Does setting goals help with recovery?

People set goals to get healthier, stronger, smarter, and more stable every year. The new year can be an excellent time for individuals going through addiction recovery to create or readjust personal goals. However, setting goals for recovery is more than just a New Year’s resolution. This is because recovery is a continual process. A person going through recovery should set goals each day and work to make those goals a reality. This is true when they are in treatment and when they have completed treatment. Recovery requires more than annual goals. It requires several goals that are strung together but accomplished daily.

Why Setting Goals Is so Important for Recovery

Many people know that they want to break free from the grips of drugs and alcohol. But they don’t know how. Young men and women may arrive at a recovery center without having a clear goal for what they want to accomplish with treatment or even what they want to accomplish in life. Some are not 100 percent sure that they are ready to get sober.

Others are reluctant to put in the work needed to make meaningful change. Some go to rehab facilities because their initial attempt at recovery got thrown off course because of life’s challenges, like stress, illness, loss of loved one, or the dissolution of a marriage. In the absence of clearly defined goals, recovery is difficult because people feel like they don’t have a purpose.

Use Goals to Prioritize Your Actions

During recovery, goals can help you prioritize your actions. Setting and meeting goals can give you a sense of self-worth and purpose. They can help you keep moving forward and stay committed to your decision to live sober. Setting goals is essential in recovery. But it is also necessary in life. It allows you to move forward, become the best possible version of yourself, and find meaning in your existence.

What Goals Should You Set in Recovery?

As you go through treatment, you should see your goals as realistic, specific, and calculated objectives. Each set of goals will move you to a different phase of your recovery. Goals are divided in to two categories. There are short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals could include stopping using drugs for seven days or removing your drug dealer’s contact from your phone. Long-term goals could include rebuilding damaged relationships with family or staying sober for six months or one year. Whether short-term or long-term goals, you can achieve them with hard work and dedication.

You cannot approach your goals by fearing that you are going to fail before you start. Instead, it would help if you focused on how you are going to achieve a specific action. For goals to be effective in recovery, they need to be specific. You also need to determine the steps that you will follow to achieve the goal. This means that there are specific steps you will observe, time limits you will adhere to, and actions you will take. If you are unclear on your goals, measuring how well you are progressing towards them can be challenging. When setting goals during recovery, it is recommended that you follow the acronym SMART.

This means that your goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Acceptable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

You want your goals to be something that you can quantify. They should be realistic so that you can achieve and also a little challenging. A time-bound goal gives you a target date for completing your goal.

The Benefits of Setting Realistic Goals

When your goals are realistic, you can answer questions like, what do you hope to achieve, or what you are working towards? Achievable goals allow you to determine small steps you can take to get from where you are to where you want to be. Time-bound goals will enable you to say when you are going to start and set a definite time for when the goal will be accomplished.

Large aspirations, like the desire to become sober, can be broken down in to small, actionable, and specific goals. For example, your long-term goal may be to rebuild a damaged relationship with your father. A short-term goal is to apologize from the heart or call him every week. These little successes go a long way in helping you attain your bigger goals. Are you or your loved one ready to get started on the road to recovery? Help is available. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call us today at 833-846-5669.