Setting Realistic Goals for Recovery in The New Year

January 6, 2023 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

When it comes to setting recovery goals for the New Year, it’s important for us to make sure we are setting realistic recovery goals. While we may want to reach a certain level of sobriety or complete a certain kind of program in a specific timeframe, the truth is that recovery is not linear. There will be bumps and setbacks along the way. Those are just part of the course. The best way to achieve your goals is to set them at a pace that works for your recovery.

In this article below, we will cover how to set realistic recovery goals for the New Year so that you can be your best self this year and for many years to come.

How To Set Realistic Recovery Goals

To set realistic recovery goals, it can help to set a SMART goal. A SMART goal is a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. A good example of a specific recovery goal is “completing a 90-day intensive outpatient program.” An example of a goal that is not specific would be “reducing substance use.” As you can see, the specific goal is easy to define and therefore actionable. The non-specific goal is vague and could mean many different things to different folks. The goal of completing a 90-day intensive outpatient program is also measurable. 

We can measure whether we are completing that goal in how many days we are attending the program and whether we have enrolled at all. It is also attainable.

While being sober forever might not be a totally attainable goal for everyone, completing a 90-day IOP is a good start that is within reach. It is also realistic for someone who is ready to take that step. This goal might not be realistic for someone who still needs to go through a detox program or even decide to recover. You need to work with your team to determine what realistic, attainable goals might look like for you. 

Additionally, a time-bound goal has a specific time frame in which it can be achieved. A 90-day intensive outpatient program is bound by a timeframe of 90 days. This makes it so that we can evaluate after 90 days whether we have completed the goal. Vague time words like “forever” or “a long time” are not features of a time-bound goal. This is why it’s important to have time-bound goals that keep us accountable and make our goals clear for our team and ourselves.

When setting recovery goals in the New Year, you are more likely to succeed when you keep your expectations of yourself realistic. No matter what your recovery goals are for the year, the fact that you are even considering recovery means that you are well on your way to enjoying a life free from substance use.


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