Setting realistic addiction recovery goals vital for success

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 | By JP Emerald Coast

Have you thought about setting addiction recovery goals for yourself? When people first enter treatment, they usually do so with one goal in mind: sobriety. Just getting free from drugs or alcohol and spending days without abusing a substance can seem as if you achieved an incredible goal.

It is an amazing goal, but there’s more to recovery than just abstaining from your addictive behavior. To address the reasons why you abused substances in the first place, you need to create a plan for your recovery. Part of that plan includes specific addiction recovery goals.

Realistic Goals

The acronym SMART is often used to describe the process by which you can set realistic goals. Goals are easiest to achieve when they are:

  • Specific — You need to define your goals in a specific way. If they are too vague, you may not be motivated enough to achieve them.
  • Measurable — You can only know when you’ve made progress towards a goal if you can measure that progress.
  • Actionable — Goals have to be within your power to achieve or act upon. If they depend on everyone else around you, they’re not your goals, but theirs.
  • Realistic — A realistic goal is one you can reasonably obtain.
  • Timely — Most goals have a deadline or a time limit. This helps people focus on them.

As you consider your addiction recovery goals, keep the concept of SMART goals in mind.

Specific Addiction Recovery Goals

When you set out on a vacation, you always have a destination in mind. You’re heading to the beach, the mountains or another special destination. That’s your goal. To get to your destination, you have a map (or a GPS) to guide you along the way.

Recovery is a journey, and your goal is sobriety, one day at a time. To navigate the journey of recovery successfully, you need to set specific, measurable and actionable goals. Goal setting in recovery is a personal process in which you identify what you’d like to achieve. You may want to set your addiction  recovery goals with the help of a sponsor, your therapist or someone else in recovery who you trust to get feedback on your goals and how they fit into your own personal plan of recovery.

Some reasonable addiction recovery goals include:

  • Staying sober, one day at a time.
  • Doing 11th step work — finding time for daily prayer and meditation.
  • Going to 30 recovery meetings in 30 days.
  • Completing your fourth step inventory and sharing it with your sponsor by a specific date.
  • Identifying five things you can do when you feel cravings.
  • Creating an action plan to avoid social situations that could lead to relapse.

These are all specific, measurable addiction recovery goals that will help you achieve and maintain your sobriety. Such goals may seem like small steps, but they can lead you back to the peace that comes with sobriety.

Achieving Big Dreams

People who receive treatment often remember bigger goals and dreams they once had. Although it’s natural to want to rush out and achieve them right away, you may want to break those big dreams into smaller goals, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

For example, if you quit school because of your addiction, you may want to return to college and complete your degree now that you’re sober. Finishing a college degree is a big goal, but breaking it down into smaller steps — such requesting course catalogs, completing an application and taking a placement test — can make the process a lot easier.

Recovery is an exciting process with many goals, steps and milestones along the way. Set and meet your goals, and then celebrate your achievements. Contact JourneyPure Emerald Coast today to begin your journey towards healing from addiction. Call us today at (615) 907-5928.


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