Tools for Working a 12 Step Program

A standard phrase of 12 step groups is "It works if you work it". This brings up the question "How do you work it?". Part of the answer to working the steps usually involves writing things down, dealing with thoughts and reflections about beliefs, past behavior and past events. The tools presented in this section are designed to make it easier to complete those parts of the steps that involve individual reflection, thinking and cataloging of past behaviors and events.

These self-reflection tools will not replace the need for accountability, fellowship and encouragement that is only found in a group or community setting. Also, these tools will not do the work for you. They are only tools that make the steps a bit more structured and organized and, thus, hopefully easier and perhaps quicker to work through. We appreciate any feedback concerning these tools - how to make them more relevant, easier to use or more widely distributed.

  Step Worksheets and Workbooks

Worksheets are a great way to work through some of the steps. We have links to worksheets from various sources available.

  • Worksheets from - We have put together these worksheets for your use. Note that these are not professional, but are presented in the hopes that it will make it easier to work the steps.
  • Worksheets from Other Sources - These step worksheets have been picked up from other sources.
  • 12 Step Workbooks - These are links to workbooks compiled by Jim W. from
  • 12 Step Mapping Guides - These are guides developed at Texas Christian University that give a more visual mapping approach to working the 12 steps. They are useful to both professionals and those working the 12 steps.
  • Proactive 12 Steps Workbook - This is a link to a free 12 Step Workbook in PDF format from Serge Prengel in NYC, a coach for proactive change. This is Serge's perspective of how the 12 steps work to help us "get a life".
  • Worksheets in Spanish - These are the worksheets for all the steps translated into the Spanish language (thanks Frank Q!)
  • There is also a worksheet category under the directory of websites for more worksheets and associated tools.

  Recovery Journal

Recovery Journal is free personal journal software for the Windows or Mac desktops. You can keep a personal journal and also use the built in questions for working the 12 step program. The Windows XP version is different than the other versions at this point, but is quite usable. The other versions (Windows Vista, 7 & Mac OS X) are in alpha versions, but are also very usable.

  Prompts for LifeJournal

LifeJournal is a robust commercial software package for desktop journaling under the Windows platform. We have put together a list of prompts for LifeJournal that reflect the questions in the worksheets.

  eSword Commentaries

eSword is a free software package for Bible study on the Windows platform. You can download commentaries here that are one person's opinion of how the 12 steps might correlate with the scriptures of the Bible.