One of the best ways to gain confidence during early recovery is by setting and achieving new goals. While many of those New Year’s resolutions we all make often end with a sputter by February, if we instead target recovery-oriented goals, we can actually gain traction as the months pass. This is because when it comes to recovery, you have a good deal of power over its direction. The goals you set will gain momentum and reinforce that positive trajectory as the year goes by. Read on to discover some great ideas for setting New Year’s goals in recovery.
Tips for setting New Year’s goals in recovery
Let’s begin this exercise with some basic truths about goal setting. Consider these important tips to set yourself up for success:
- Set realistic goals: While it is admirable that you want to shoot for the moon, try to keep it real. Set goals that you have a good chance of successfully following through with and accomplishing.
- Make your goals personal: Forget boilerplate resolutions (i.e., “lose 10 pounds”) and create recovery goals that are aligned with your needs, your weaknesses and your strengths. Tailor the goals to you.
- Give yourself little rewards along the way: Who isn’t motivated by rewards or incentives? Since this is a truth, why not build some small rewards into your recovery goals for the New Year? Every quarter or season, assess your progress and treat yourself to a massage, a pedicure or something fun.
- Stay accountable to your New Year’s goals: Those quarterly check-ins also provide a good opportunity to take inventory. Have you been consistent in working toward the goals? Have you lost steam? If you notice you are losing interest in your goals, why not give them a little adjustment or update?
What do you want to accomplish in recovery next year?
When it comes to setting new goals, each individual will have very different ideas about what they want to accomplish. Some can be directly related to strengthening your recovery, while others may pertain to life goals that will also fortify the recovery process.
Consider these ideas for New Year’s goals in recovery:
- Increase the number of meetings you attend: You may be attending fewer meetings of late and want to get back into the routine of going more often. Set a weekly goal, such as attending three meetings a week.
- Volunteer to help others: Offer to help out at meetings, such as setting up or breaking down the coffee bar or library. Or, why not offer some support to a newcomer? You can also volunteer your time at a local charity event. Maybe make a goal for each of these during the New Year.
- Make new fitness goals: Our busy lives often push exercise to the sidelines. Set a new fitness goal for the New Year, such as running or cycling a certain number of miles or swimming a certain number of laps by a target date. Again, be realistic.
- Create a budget and set personal finance goals: Building up savings and reducing debt is always a good idea, and is especially important in recovery. Being in control of your finances reduces stress and builds self-confidence.
- Target relationships you want to improve: In the New Year, make it a goal to nurture relationships that may not have gotten enough attention. Create a list of actions you will take to improve the relationship, such as planning in-person visits or making plans to experience events together.
- Meet with a nutritionist and change your diet: Set an appointment with a nutritionist who can review your lab work and your diet to make some suggestions that will improve your overall health. More importantly, follow through and really take action on their suggestions.
There are so many ways we can improve our lives in recovery. Take some time to really consider things in your life to work on that will enhance your recovery experience.
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders. Our programs are accredited by The Joint Commission, and result in frequent publications of ongoing research into effective treatment methodologies. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call 866-313-6307.