The journey may be as important as the destination, but neither is achievable if you do not first establish a sense of where you want to go. In business and in life, you will more likely achieve success and satisfaction if you set both short- and long-term goals. The same holds true for addiction and recovery. Setting goals and resolutions in recovery, however, is more than just telling yourself that you are working to overcome alcoholism or drug addiction. When you start therapy and counseling for your addiction problems, you will be encouraged to set goals that are specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-limited.
Many people who suffer from addiction establish goals for themselves that are little more than broad platitudes. Broad or general goals will give you too much room to maneuver. You will waste your time if your goals are not specific or if they cannot be measured against some objective criteria. Specific and measurable goals have an added benefit in that when you meet or surpass your goals, you will gain a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that will enhance your success in your treatment and ongoing recovery.
Goals that are not action-oriented will also give you too much of an escape clause. If you are not required or encouraged to do anything more than attend therapy sessions or 12 step meetings, you may find recovery to be boring and not worth your time. Your boredom can then drive you back to your drug or alcohol problems. Set action-oriented goals for every aspect of your recovery, including things like completing a certain number of exercise and meditation sessions every week, maintaining your thoughts and feelings in a journal two or three times per day, and observing and recording events and circumstances that arise which may tempt you to relapse back to your bad habits. If you plan and take specific actions, you will find your rehab and recovery to be more fulfilling.
Your goals need to be realistic to avoid your falling into a trap of depression and disappointment when you do not meet a goal. Alternately, you do not want to set the bar so low that a goal is trivial. Your counselors and therapists will help you set goals that are challenging yet attainable. The most realistic goals are ones that challenge you enough to make you push yourself without totally collapsing.
Your goals should also have time limits that encourage you to analyze your progress at regular intervals. If you do nothing more than set goals without committing to measuring your progress and checking on whether you are approaching those goals within set time limits, you risk pushing those goals into the future and never achieving them.
The counselors and therapists at the Last Resort Recovery Center near Austin can help you set individual goals in your own addiction. Please call us at 512-360-3600 for more information on how we can help you to succeed in breaking away from your addictions.