The Importance of Goal Setting on Sobriety
Anyone who has ever achieved any measure of success has set goals to motivate them and direct their efforts. Overcoming addiction can be a long and difficult road, at times it will probably seem impossible. But it isn't and setting recovery goals is an essential part of your journey. Find out why goal setting the most important strategy you can implement for success on your recovery journey.
How Does Goal Setting Work?
1. Goals direct attention to tasks at hand and keeps you focused on what needs to be done. It allows you to develop and apply strategies to complete the goal.
2. Goals provide clarity that mobilizes our efforts. Because we have a clear vision of what we want our life post addiction to look like we are motivated to make it happen.
3. As you move towards your big goals you will achieve smaller goals that will reward you with incentives to keep going.
4. You will develop new learning strategies to help nail your goals.
Types of Goals
When setting goals there are three different types of goals you will set and use to get through your sobriety journey.
First are outcome goals. These goals are the result. For example, living a life with sobriety, or playing with your kids on Christmas day.
Second, are process goals. These goals are the actions you need to undertake to achieve the goal correctly. A process goal might be not having alcohol in the house.
Third, are performance goals. These are the standards we set that are independent of other variables. An example would be being sober for one week, or one month.
Process goals combined with performance goals lead to outcome goals. If you set and stick to performance and process goals you will take care of everything you can control and the outcome often takes care of itself.
How to Set Goals
When setting goals you will want to follow the SMART goal-setting framework. This ensures your goals will work effectively for you. SMART stands for Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound.
Goals must be specific so they become objective and give you clarity on what you are aiming for.
Goals also must be measurable so you can track your progress and see yourself moving towards your objective.
Your goals should be achievable. If you do not think you can achieve the goal you will lose motivation to do the hard work required.
Goals must be relevant. You must understand why achieving the goal matters to you so you are engaged in achieving it.
Finally, goals must be timebound, you need to have clear time frames within which you want to achieve your goal.
You will want to set both long and short term goals using this framework. Long term goals provide a lot of motivation but can seem impossible if we don't break it down into more achievable short term goals. These short-term goals are the stepping stones to the long-term goal and achieving them will give you the motivation to continue.
Setting Recovery Goals
Recovering from addiction is no easy task, but if you want to give yourself the best chance to succeed you need to be setting recovery goals. You now know the fundamentals of goal setting and have all the tools you need to begin and stick to your recovery journey. Check out our blog for more recovery resources.