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Setting Goals in Addiction Recovery

Most people who suffer from addiction don’t only battle with the addiction itself. Concurrent disorders, strained relationships, isolation, and many other issues that could have arisen due to the addiction and trigger a relapse in the future are among their challenges as well. This is why setting healthy addiction recovery goals is a helpful process that considers multiple angles of a person’s journey. It is also a vital step to take in the addiction recovery process.

If you want to learn more about goal setting in recovery, you’ve landed in the right place. This article covers the benefits of setting addiction recovery goals, as well as a few helpful tips

Let’s get started! 

An overhead shot of someone writing addiction recovery goals in a notebook

Why Is Goal Setting in Recovery Important?

Goal setting in recovery is a crucial part of the journey because carefully laid out goals help recovering addicts feel that they are not stuck. It gives them a sense of personal progress, which helps in increasing the likelihood of success.  

In addition, goals related to enrichment or healthy enjoyment during recovery can also give recovering addicts a number of things to look forward to. Given that substance abuse is usually concurrent with other mental health disorders, feeling a sense of joy, hope, and accomplishment through enriching goals is highly beneficial.  

Helpful Tips on Setting Addiction Recovery Goals

If you or a loved one is going through the process of addiction recovery, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind for goal setting in recovery:

1. Think S.M.A.R.T.

S.M.A.R.T. is a mnemonic for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This is a framework for setting meaningful goals in whatever setup you might find useful. The S.M.A.R.T framework is so versatile that it can be used for business goals, career goals, personal goals, and of course, addiction recovery goals. 

When using the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting framework, you will be able to flesh out goals in such a way that encourages action.

As an example, if you have been sober for a while and you decide to pursue a new hobby, your goal could be to “learn pottery.” However, when using the S.M.A.R.T framework, the goal will be further fleshed out into “attend four weekly ‘pottery for beginners’ classes starting September 15 to October 15.”

You’ll notice that the latter example is a far more actionable way to express the goal. Furthermore, success is easily measured. This means that when success is achieved, it gives you a definite sense of fulfillment. 

A notebook with a SMART goal setting written on it 

2. Reflect Before Setting Goals

Addiction recovery goals do not look the same for everyone. Mainly, the first thing to consider is what your starting point is.

Your first addiction recovery goal could be to talk to your therapist about whether or not you need to get help from a rehabilitation centre. The next goal could be to look for rehabilitation centre options. Further down the line, you may set goals for enriching your life as you also steer clear of addictive substances. You might also set goals for reorienting your lifestyle to avoid past triggers. 

Therefore, in order to set meaningful goals, reflection regarding where you are and where you would like to be is a crucial step to take.

3. Write Down Your Goals

An excellent way to remember your goals is to write them down in a notebook, agenda, or a digital note taking app. Then, you can make a commitment to track your goal progress before you go to sleep and/or after waking up. 

Another option is to write them on post-its and stick them on your mirror. The more you see your goals, the more likely it is that you will remember them, which increases the chances of you achieving them. 

4. Get an Accountability Partner

An accountability partner is someone who knows about your journey and your addiction recovery goals. Their main role is to hold you accountable for your goals. They can also give encouragement and motivation when you are not carrying out your plans. Furthermore, they are an independent observer who can provide unbiased viewpoints or insights. 

If you are undergoing addiction recovery, the best accountability partner would be your therapist.  

5. Know When to Ask For Help

Remember to be patient with yourself throughout the journey of addiction recovery. If you are having trouble accomplishing addiction recovery goals, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Take the Right Steps Towards Breaking Free From Addiction 

In this article, we covered why goal setting in recovery is crucial to staying sober. Whether you are at the beginning of your addiction recovery journey or you’re maintaining sobriety, we’re here to help. 

Freedom From Addiction is a world-class drug and alcohol rehab centre located in Aurora, Ontario, that serves the entire Greater Toronto Area. We have research-backed programs for drug/alcohol addiction, mental health, and recovery led by compassionate professionals who are dedicated to helping recovering individuals stay on track. You will also find helpful, free resources available on our blog

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for more information about our programs. Our team is available 24/7 to assist you with your concerns. Contact us today!


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