Setting and Achieving Goals in Your Recovery

Setting and Achieving Goals in Your Recovery

Setting life goals while you overcome addiction is an incredible way to continue making progress in your sobriety. Having a clear view of what you want to achieve, what you need to do to reach your goal, and a designated time to do it can help you see addiction recovery as a more realistic possibility.

It is important to set and track reachable goals in recovery. First, sit down and write short, medium and long term goals that you would like to reach along the way to overcoming addiction. These are some examples:

  • Short term goals – Get through the day while staying sober, pick up a small hobby, follow your aftercare program, avoid tempting situations, write down things that trigger urges and cravings, learn new strategies to avoid relapses, attend a meeting
  • Medium term goals – Regain the trust of your loved ones, apply for a job, set rewards for milestones of sobriety, maintain a savings account, get a sponsor
  • Long term goals – Effectively manage all urges and cravings, create a life that is completely drug-free, share your experience of recovery with others that need addiction help, finish a degree

Of course, these goals must be accompanied by personal details or examples of how these goals will be met. An addiction counselor can help you define your own goals if you are having difficulties creating a list. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that counseling is often predominantly focused on setting short term goals that in time become a lifestyle. The article points out that this is effective because the addict who has finished addiction rehab learns that continued abstinence can be achieved one day at a time and thus change becomes more realistic.

It is very important to track those goals once they are made. This is accomplished by setting time limits and marking any kind of progress made for your future reference. The benefit behind this practice lies in recognizing the positive aspects of recovery as they come and even rewarding yourself for reaching certain milestones. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration agrees with the idea of setting goals and then obtaining rewards for reaching them. This becomes a form of behavioral therapy that encourages positive change with positive results.

Setting Goals When Overcoming Addiction

Individuals who are still addicted can also set specific goals to attain recovery. These goals might depend on their specific needs and the depth of addiction.

For some, goals might be related to staying in an inpatient rehab center. These short term goals will be most likely related to self-improvement, appreciation and benefiting from the program. Psych Central explains that inpatient (residential) programs are structured environments designed to promote recovery and stop drug use. They also include psychotherapy as part of their strategies to stop addiction. And since addiction rehab varies depending on the center and the specific program, the patient needs to set a goal of participating in the different activities in order to gain the most benefit out of treatment. Inpatient programs are intensive, daily regimens in an immersive and supportive environment.

Other individuals might be directed towards outpatient treatment programs. These are day-only treatment programs for those who don’t need constant medical supervision or with less severe cases of addiction. Outpatient programs rely heavily on therapy and support groups and thus participation and cooperation in these meetings is essential to reaching the goal of sustained recovery.

Setting sober goals while attending an outpatient program is important since, unlike inpatient programs, participation will mostly depend on how much effort the patient is willing to give to stay in the program. For example, the recovering individual can set a medium term goal of not missing a meeting, or a short term goal of participating at least once in every meeting. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence states that since overcoming addiction is a long-term process, efforts to stay sober must also be a life process. To effectively reach the goal of lasting recovery, the patient might set a long term goal of attending a support or mutual aid group every certain period of time, perhaps every two weeks or every month even after years of sobriety.

Achieving Your Goals in Recovery and Overcoming Addiction

Regardless of your established goals, the key to reaching them is to constantly review them while tracking your progress. There is no better incentive to continue moving forward than to see back and realize how much better life is living drug-free. Also, by reaching your goals one at a time, you might be in a better position to help a loved one who is also struggling with addiction.

Our toll free helpline is available 24/7 for you to call at your most convenient time. We would like to help you find the program that meets your needs. We offer free referrals and connections to treatment programs all over the country, with a variety of treatment options. Feel free to ask for advice regarding the use of health insurance for addiction treatment. Don’t wait any longer and call right now.