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As somebody recovering from addiction issues, you may be familiar with goal settings. After all, when you went into your treatment program, the goal was to control your addiction or mental health issues and live a healthy lifestyle. Right now, you may feel that you have accomplished the short-term goal of entering into a treatment program. Your program may combine individual therapy with group therapy in addition to other activities that support recovery. Outside of formal therapy, however, you may not have engaged in much conscious goal setting. Before entering recovery, if meeting your basic needs was finding a way to satisfy your previous behaviors, it is unlikely that goal-setting moved much beyond the rush of instant gratification.

What Next?

Beginning a supportive, albeit challenging, program of rehabilitation was a goal you established and met successfully. At the most basic level, something prompted you to decide a change was needed. You identified the steps necessary to make that change, and you followed through. This was a significant step on your road to recovery and one that should never be underestimated. Nevertheless, you may be wondering what next? Now I have met my goal of rehabilitative support; where do I go from here?

Getting Started

Whatever your goal post-intensive treatment, never try to go at it alone. The peer support you established during your group sessions will be invaluable in the weeks, months, and possibly years ahead. With that in mind, one of your goals might be to maintain supportive relationships.  Talking with your therapist or case manager can help you clarify the goals you might like to consider as you enter post-intensive treatment.

Trap Setting

Think of your goal as a dream with a deadline. However, to make that dream and deadline achievable, it is essential to avoid overly complicated plans that may snare you like a trap. To ease the goals you set, try:

  • Making sure your goals are measurable. Let’s say you wish to nurture new friendships and relationships built on mutual trust and understanding. Think about how you would measure that. So, rather than saying, “I want more trustworthy friends,” you might write the goal as, “I will continue with my support groups and engage with the people I find interesting and who seem interested in me.”
  • Making sure the goals that you set are the ones that you want. Your ambitions may align very closely with your desire for long term sobriety or a drug-free lifestyle. This goal may mean that you spend more time away from family and old friends as you work toward wellness. To some, your path to health may seem unachievable, and they may try and persuade you to lower your expectations to avoid disappointment. Stick to your goal. They are meant for you, not for the benefit of others.


Allowing for some flexibility in your goals is essential. Try to avoid setting a rigid timeline for meeting your goal of complete wellness and lifestyle change. Instead, think about what those goals will look and feel like, and use them as touchstones along the way. For example, your dream of sobriety may be based upon wanting to have a more fulfilled life removed from the influence of alcohol – this is the real touchstone. There is no date attached to this. Every day you remain sober is a chance to develop whatever your idea of a full life looks like. In other words, you’re able to follow through with your goal while removing the hard deadline pressure.


As you advance in your goal setting, you might wish to set categories for different parts of your life. Some examples of diverse life categories may include:

  • Lifestyle
  • Leisure and work
  • Relationships
  • Creative expression
  • Family
  • Personal development

You might wish to brainstorm your ideas with a trusted member of your support network.


Life is filled with challenges, and even with the best of intentions and the best of support networks, things can happen. Most of all, if you are tempted into relapse, it is essential you don’t see yourself as a complete failure. The most important part is to seek support from your network and honestly think about what triggered the relapse. Know that you cannot change what happened, but you can influence right now and tomorrow. Each day we have the opportunity to make right what we could not do before.

Goal setting challenges you to overcome patterns of failure or ideas of limitations over what you’re capable of doing. Setting goals for yourself makes it possible to visualize a life beyond where you are right now. Located within the tranquility of Ocala National Forest, Florida, The Guest House provides residential and outpatient programs to treat all forms of addiction, trauma, depression, in addition to other mental health and substance abuse issues. We provide unparalleled, premier-quality treatment and are uniquely equipped to help start you on your journey to healing. Set amongst peaceful, elegant surroundings teeming with wildlife, there’s ample opportunity to enjoy tranquil reflection on your journey toward recovery. Individualized treatment options include psychodrama, meditation, equine therapy, art, and music, and of course, group support. The Guest House Ocala prides itself on providing a holistic and supportive approach to long term wellness and support. Tired of waiting to love the life you deserve? Call Guest House now at (855) 483-7800. Our staff can’t wait to meet you – you are not alone.