How Quickly Should I Finish my Stepwork?

For those entering the rooms of 12 step recovery for the first time, you are likely being inundated with all sorts of advice regarding the pace of your stepwork. There are a few schools of thought on the appropriate speed at which you should work your steps, with those in AA preferring rapid stepwork while NA members tend to work more slowly on their steps. Ultimately, the speed at which you work through the 12 steps should depend on a few factors specific to your situation.

Until we complete our stepwork, our substance abuse disorder is considered an untreated illness, primed to rear its ugly head at the first sign of provocation. Hopefully you have successfully established a safe, stable environment in which to thrive in early recovery, If this is not the case and you find yourself facing stressful situations on a regular basis, you would be well-served by completing your steps expediently in order to remove as many psychological and emotional burdens as possible. Working through the resentments and guilty feelings surrounding your past will allow you to better handle the stresses of your present while remaining sober.

Your sponsor will have a great deal of influence over the speed at which you work your steps as well. Every sponsor will have their own take on how the steps should be worked by their sponsees, and ultimately you should put your faith in your sponsor’s ideas regarding how your stepwork should be completed. You chose your sponsor because they have they type of recovery you are seeking, and if you truly want what they have you will do what they do. That being said, if you feel the stepwork pace your sponsor is prescribing does not suit your needs, you should discuss your concerns with them in order to protect your sobriety.

Any illness requires treatment in order for us to recovery, and the most effective prescription for a substance abuse disorder is shown to be the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is important to strike a balance between expediency and thoroughness when working the steps, and this balance will be different for everyone. You should rely on the wisdom of your sponsor to set the pace of your stepwork, taking into account the stability of your life in recovery. So long as you approach your steps with willingness and rigorous honesty, you are well on your way to achieving the life beyond your wildest dreams promised by the program of AA!


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit