Recovery is a long-term investment in yourself.
There are many different steps involved, such as undergoing detoxification, completing a treatment program, participating in therapy sessions and, not uncommonly, goal-setting.
Setting goals is an essential practice in life, not just recovery — it sharpens our focus, motivates positive behaviors, instills ambition and a sturdy work ethic in ourselves, among other benefits.
Goal-setting can, however, be a double-edged sword without learning the importance of setting realistic and achievable goals. This isn’t to say you should squash your ambitions, but that you should give yourself your best chance at a healthy, long-term recovery.
In this article, we’re going to discuss how to set achievable goals for the New Year while still being in addiction recovery, and how to use them to set yourself up for long-term success.
Goal setting in recovery
Goal setting in addiction recovery might sound monotonous after a while (it’s a large element of many recovery programs due to the many benefits), but there’s a reason it’s practiced so often within treatment: it works.
One of the biggest mistakes people make in recovery is holding themselves to extremely high standards that sets them up for failure and disappointment from the very beginning. This isn’t to discourage you or insinuate that you shouldn’t aim high and channel your ambition; rather, it is to emphasize the importance of your mental state in recovery.
Substance abuse and addiction take a serious toll on both your mental and physical health; your mind and body are both recovering, and taking care of your full-spectrum health is important. When someone continuously sets unnecessarily difficult-to-achieve goals that causes them to fail again and again, their confidence and motivation starts to deteriorate.
Your goals should be small enough that you know there’s a real chance you can achieve them, but big enough that they still really excite and slightly scare you.
Examples of goal setting
One of the great things about goals is there’s no one kind of goal that you should or that you have to set — setting goals and resolutions are about helping you become the best version of yourself. The exact habits, practices and skills that help you get there are likely going to be different than the ones that would help others fulfill their own vocations, and that’s natural.
We’re going to provide you with a variety of examples of goals that can be beneficial to you and your recovery in the new year; some will draw you in more than others. You can start with those, or use that pull you feel to inspire you to create your own.
Some of the most proven-to-be-beneficial goals in recovery are:
- Committing to quiet time each day (for journaling, meditation, envisioning, etc.)
- Prioritizing your sleep and good nutrition
- Minimizing ingestion of toxins (sugar, vegetable oils, chemical-heavy products, etc.)
- Maintaining consistent attendance with recovery meetings
- Volunteering your time, strength or skills to those in need
- Expanding your sober community
- Reviving old talents or skills
- Performing a daily act of kindness
- Strengthening your faith and spirituality
- Celebrating every achievement, big or small
- Asking for help when you need it
Goal setting can even be beneficial in a preventative way for those who are in the early stages of substance abuse but working to rebalance or eliminate their substance use.
If you or someone you love is struggling with a substance use disorder, reach out to our team.
Begin your recovery today
Real Recovery is a renowned mental health treatment and substance use rehabilitation center that specializes in helping you heal your mind and your body, and restoring your joy for life.
With our wide variety of comprehensive treatment services, you’ll learn how to switch self-sabotaging behaviors and unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthy, productive habits and behaviors. Working with our clinicians and other professionals, you’ll receive a customized treatment plan and all the guidance and support you need to complete it.