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A modern, community-based approach to addiction treatment for Men and Women in Charleston, SC

How to Set Realistic Goals in Recovery

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Many people in early recovery set very grandiose goals for the future. This is understandable. After being in active addiction for so long, it is reasonable to want to fix every part of one’s life as soon as possible. Of course, a successful recovery takes time, which is why setting realistic goals in recovery is much healthier.

Understanding Realistic Goals in Recovery

Many people come into recovery seemingly having “lost” everything. They may have lost their job, dropped out of school, been asked to leave by their family, and be in legal trouble. With all of these woes, the initial feeling upon entering treatment is often defeat.

However, once an individual understands that that “defeated feeling” is actually beneficial because it stops them from trying to control everything, the real recovery process can begin. When an individual starts to let go of trying to “control everyone and everything” they can then begin to work on themselves and begin to grow as a person. With this growth can come the creation of goals.

For the individual that “lost everything” just previously mentioned, it would not be uncommon for their goals to be “get my job back, go back to school, get taken back in by my family, and get out of my legal jeopardy.” Of course, these are all good goals, but, at least in the beginning, they are probably unrealistic. These are goals that will take time.

What Are Realistic Goals in Recovery?

For individuals who are just coming away from the pain that is active addiction, realistic goals in recovery should be very focused on the “one day at a time” model of recovery. For someone new in recovery, it is perfectly reasonable to set a goal of “I am not going to drink or use just for today.”

Realistic goals in early recovery should also include a significant amount of gratitude and self-love. For example, a realistic recovery goal might be to attend a recovery meeting (such as a 12-Step meeting) and talk about it with a recovery peer or recovery professional. This is a good goal because there are very few steps or requirements to accomplishing it and it keeps one connected to their recovery.

An unrealistic goal in early recovery would be one that has multiple steps and is not focused on a treatment plan. For example, “I am going to get a job back in my industry.” Of course, this is a good long-term goal. However, in early recovery, this does not focus on any aspects of treatment and it is not something that can happen without a significant amount of effort. This is a recovery goal that should be placed later on the list.

How to Set Realistic Goals in Recovery

Setting realistic goals in recovery does not mean that one should not set long-term goals. No, it just means that an individual should set realistic goals based on where they are in their recovery. Also, setting realistic goals and accomplishing them is a good way to stay motivated in recovery.

As previously mentioned, it is important to start with small goals in early recovery. These goals might be writing a daily gratitude list or exercising for 15 minutes in the morning. Then as recovery progresses, the goals can become broader. These might be goals like “making amends” to people who may have been wronged by one’s behaviors while in active addiction.

Then as one is farther along in treatment and the recovery process, the goals can become more intricate. This is when those goals of getting back into school or getting that job back become more realistic and reasonable.

Maintaining Realistic Goals in Recovery

It is not just enough to set realistic goals in recovery, it is also important to accomplish and live by them. This is why it is important to keep track of one’s goals in recovery. It allows an individual to see all that they have accomplished and all that they still wish to do.

Checking back in with one’s goals is also a great way to stay connected to one’s recovery. As one progresses in recovery, their life becomes better and fuller. This is the goal. However, that full life can start to distract from one’s recovery goals and that can be dangerous. This is why working with other people and letting them know one’s recovery goals as well can be so beneficial.

Helping People Meet Their Goals at Lantana Recovery

Here at Lantana Recovery, we understand the importance of setting realistic goals in recovery. That is why all of our recovery plans take each client’s goals into account.

Everyone may have slightly different goals in recovery, but the overall goal is the same – to get well and live life to the fullest. Those are the exact goals we aim to achieve at Lantana Recovery.

Many people, when they first enter recovery, unnecessarily overwhelm themselves with grand goals and plans. While it is important to set goals, setting too large of goals right away, and setting too many goals can actually be detrimental. Yes, one must set goals, but it is important to adhere to the ethos of “one day at a time” as well. If you feel like you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, mental illness, or co-occurring disorders, we can help get you on the positive toward long-term recovery right away. For more information about how to set healthy goals in recovery, please reach out to Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.