Addiction Services Blog

Setting Goals Can Help Keep You Going on Dark Days

Much of the general population cannot sympathize with what it’s like to be in active addiction and the suffering that results from this disease. While actively addicted to alcohol and/or drugs, individuals are prone to numerous health effects, loss of relationships, damage or loss of careers, and many other missed opportunities. One would assume that after treatment, it’s quite easy to bounce back from the effects of addiction, but it requires immense dedication and energy to begin repairing one’s life. However, setting goals and taking the time to write them down can be a great way to re-energize oneself and restore one’s self of direction in life. That is what we’re going to be discussing below.

There are a variety of treatment resources available to those who have become addicted to alcohol and/or drugs, but getting treatment is only the first step. It’s often said that the real work in recovery begins after a person returns home from rehab. There are numerous reasons for this, most of which reflect the difficulty of having to assume total responsibility for one’s sobriety after completing a treatment program. It goes without saying that recovering addicts will encounter many situations in which they’re tempted to relapse, making it crucial for individuals to have strategies they can employ to keep them focused on their recoveries.

Setting and documenting your goals during recovery has many benefits. It’s a simple activity that can provide distraction from temptation, it allows you to document your progress in recovery, and it can even be a source of inspiration for forming new goals and aspirations. Due to the importance of setting goals in recovery, we’re going to first discuss why recovery is difficult before addressing how your goals can be an asset to recovery and why writing them down is beneficial.

The Inherent Difficulties in Recovery

Recovery isn’t easy. Most addicts fear recovery because they assume that they’ll have to deal with painful withdrawal symptoms before they’re able to be sober comfortably. What many addicts don’t realize is that the real difficulty in recovery begins after a person gets out of rehab. It’s one thing to be sober in rehab, which is an environment that’s continuously monitored and drug-free. After getting out of rehab, a person must return home and assume responsibility for his or her own sobriety. This means resisting any temptation, cravings or urges that one might experience. It’s completely up to the addict as to whether or not he or she remains sober. To safeguard one’s sobriety, a person must essentially rework his or her entire life; staying away from any friends still abusing alcohol or using drugs, avoiding places that might trigger cravings, and being sure to take care of oneself.

Why Setting Goals is an Important Recovery Tool

Early recovery is a very difficult time. You are essentially rebuilding your life from scratch and must figure out what things in your life put your sobriety at risk so that you can avoid them. It can be a bit overwhelming at times, especially if you’re trying to rebound from mistakes made over the course of active addiction, which might include time-consuming, stressful legal problems. In this situation, it’s important to focus on the positive and on things that make you feel optimistic, hopeful for the future. One of the best ways to do this is to make goals and focus on them going forward.

There are numerous benefits to being goal-oriented such as this. For one thing, it’s a way of creating a vision for your future. It gives you a way of outlining where you want your life to go as you move forward. Additionally, goal-setting provides you with a means of measuring your progress and your future. When you set goals, you can celebrate the checkpoints made along the way. It’s also a great means of planning for the future; after rehab, you often feel like you don’t have any direction for your life, but setting goals gives you a means of planning how you want your immediate, near, and distant future to go.

Setting goals is also how you make your goals and achievements more attainable. It’s one thing to have a major, life-changing goal, but it’s a lot of pressure and can put a lot of stress on a person during recovery. Instead, setting goals provides the opportunity to break the major ones down into more manageable steps. And instead of having to wait until have fully completed it, this gives you the opportunity to celebrate even the small victories.

set goals make a plan

Are There Actually Benefits to Writing Down Your Goals?

Thinking up your goals is the easy part, but people typically have trouble following through. In fact, studies have found that only one in four people follow through on their New Year’s resolutions. There have been many suggestions provided to help people to get their goals accomplished, but there’s one that’s often overlooked while being extremely effective: writing down your goals on paper.

Why is this effective? Firstly, writing down one’s goals and outlining them is a great way to put everything into perspective and give you clarity of what you want. Additionally, seeing all one’s goals written out is motivating and encourages you to work harder. It’s a great way to help you think of additional goals, too. When you only have your goals in your mind, it’s difficult to focus on anything but the adversity in your way; however, when you write your goals on paper, it helps you be able to focus more on your actual goals rather than the adversity. It makes your goals much more achievable.

Let Sober Services Help You Get Your Life Back

If you or someone you know would benefit from discussing some of the treatments we have available, call Sober Services toll-free at (877) 212-5798 today. Whether it’s day or night, we’re always available and ready to help you or your loved one begin the healing journey.
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