Goal-setting skills are essential for many aspects of life, from career advancement to self-improvement. However, many people don’t learn how to set realistic goals, which is one reason they get discouraged and give up without giving themselves a genuine shot at success. In observation of National Recovery Month, what are some ideas you can use for creating goals in addiction recovery?
Some of the most successful people follow the same time-tested approach to setting goals. There’s even a clever mnemonic to help you remember the qualities to aim for – SMART. These letters stand for each attribute a practical goal should have.
For example, let’s say you hope to lose weight. An objective to lose 10 pounds in 10 days is specific, measurable and time-bound, but it is not realistic and almost certainly not achievable. On the other hand, a vague goal like “I’ll lose a few pounds” is equally ineffectual. Instead, learn ways to lose weight and keep it off, then create a detailed weight-loss plan to follow for the next several months.
Goal-Setting During Recovery
When developing and working toward goals, patience is an essential virtue. Remind yourself that anything worth doing deserves your full time and attention. Don’t try to rush the process by skipping steps or declaring premature victory – especially with goals related to your lifelong recovery process.
Living a goal-oriented lifestyle doesn’t only mean chasing ambitions because they feel attainable for you, but also because they pertain to one or more of your new, sober life priorities.
Goals to set as part of your recovery might include:
- Giving back to your community by volunteering a set number of hours per week or month.
- Setting boundaries and asking others in your life to respect them.
- Practicing self-care.
- Finding a healthy outlet for emotions like shame, anger and guilt.
- Making direct amends to people you hurt, as specified in the 12 steps.
- Encouraging loved ones to seek mental health counseling or substance use treatment.
- Keeping a gratitude journal to bring more positivity into your life.
- Doing your part to end the stigma around mental health disorders by being honest about your reasons for being in recovery.
- Regaining your physical and mental well-being by exercising, meditating and eating a balanced diet.
Try to make healthy lifestyle changes or find new friends who support your sobriety, and you will feel a greater sense of connection and participation in your recovery. In achieving your addiction-related goals, pursue things that feel profoundly meaningful, and healing will be a natural result of your progress.
Embrace the Possibilities
Addiction causes your priorities to shift, as your life gradually begins revolving around getting and using substances. In recovery, you can open your mind to new possibilities and find potential awaiting you around every turn. This National Recovery Month, discover that freedom from substance abuse is an achievable goal. Contact us today to learn about holistic healing at Vista Taos Renewal Center.