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Why is Goal Setting an Important Part of Recovery?

Recovery for addicts can have many steps and be one of the most challenging experiences in an individual’s life. Setting goals is an essential part of the recovery process and can make the overwhelming tasks between addiction and sobriety seems less intimidating. With each goal that is accomplished, the recovering addict can feel a small sense of victory in the battle to be sober.

Set Goals to Recovery

When an addict sets goals, it can help to give them a sense of victory in the race toward sobriety. Each person decides what he or she wishes to accomplish in his or her lives and the unique ways they wish to recover. Some of these goals could include defeat the flaws in their character that left them prone to the addiction to begin with, such as impulsiveness or lacking the will to break the compulsion.

With each goal that is reached, the recovering addict can feel that much closer to their end goal. It is important to note that it can be easier on the addict if they focus less on achieving the ultimate goal and take a moment to enjoy that they accomplished their milestones along the way. It can get frustrating to still be far from the end goal and the time it takes to achieve the end goal.

Benefits of Goals

Goal Setting

It’s important to work toward short-term goals instead of focusing primarily on the end result desired.

Setting goals is an excellent tool on the road to recovery for many reasons. First, it gives the recovering addict a direction to move in and motivation to fight the addiction. According to the NCBI, when an addict allows for an intermediate goal, it allows for more immediate successes during the intervention and treatment processes than simply striving for the long-term goal.

It is easier for a recovering addict to continue the treatment if they know there is an end goal that will be reached. Setting goals can also allow the individual to take responsibility in receiving it, and will help to guard against relapses due to boredom with the program.

How to Achieve Goals

It is a good idea to break up the end goal into smaller milestones so that the task of reaching that goal will seem less daunting, and the individual can feel motivation as they achieve each goal. It is similar to when climbing a rock wall in that every step up is one-step closer to the top.

When an addict sets out to simply accomplish the end goal, it can be discouraging, which takes away the motivation to do better during recovery. According to NIDA, addiction counseling can encourage the patients to strive to accomplish their predominately short-term goals, and impress upon the statement of “one day at a time” to help the recovering addict to work toward their large lifestyle changes.

Set goals should be solely on self-improvement, as opposed to changing the thoughts or opinions of loved ones. Self-improvement is something an addict can work on but it is near impossible to change the thoughts and feelings of loved ones.

Setting goals is an important part of the recovery process for recovering addicts. Goals give an individual motivation through the personal victories that can be accomplished with milestones, or smaller goals. It is important to work on achieving the smaller goals, but it is also a good idea to enjoy each victory, as opposed to focusing all their energy on the long-term goal.

If you or a loved one is suffering from substance abuse and needs help, call 800-721-8114 to speak with a caring specialist that can assist you.

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