One of the most important things I learned in treatment is the importance of setting goals. Goals are key to achieving our aspirations and even our dreams. Setting goals has helped me to prioritize, enhanced my confidence, and motivated me to grow as a person. Here we talk about setting realistic recovery goals for recovery.
What are Goals?
Goals are clear, specific objectives. Before recovery, all the goals I set revolved around getting drunk and partying with my friends. In recovery, I gained the opportunity to learn how to use constructive goals to stay sober. They can be classified as long-term or short-term. While long-term goals require a longer time frame, three to six months or more, short-term goals can be achieved in a relatively short period of time. It is important to have both. To set up and achieve your goals, try using this process:
- Write down exactly what you want to achieve
- Break it down into manageable steps
- Reevaluate and review your progress
While everyone’s goals should be their own, the best goals follow a process called S.M.A.R.T. – S.M.A.R.T. breaks the process down and makes it easier to set the goals that are right for you. I have been in recovery for three years, and I still use the S.M.A.R.T. system.
The first five tips outline the S.M.A.R.T model of goal setting.
- Specific – Your goal has to be clear, so you know exactly what you are aiming for. You want to be able to set up the steps you need to achieve your goal. For example, one of my early goals was to get a job. That was not specific enough. Instead, I reworded it to: I will find some type of employment within six weeks.
- Measurable – Be sure your goal can be measured. If your goal is: I will find some type of employment within six weeks, the measure of your success would be when you are hired.
- Attainable – Break the goal down into steps. If your main goal is: I will find some type of employment within six weeks, your steps could include: write a resume this week, dedicate a minimum of one hour per day to applying online, submit at least two applications per day after the resume is finished.
- Realistic – Set a goal that is reasonable to achieve. If your goal is to find a job, do not say you will find one in one week. If it takes longer than that, and it usually does, you are setting yourself up for failure.
- Timely – Goals work better with deadlines rather than leaving them open-ended. Instead of saying, I will find some type of employment, I added the words: within six weeks. That gave me that deadline.
- Grace – In addition to using the S.M.A.R.T. model, I added two more tips. Give yourself some grace. Realize that as you plan your goals, sometimes there will be disappointments along the way. As long as you don’t rationalize bad choices, it is okay to have to rework a goal here and there.
- Flexibility – Sometimes there are circumstances beyond our control and you just have to roll with it. I set a goal to have a job within six weeks and came down with the flu on the day of a job interview. I didn’t get the job, so I changed the goal to ten weeks, and landed a job a week before my deadline.
Get Help For Your Addiction
Remember, you don’t have to do this alone. Setting realistic recovery goals can be tough. Share your goals with someone you trust, like your recovery sponsor, so they can provide both support and accountability. The Oceanfront Recovery Addiction Treatment Program can help you or your loved one through the process of recovery from substance abuse addiction or alcoholism. Some of the therapy options Oceanfront offers include:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Experiential Therapy Program
- Group Therapy Program
- Dialectical Therapy Program
Our experienced clinicians focus on bringing the underlying causes of addiction to the surface with a modern and effective recovery program in a comfortable environment. Get help setting realistic recovery goals. Contact us at Oceanfront Recovery today for a confidential assessment, and begin the journey of recovery today. Call 877.279.1777 to learn more.