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7 Realistic Goals During Recovery

Clinically Reviewed by: Charee Marquez, LMFT

7 Realistic Goals During Recovery

As we embark on a new year, it’s an ideal time to reflect on our journey of recovery and chart a course for the future. At California Prime Recovery, an addiction treatment center in Orange County, California, we understand the importance of setting realistic goals to support long-term sobriety. That’s why we encourage our clients to embrace the concept of SMART goals—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. By incorporating these principles into your recovery plan, you can stay motivated and focused on achieving your objectives. Join us as we explore the power of SMART goals and how they can propel you toward lasting sobriety in the year ahead.

What is Recovery?

Recovery, in the context of addiction, refers to the process of overcoming substance abuse or dependence and reclaiming one’s health, well-being, and sense of self. It involves a journey of transformation that encompasses physical, emotional, mental, and social aspects of life. Recovery is not just about abstaining from substance use; it’s about creating a fulfilling and meaningful life free from the harmful effects of addiction.

Key elements of recovery include:

  1. Abstinence: Recovery often begins with the decision to stop using drugs or alcohol and to abstain from further substance abuse. This commitment to sobriety lays the foundation for healing and personal growth.

  2. Physical Health: Recovery involves addressing the physical consequences of addiction, such as withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and medical issues related to substance abuse. Adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, nutritious eating habits, and adequate sleep, is essential for restoring physical health and vitality.

  3. Emotional and Mental Well-being: Addiction can take a toll on mental health, leading to anxiety, depression, and other psychological challenges. Recovery involves addressing these underlying issues through therapy, counseling, support groups, and other mental health interventions. Developing healthy coping mechanisms, managing stress, and building resilience are important aspects of emotional and mental well-being in recovery.

  4. Social Support: Building a strong support network of friends, family, peers, and professionals is crucial for recovery. Social support provides encouragement, understanding, and accountability, helping individuals stay motivated and connected throughout their journey. Peer support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), offer a sense of community and solidarity among individuals in recovery.

  5. Personal Growth and Meaning: Recovery is not just about addressing the negative consequences of addiction; it’s also about discovering a sense of purpose, meaning, and fulfillment in life. Engaging in activities that bring joy, pursuing hobbies and interests, setting and achieving goals, and contributing to the community are all ways to foster personal growth and fulfillment in recovery.

  6. Spirituality: For many individuals, spirituality plays a significant role in recovery. Whether through religion, meditation, mindfulness practices, or connecting with nature, spirituality provides a sense of connection, purpose, and inner peace that can support healing and growth.

Overall, recovery is a deeply personal and transformative journey that requires courage, commitment, and resilience. It’s about reclaiming one’s life, rediscovering joy and purpose, and embracing a future filled with hope and possibility. While the path to recovery may be challenging, it is also rewarding, empowering individuals to live healthier, happier, and more fulfilling lives.

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.

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. 

Seeking Treatment? We Can Help!

At California Prime Recovery, as an in-network provider we work with most insurance plans, such as:

If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health challenges or substance abuse, reach out to California Prime Recovery today. Our team of compassionate professionals is here to support your journey towards lasting well-being. Give us a call at 866-208-2390

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