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Anyone who is recovering from addiction can benefit from focusing on the positives that can be achieved. This helps people to keep the focus away from the activities that they are trying to leave behind and keeps them on the path that they want to take. It can also help a recovering addict to gain some purpose in a life that can seem quite empty when alcohol or drugs are removed from it.

Obviously, sticking to goals is not easy, but it can be done. People often find it helpful to get expert assistance from professionals such as, especially when they are starting out on the journey.

Why are goals so important?

Aside from the positives that we have already mentioned, goals can be vital to recovering addicts for many different reasons.

  • Taking accountability for their own actions.
  • Providing a sense of achievement and happiness when milestones are reached.
  • Motivation to achieve better things in life.
  • Faster recovery often comes with the challenge.
  • Continuing the process even when sobriety has been achieved so that old habits do not return.

People have many reasons for wanting to set goals and the goals themselves can be very different depending on the individual.

What goals should be set?

There are no hard and fast rules about what goals need to be set when someone is in recovery. Each individual has to think about the goals that are going to be most relevant to them. It helps to use the SMART mnemonic when considering these goals. They need to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. For instance, a person may want to set a goal to increase their physical activity level to thirty minutes each day. This states exactly what they want to do and when it is relevant to their recovery and it can be measured. Goals can fall in any area of life, but often they include.

  • Improving physical health.
  • Reducing mental health issues.
  • Improving the mind with education and development.
  • Eating healthier and exercising more.
  • Finding a career.
  • Reducing debt issues.
  • Helping other members of the community.

Why being realistic matters

Goals need to be attainable, as per the SMART mnemonic. If a recovering addict sets a goal that they are not going to achieve in the timeframe which has been set, they are setting themselves up to fail. Anyone who is setting goals needs to make sure that they are being realistic; sometimes it’s about making small steps rather than expecting giant strides. For instance, repairing relationships is something that many people have as a goal, but it’s important to remember that this may not happen overnight. The more realistic goals are, the less likely failure is. However, it’s not unusual for people in recovery to fail in some of their goals. This is not necessarily a huge problem as long as lessons are learned and it’s treated as an opportunity to keep improving.

Goals play a vital role in filling the void that is left by giving up alcohol or drugs. They help people to continue dealing with the addiction as they become sober and beyond, into a new and productive life.