Many milestones mark the path to addiction recovery. Goal setting can help a person move from one stage to the next without getting stuck. Of course, the main goal during recovery is to get and stay sober. Still, the overwhelming “big picture” can be divided into several small goals to make it more manageable. Goals for substance abuse recovery may include:
Recovery can be a fresh start. However, change takes time, and people won’t magically have a new life after detoxing from drugs or alcohol. However, goal setting in recovery can help people figure out what they need to do to get from where they currently are to where they want to be.
The benefits of setting goals in recovery include:
Further, studies have shown that learning to set effective goals can help people reduce drinking and drug use.
Once a person begins their sober journey, they may find that they have more time, money, and energy to do new things. They may want to start developing new skills and trying new things as a part of their new lifestyle. Recovery goals don’t necessarily only include plans related to sobriety. They can also have goals that apply to different areas of life, such as personal relationships, getting a job, spirituality, or improving one’s financial health.
Making goals is the easy part. But unfortunately, sticking to goals can be much more challenging. Luckily, there are many things a person can do to help stay on the right path.
First, it is essential not to be too ambitious. If someone tries to reach too many goals simultaneously, they will probably fail. On the other hand, sticking to just a couple of goals at a time makes a person less likely to burn out and more likely to be successful.
One easy trick for sticking to goals is to write them down. Putting them in writing makes them easy to keep track of and often helps people be more likely to achieve them. For example, using a calendar as a reminder to capture deadlines is a beneficial tool.
Successful recovery from addiction involves being flexible. Not reaching a particular goal isn’t necessarily a failure. It may just be a sign that a new plan is needed. Also, sometimes other things happen in life that throw a goal off-track. For example, if someone gets sick, they might be unable to keep up with a habit which is perfectly fine as long as the person can get back on track once things return to normal.
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