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How Can SMART Goals Help My Recovery?

Substance use disorder (SUD) provides a lot of challenges. You may feel out of control before starting treatment. Additionally, you might feel resistant to attending detox or rehab. However, both of these can help you on the path to a healthier life. Similarly, SMART goals can prove an effective tool for long-term recovery.

How to Create SMART Goals

When you’re preparing to continue in recovery outside of treatment, you need to set yourself up for success. You’ll set many short and long-term recovery goals. These goals need to be SMART.

Though there are many variations, the SMART acronym represents the following:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

For the best results, recovery goals should fit all of these criteria.

12-Step Program Example

Now that you know the criteria for a good goal, you should look at an example to ensure you understand each aspect fully. Say a person has an overall goal to maintain sobriety, and they want to use 12-Step programs to achieve this. Let’s make this goal SMART.

  • Specific: Attend 12-Step meetings to support your sobriety.
  • Measurable: Go to three meetings every week.
  • Achievable: Find a location nearby your home in order to make this goal doable.
  • Relevant: Look for a 12-Step group that focuses on the problem substance.
  • Time-bound: Continue this goal for one month.

By combining all of these aspects, you’re left with the following goal: Attend 12-Step meetings with a group focused on the problem substance nearby your home three times a week for one month. This goal is more helpful than simply saying, “stay sober.”

Achieving Recovery Goals

As much as setting SMART goals can help, there’s another part that is just as important — re-evaluating. You need to make sure you track your progress. Since the SMART goal is measurable and time-bound, it’s easy to tell if you’re on track.

If you find that you’re not, you can rework your goal. You might want to decrease the intensity or alter the duration. Obviously, the overarching goal of maintaining sobriety stays the same. You might just need a new approach to getting there. When you’re struggling, you can always consult your aftercare therapists or alumni program for help.

When you live with substance use disorder (SUD), your life is often dictated by your condition. You replace healthy patterns with drug-seeking behaviors. Detox and rehab can help you re-discover your identity outside of substances. Additionally, you can learn skills like SMART goals to help you maintain a life of sobriety. The Guest House provides you with all this and more. Our highly qualified team provides trauma-specific care to help you get to the root of your issue. We also offer a strong alumni community that can help you stay accountable. To start living substance-free, call (855) 483-7800.