Setting goals is highly important to helping your progress in your recovery, but in order for goal setting to work in your favor, you’ll need to know how to effectively set goals in the first place. Here are some tips to setting the right kinds of goals in your recovery from addiction.
Make them tangible.
First, a goal needs to be tangible in some way; otherwise, when will you know that it’s time to celebrate achieving that goal? It isn’t a tangible goal unless it is something that you can check off a list.
Make them shorter-term.
It can help to make shorter-term goals rather than longer-term ones. When you make week-long or month-long goals, you’ll be able to regularly reflect on the successes you’re making in recovery; if you make only six-month-long goals, on the other hand, and then you break down at five months, you’ve missed out on celebrating the successes you had during those first few months.
It also helps to break larger goals into smaller, more specific goals. For example, rather than making it a goal to simply stay sober for one month, you might make a few goals—to attend all of your meetings during the next month, to write in your recovery journal every other day for the next month, and to conquer feelings of boredom with a new hobby during the next month. It’s great to have that overarching goal of one month’s sobriety in mind, but those smaller goals can be your “action plan” to help you get there.
Make non-sobriety related goals as well.
It’s highly important to make goals relating to your sobriety during recovery, but a truly well-rounded recovery will include other types of goals, as well. You might, for example, make it a goal to be able to run five miles in under 45 minutes within the next two months. Or, you might challenge yourself to learn one song on the piano within a month. Making goals around the activities you are filling your life with now that you are living sober will help you to stay focused on these activities and make them a true part of your lifestyle.
Celebrate reaching your goals.
Finally, after all of this effort, it’s important to celebrate your successes as they come. Give yourself credit for your relentless efforts in your sobriety. You don’t need to go out to a bar or make an expensive purchase to celebrate; simply do something wholesome and fulfilling that makes you happy, and share your successes with friends so that they can celebrate with you.