Goal setting is one of the most powerful practices we, as people, can implement in our lives.
Goal setting in recovery takes that practice to a whole other level.
By setting actionable, achievable goals, you not only set yourself up for personal success in your recovery journey, but you set yourself up for success in life overall.
Goal setting, when done correctly, is not idle daydreaming or the abstract longing for a better life; it’s the concise breakdown of small, methodical steps that will take you from where you currently are to where you really want to be.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at goal setting in recovery, why it’s so important, as well as the top four goals to set this year that will help you maintain sobriety.
Why goals are important
It’s common for patients to set “recovery resolutions,” but we’re going to challenge you to take it one step further and set recovery goals.
The difference? A resolution is a statement or mentality that acknowledges a certain area of your life that needs improving; a goal is the strategic planning of how you’re going to achieve that improvement.
In other words, the biggest distinction between a resolution and a goal is the presence of a plan.
The most powerful benefits of goal setting include:
- Providing greater clarity and ability to make decisions
- Building motivation, confidence and momentum
- Increasing excitement, productivity and focus
- Fostering strategic and critical thinking
- Identifying your top priorities in life
- Developing better time management
- Improving intelligence and skills
While goal setting is beneficial to everyone, it’s an incredibly important practice for people in recovery, as setting goals often makes or breaks their ability to maintain their sobriety.
Goal setting in recovery
Goal setting in recovery can be particularly beneficial for creating organization, direction and purpose in the lives of those who are in recovery.
Someone who’s become accustomed to an artificial high (whether through drugs or alcohol) might initially feel that sobriety is dull or unfulfilling and struggle to find joy or motivation.
At the same time, they might find themselves inundated with how many areas of their life they have to begin recovering and managing again, including bills, work, school and relationships.
Boredom and overwhelm are both common triggers that can lead to a relapse, and without the proper strategies in place, people are often far more vulnerable to influence and temptation.
How to maintain sobriety
Goal setting in recovery is a powerful practice to utilize in our lives, one that can be especially beneficial at helping you maintain sobriety both in the short- and long term.
Here are the top four recovery goals to help you do just that.
1. Learn to respond, rather than react
By developing a healthy level of self-awareness, you’ll be able to better understand your triggers, identify them, and create a plan for how to handle those moments when they arise. Rather than having knee-jerk reactions (whether this is an outburst, shutting down, or relapsing) to discomfort and stress, you’ll be able to pause and consciously respond.
2. Prioritize your full-spectrum health
It can be very easy to treat addiction as an isolated issue, as simply an extremely bad habit we need to break — but addiction is rarely disconnected from the other areas of our lives. As important as it is to focus on your sobriety in and of itself, it’s equally as important to prioritize your mental health, your physical health, and your overall wellness.
3. Surround yourself with good people
Not everyone is going to be happy to see you sober; not everyone is going to respect your new boundaries around social functions or substances; not everyone is going to be good for you. Recovery is a time to rebuild your life, to let go of unhealthy or outright toxic relationships, and to prioritize healing your relationships with people who genuinely love and want the best for you.
4. Reaching out for help when you need it
It can be hard enough to seek professional help the first time, you might never want to reach out for help again — even when you need it most. Adopt the goal of not allowing pride or guilt (or any other emotion or mentality) to prevent you from receiving the help that you need.
We know it can be overwhelming to know where to begin with pursuing treatment, and that you might not be sure if inpatient or outpatient treatment is right for you — we’re here to help.
Receive expert help today
Rehab After Work is a premier outpatient treatment center that is designed to fit your schedule so that you can get the help you need without added pressure on your work, school or family.
We offer both intensive outpatient therapy and partial hospitalization programs (PHP) in order to provide well-rounded care to our clients, and we also offer our services via teletherapy methods for your convenience.
If you’re ready to begin your recovery journey, we’re ready to support you. Send us a message or give us a call today to get started.