7 Realistic Goals During Recovery

The beginning of a new year offers a perfect opportunity to reassess your road to recovery thus far, and to set realistic goals for the next year. Setting SMART goals can be an important tool in your tool kit to keep you motivated on achieving long term sobriety.

What are S.M.A.R.T. Goals?

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that helps you set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timely. Which means that for each goal you set for yourself, make sure that it has a Specific outcome, and that you have a way to Measure your progress. When you set goals that can be defined with Action steps that are manageable, it ensures your goals are Realistic. Don’t forget to set Timely deadlines so that they can keep you accountable to your goals.


Adopting the framework of SMART goals for yourself makes you responsible for your own success.



The following suggested goals may give you an idea of what could be considered a SMART goal. You may take on one or all of the goals below based on your needs and preferences, or you may come up with your own set of goals that will work for you.

1. Create a Daily Routine

It’s no secret that starting the day right tends to make the rest of the day feel positive. This could include setting an alarm to wake up at a regular time each morning, followed by a healthy breakfast and/or an exercise routine.

2. Start a New Hobby

And make sure it’s a sober hobby. Many people resort to substance use when they are bored, or to escape from their daily life. Picking up a new hobby that interests you helps ensure that you have something to do when you are bored, or looking for an escape.

3. Help, Volunteer, Be Kind

Finding causes that you feel connected with gives you a great opportunity to take the focus off of yourself and instead find meaning in helping other people. Even a small act of kindness each day can brighten up your own day in unexpected ways.

4. Write Thank You Notes

On the flip side, remember those who have helped you in your own journey, and make it a habit to send them a thank you to let them know how much you appreciate them. Expressing gratitude has been shown to improve both physical and mental health in the long term.

5. Do the Inner Work

Recovery is ultimately an inside job. Staying in therapy, reading, journaling, and seeking solutions that work for you go a long way towards taking responsibility for your own recovery. Commit to a goal of how you want to do the inner work for yourself.

6. Learn how to be Compassionate to Yourself

Does it feel strange seeing Compassion as a goal? This could take the form of learning self-care, how to take care of yourself in a compassionate way. Small acts of self-care can ensure you are taking care of yourself physically and mentally. Metta meditation could be another way to practice this.

7. Celebrate Successes

As you make progress on your goals, make sure to look at how far you’ve come on your journey of recovery. Celebrate even the smallest of successes to keep you going strong and steady. If you slip, be sure to forgive yourself, and then get back on your path.

IMPORTANT: Please read!

Do whatever you need to achieve your goals, whether it is daily checklists, or gold stars, or writing in your journal about your daily progress, but do not feel guilty or ashamed if you fail. “Failure” is simply information that tells you something about the goal. You can change the goal into something that works for you, or create a new one that’s more realistic. 


Are you ready to get serious about recovery? 

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Alyssa Mueller


Alyssa Mueller is an Associate Clinical Social Worker. She holds a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Community Mental Health from California State University of Fullerton as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on intercultural and interpersonal communication from California State University of Long Beach. Compassion, empowerment and unconditional positive regard are the foundations of her clinical practice, Alyssa has a passion for helping others and her priority is to hold space for clients to feel heard, to feel safe and to find fulfillment and self-love on their recovery journey. Alyssa specializes in addiction treatment, self-esteem building, mindfulness practices, grief and loss, trauma informed care, and self-compassion as well as individual and family therapy. She has extensive experience working with high risk populations in various clinical settings such as partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient care, outpatient treatment, schools, and community outreach. Alyssa uses a client centered and holistic approach to address the client as a whole person in order to help them to feel empowered and facilitate their confidence and independence.

Charee Marquez

LMFT - Clinical Director

Charee has worked in the recovery field for 10 years.Charee is dedicated to supporting and inspiring clients to live a healthy lifestyle filled with meaning and purpose.Charee has extensive clinical experience within the recovery field in both inpatient and outpatient settings.She specializes in working with individuals and families affected by the disease of addiction however she has also clinical experience in assisting individuals,couples and families in working through a variety of concerns,including: depression,anxiety,relationship & communication issues,substance abuse,grief & loss,trauma, life transitions, and many others.Charee works with each client to specialize their treatment plan with what works best for the client in a compassionate and effective way. She emphasizes the strength of every individual client and fosters an environment of personal growth and internal healing from a mind, body and spiritual approach.Charee received her Bachelor of Arts from Seton Hall University, Majoring in Psychology and Minoring in Women and Gender Studies, in addition to her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California.

Stephen Carmel

Founder & CEO

I began my journey to recovery back in 2011 when I moved to California from New York.Along wiht my recovery and beginning a new way of life,I began to develop a heart for others struffling with sobriety.My journey to California was filled with many trials and lessons learned, but most of all, personal growht.I truly believe i would not have found success if I didn’t come to California.I started CPR as a way to work with people in recovery on a daily basis and it evolved into something much more beautiful. I have also come to realize that my own personal happiness and recovery depends on being involved in the lives of people in recovery. Helping others recover is a cornerstone of many 12 step programs, as it is here. Giving back to those still suffering, is the only way not to lose what you have gained. It is the paradox that we live by every day.