny or overlook them?
  • How may I recognize my fear and/or anger, bring it to awareness, and deal with it in a healthy manner? Can I ask for help to change my fears?
  • How can I stop building walls, and act instead as if I want to be happy, serene and sane?
  • Am I prepared to take an active role in the new and healthier world that I am now a part of?
  • Can I ask for the strength to do the practice? What does the term „practice‟ mean to me?
  • Has my sense of perspective been out of proportion lately?
  • How may I accept my powerlessness over my shortcomings as well as my alcoholism?
  • How may I humbly ask for strength, practice spiritual principles, and get out of my higher power‟s way?
  • Can I become more conscious of my motives and intentions before I act?
  • Instead of fear and anger, can I respond with love and patience?
  • May I practice trust and being worthy, by practicing being responsible?
  • Today, can I do what the alcoholic in me says, “I don‟t want to do”?
  • Have there been times when I have been able to refrain from acting on a character defect and to practice a spiritual principle instead? Do I recognize this as the higher power of my understanding working in my life?
Step Eight Questions

We suggest to follow your sponsor's suggestions in working step 8

Step Nine Questions
  • How is making amends a commitment to a continuous process of change?
  • Why is making amends more than just saying, “I‟m sorry?”
  • What about financial amends? What behaviors do I need to amend?
  • Do I owe amends to people who have also harmed me?
  • Do I owe amends to anyone who is dead? What was special about that person that I might be able to use in planning my amends?
  • Am I genuine in making my amends, or do I have hidden motives, such as to gain acceptance or love from someone else, or to prove them wrong and me right?
  • Can I let go of the outcome, knowing that I have no control over the other person‟s response?
  • Will I be harming the person or others further by making amends?
  • When I feel guilty, do I put them in the position of having to take care of me?
  • Talk with your sponsor and other group members about how these amends might be made.
  • How may I accept responsibility for the harm I caused and for repairing that harm? How may I give of myself and be of service to others?
  • May I accept that my love and tolerance also extend to myself?
  • How may I let go of all my expectations about how my amends will be received?
  • For what have I forgiven myself?
  • How may I accept that my recovery is the „living amend‟ I make to myself?
Step Ten Questions
  • How may I work Step 10 to keep me within this day?
  • What did I do today that worked and did not work to give me and others serenity and peace of mind?
  • Can I determine my responsibility and do what is necessary to set things straight, and let go of the outcome?
  • Have I been resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid today?
  • Today have I allowed myself to become too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired?
  • Have I kept something to myself that I should have discussed with my sponsor?
  • Was there fear in my life today?
  • Have I harmed others, directly, or indirectly, today? How?
  • Do I owe any apologies or amends? Where was I wrong?
  • Was I out of bounds? Did I make mistakes; miss the mark?
  • If I could do it over again, what would I do differently?
  • How might I do better next time?
  • Do I watch for my selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear as I go through the day?
  • Do I ask a higher power of my understanding to remove these at once, because I am now watching and I am starting to be awake?
  • Do I turn that force of my self-willfulness toward good for others?
  • Have I ceased fighting anything or anyone – even alcohol?
  • Have I been restored to sanity? Is this the sanity of Step 2?
  • Has my spiritual malady been overcome; have I straightened out mentally (meaning the obsession of the mind that takes me to a drink)?
  • Am I …recovered…?
  • Is it enough for me just to stay sober? Have I been letting up on my spiritual program of action and resting on my laurels?
  • How may I not forget how important my happiness and my comfort (my serenity and peace of mind) are, one day at a time?
  • How may I do the work of recovery, regardless of how I feel?
  • How may I be honest with myself, about myself, while an event is still happening?
  • When I make a mistake do I think I am the mistake, or that it was human error?
  • What have I done today about which I feel positive?
  • How may I know which principles I need to practice in a given situation?
Step Eleven Questions
  • Step 11 begins with the word sought, the past tense of “to seek”; how and what am I seeking? Do I have a specific spiritual path?
  • What is my understanding of the differences between religion and spirituality? What have I done to explore my own spirituality?
  • Do I recognize that a moment of silence is meditation, where I may quiet my mind on a regular basis so that I can gain understanding and knowledge from my higher power – my own unsuspected inner resource?
  • The Big Book authors speak of the Retire at night meditation / prayer (86:1): …Review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest, or afraid?
  • Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? … After making our review we ask God [of our understanding]’s forgiveness and inquire, what corrective measures should be taken? (86: 1)
  • Why do we pray only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out?
  • How does humility apply to this?
  • How may I clear away my insistence that I want or I need something, and let things be?
  • How may I remember that I am not in charge of the world?
  • How may I have the faith and courage to seek the knowledge, the will and the power to live my life in a way that brings serenity and peace of mind?
  • How may I pass on to others my inner knowing of creation‟s deep wish of well being for me and others?
  • How may I make a commitment to the practice of regular meditation and prayer?
  • Have I meditated and prayed today?
Step Twelve Questions
  • What is my overall experience as a result of working the Steps?
  • By doing my own work in Steps 1 through 11, have I developed a new way of thinking, feeling and acting, and connecting with others?
  • Is it my experience that I have undergone a profound alteration in [my] reaction to life?
  • Have I had a personality change sufficient to bring about recovery?
  • What lasting changes have resulted from my spiritual awakening?
  • Having awakened to the reality that I too am a good and caring person, can I invite others to see themselves the way that a loving higher power might see them, rather than from their own distorted or antagonistic outlook?
  • What is this message that is referred to in Step 12?
  • In my experience, does this message include that there is hope, we are not alone, we can stay sober, and we can recover?
  • Did someone carry the message to me?
  • Why was an AA member able to reach me in a way that no one else ever had?
  • What kind of service work am I doing today to carry the message?
  • What are the step-by-step requirements for Twelfth Step work?
  • May I share who I am, where I have come from, and how it is for me now?
  • What does it mean to me to practice? Does it mean „to keep trying‟?
  • What does it mean to practice these principles (60: 0) in all my affairs?
  • Do I find life offering opportunities to repeatedly experience my old shortcomings, my old patterns, my old behaviors, my old actor‟s roles, my old thought-habits and my old motives, but each time with new understanding?
  • How may I deeply wish that others, including myself, may be happy, joyous, and free?
  • How may I understand that sometimes the best way of loving and helping is to stop enabling someone else to drink?
  • What is my attitude about sponsorship? What is my attitude about service?
  • How may I practice spiritual principles, such as compassion, regardless of how I feel?
  • If my disease is often expressed as self-centeredness, how may I express my recovery as selfless service?
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