Setting Goals for Long-Term Recovery

If you or someone you love has recently begun addiction recovery, it’s probably because the person in question has been struggling with substance abuse or behavioral addiction of some kind.  Addiction recovery isn’t easy, and there are many important things to keep in mind when recovering from any addiction, whether it’s to alcohol, drugs, and gambling. 

Many people enter rehab or treatment programs and set goals of how long they’ll stay sober, typically 90 days, one year, or two years, and then expect the problem to go away on its own afterward. However, this set it and forget it attitude isn’t necessarily the best approach to recovery.  One of the most important things to remember as you recover from your addiction and help others who are going through the same thing is setting realistic goals. Goals are the roadmaps that lead you through your addiction recovery process, and the more goals you set the easier it will be to achieve sobriety and maintain it.  Here is how to set goals for long-term recovery.

Top 5 Goals for Long-Term Recovery

#1-Health Goals

It’s important to set goals for long-term recovery that will help you improve your physical health. This might include quitting smoking, eating healthier, or exercising more. You may also want to consider setting a goal for specific numbers when it comes to cholesterol levels, blood pressure, weight loss, and so on.  This type of goal is especially significant if you have any preexisting conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.  If you are not currently seeing a doctor regularly, then it would be good to schedule an appointment with one, so they can check on your overall health and provide advice about how to stay healthy during recovery. 

And don’t forget about dental care! For some people who struggle with addiction, oral hygiene can suffer because they consume sugar-laden drinks like soda instead of water throughout the day.  Make sure you’re brushing at least twice per day and flossing daily (or get regular cleanings) to avoid gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental problems. 

#2-Self-Improvement Goals

Always work towards improving yourself both physically and mentally. It’s important to have a mix of short-term and long-term goals, so you can see both immediate and lasting results from your efforts. Make sure your goals are realistic and achievable, so you don’t get discouraged along the way. Write down your goals and refer to them often to keep yourself on track. Celebrate each goal you reach as a major accomplishment! You can reward yourself with something you enjoy when you reach a milestone or attain one of your goals.  Identify people who will hold you accountable for achieving your goals (think friends, family members, counselors) and tell them about what types of changes you want to make in your life.  Connect with other people who share similar interests or who have dealt with similar issues as yours by joining an online forum or group chat through Facebook or Twitter. Self-improvement is one of the most important long-term recovery goals to set. 

#3-Relationship Improvement Goals

A large part of addiction is the way it affects your relationships. One important goal you should set in addiction recovery is to improve these relationships. This may involve making amends for those you hurt in the past, communicating better, or setting boundaries. Whatever it is, working on your relationships will help you in your recovery journey.

#4-Career Goals

One important type of goal you should set in addiction recovery is a career goal. Getting your life back on track after addiction can mean getting a job, or going back to school to get the education or training you need for a new job. A career goal can help give you a sense of purpose and something to focus on as you work to stay sober. It also helps with another aspect of sobriety that many people struggle with: boredom. If you are bored it is much easier to relapse. Setting up plans ahead of time like making a plan to meet someone at the library every day will prevent boredom from setting in and causing relapse.

#5-Service and Altruistic Goals

The main focus in addiction recovery should be on service and altruistic goals. These help to maintain sobriety by providing a sense of purpose and fulfillment. They also help to build a support network and combat feelings of isolation. Examples of service and altruistic goals include volunteering, starting or joining a support group, and becoming involved in your community. These types of goals also serve as deterrents for substance abuse as you are less likely to engage in activities that will lead you back down the path of addiction.

Goals for long-term recovery: North Jersey Rehabs

No matter what your goals are in addiction recovery, remember to keep them realistic, achievable, and specific. And don’t forget to ask for help when you need it! With the right support system, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. If you are struggling with setting goals for long-term recovery, North Jersey Rehabs will help guide you down the appropriate path. Contact us today to learn more about our rehabilitation programs. 

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