While staying on the course of a long-term objective can be challenging for almost everyone, a goal to change bad habits often carries more weight for an individual recovering from addiction.
Many, if not all, of the goal setting people in recovery make are centered around the ultimate goal of staying sober. They often include:
- Spending more quality time with family, friends and loved ones
- Attending more support group or meetings
- Removing oneself from environmental substance use triggers
- Maintaining a healthier diet and exercise routine
However, fully overcoming your toxic past can’t be done by simply saying you’ll stay sober. It requires a solid commitment to bringing your substance-free vision to life. The choices you make will greatly determine how successful you’d be in achieving your goals, as well as your dedication and patience. But in the end, your efforts will be well worth it.
Recovery Goal Setting 101
Whether you’re certain about your recovery goals or still unsure, the beauty in setting goals is that you get to be in control of the process. You’re in charge of whatever routes you choose to make your goal a reality.
Start with your overall goal – what you ultimately hope to achieve. Now, break it down into smaller sub-goals. This helps to make the big picture of your goal seem much more attainable. Continue to divide your subgoals as you see fit until you’re satisfied with the path you’ve outlined.
If you’re still not sure where to start, it may help to have the framework of S.M.A.R.T. in mind:
Your goal should be Specific. It needs to be clear and well-defined for you.
It needs to be Measurable. Know what steps will count as progress toward your goal.
A goal should be Attainable. Is it something you can actually achieve?
It must be Realistic. Know whether your goal can be completed within the availability of your time, knowledge and resources.
Finally, it should be Time-based. Setting a deadline for fulfilling your goal will make it much easier to achieve.
Ultimately, the secret to your recovery goal success will be found in the small changes you make to your everyday routine. Making some minor, yet healthy and positive adjustments to your day-to-day will help your new, goal-oriented mindset feel much more natural.
Here are a few of our team’s small suggestions:
Switch out old habits for new hobbies.
Rather than spend an evening watching television, why not do some painting or write your thoughts down in a journal. Pick up a new sport or join a community program doing some new and challenging.
Make some changes to your living environment.
Open some windows to take in the fresh air, rearrange your furniture to set a new beginning, or hang some new pictures with images of your “new life” to remind you where you’re headed!
Commit to making improvements to your wellbeing.
Try walking or running a few miles before or after work, sign up for a yoga class or set some wellness appointments with your physician. A simple change in routine can make a world of difference AND improve your health.
Practice random acts of kindness.
You’d be amazed the type of impact that a small act, like paying for a stranger’s coffee, can have on your day. Mood is contagious, and when you do something kind of someone it’s safe to say it’s uplifting and encouraging.
Say yes more often.
Sometimes, accepting an invitation to an event, or outing, can be a game changer in supporting you recovery goals. Say yes, do something different!
Remember, if you ever find yourself struggling with managing your daily responsibilities and activities because of substance use, ou are not alone. There are people who care deeply about you and wish nothing but the best for you. Oftentimes, the best option for getting your life back in shape is by going back to recovery. Call us. We’re here.