How to Set Achievable Goals in Addiction Recovery

How to Set Achievable Goals in Addiction Recovery

Setting goals is a great way to move forward in your recovery journey. Goals can help motivate you to reach certain milestones. However, it can be hard to stay consistent with goals when setting goals. Some of the hardest things about recovery can be keeping up with tasks and being motivated to do them.

Learning how to set SMART goals can be a great way to boost motivation and make treatment and the rest of your recovery journey fun. Setting goals can either be geared toward your treatment/recovery or personal or work-related goals. Goals can also be either long-term or short-term (related to the “T” in SMART goals, which stands for time-based). 

At Healing Pines Recovery, we aim to create a treatment plan specific to you and the goals you hope to achieve in recovery. We offer the tools you will need to set goals and stay focused on them. With the guidance of professionals, we can also ensure that you are not becoming too overwhelmed with the goals you have set. Achievable goals can be a great way to progress through treatment and recovery.

What are SMART Goals, and How Do You Set Them?

Setting goals can seem impossible for some people, or they do them but can’t find a way to stay consistent. One of the best ways to approach setting goals is through SMART goals. The acronym SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-based

Using SMART goals, you can easily map out how to set a goal that is specific to you but also manageable. Following the steps of SMART goals, you can make and set goals that are realistic and achievable. An article published by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs talks about how to set SMART goals and offers tips to complete each step.

The Difference Between Long-Term and Short-Term Goals

When setting goals, it is best to start with short-term goals. How to do this is by focusing on the “T” in SMART goals, which are time-based. Short-term goals are exactly as stated: short in length. Starting with short-term goals can help ease your way into creating healthy and achievable goals for yourself. 

Short-term goals can be about your mental or physical health, work, treatment, or recovery. For instance, some short-term goals could be:

  • Be on time to work or therapy for a week
  • Go on a walk once a day for a week
  • Complete all your work for the day by a certain time

These goals (or to-dos) can be accomplished within a short time frame that typically is not more than a year. To get used to these types of goals, start with a time frame of one week at first, and from there, you can extend this time. Doing so will help decrease the chance of you becoming overwhelmed with the need to meet a specific goal for a long time. It also helps keep your motivation up.

Long-term goals are longer and will take time to complete. They are goals you aim to complete in the future, such as completing your education. These types of goals can sometimes get overwhelming, which is why it is best to start with short-term ones. Once you are confident that you can complete short-term goals, you can even turn those into long-term.

How Setting Goals Can Help Addiction Recovery

Setting goals specific to addiction recovery can be a great way to motivate yourself through treatment and bring a sense of enjoyment to it. Goal setting can also go hand in hand with changing behaviors. According to a study in the Journal of Consulting Psychology, goal setting is an effective behavior change technique that has the potential to be considered a fundamental component of successful interventions. 

Setting recovery goals can be used in tandem with dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to help reshape negative behaviors and create positive ones instead. Using goals as a tool to change negative behaviors can greatly benefit your treatment progress. For example, setting goals like telling yourself positive affirmations every day for a week can help change negative behaviors.

While setting goals can be a great form of motivation and positivity, they can also harm your treatment. Remember that you want to ensure your goals are achievable and realistic. Following through with SMART goals, the format can help you to achieve this. This will help keep goals within your reach without causing you to feel overwhelmed and lose motivation.

At Healing Pines Recovery, we aim to help you build the tools you need to have success in addiction recovery. Through the use of DBT and goal setting, you will be able to learn how to change negative behaviors and develop a more positive outlook.

Setting goals can be a great way to build motivation throughout your recovery journey. But making sure that they are achievable is important. While setting goals can be a great tool to use, they can also become overwhelming when they aren’t achievable or realistic. Using SMART goals is one way to make sure you are setting realistic and doable goals. At Healing Pines Recovery, we equip you with the tools you need to create goals for your recovery treatment and help you maintain focus on them. With healthy goals in place, it can make treatment fun and exciting. If you identify as male and are seeking treatment, please reach out to us today at (720) 575-2621.

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