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Setting Goals After Treatment

A goal is something you want, typically something you work to achieve. In treatment, goals are designed to help you understand the program structure and maintain focus and motivation. In recovery, it’s no different.

While goals may change, you will always want to be motivated and focused on moving forward and building on the skills you learned in treatment. Setting goals after treatment is a great way to keep yourself on track and sober. Achieved goals give your life purpose, and with each achievement, the meaning of your life becomes more precise and valuable.

Reasonable Goals

Reasonable and achievable goals are necessary if you want to continue growing and are a viable way to maintain sobriety. Having a balanced and healthy lifestyle is one way to keep yourself on track. Changing the direction of your life is possible, and it is achievable if you surround yourself with the right community and are willing to learn new tools and ways of doing things. Examples of reasonable goals include:

  • A safer environment to live in
  • Job training
  • Education
  • Building a sober community
  • Therapy and peer support
  • Community and volunteering

Blocked and Unachievable Goals

Substance abuse changes your outlook and your brain chemistry. These changes can make your life feel stuck if you don’t get help. This is why your environment and peers are so important. With the proper peer support and community, you can make achievable goals, and with each success, you will be able to make a bigger and stronger commitment to a new life.

What goals will be unachievable? The following are examples:

  • Going back to the same environment and expecting your life to change
  • Not maintaining relationships with people of like mind
  • Creating goals that you can’t measure or sustain
  • Not setting goals that align with sobriety
  • Not making a long-term commitment
  • Not being flexible in your goals sets you up to fail

Long-Term Sobriety Is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

It is a very long road to maintaining sobriety, and it can be bumpy and complex, but with the proper support in place and the right goals, it is achievable. Relapse is not failure; relapse is simply a sign that your program needs attention and changes.

Having a long-term after-care plan can mean the difference between success and failure. Changing your community to surround yourself with like-minded people seeking health and sobriety is key to success. Achievable goals are essential for long-term recovery. As you meet your personal goals, you push yourself to become the best you can be.

Substance use disorder (SUD) is a chronic disease; you will need to be strong and pay close attention to the details of your life in order to move forward and not relapse. Everyone needs a purpose, and those in long-term recovery need to be clear on their life purpose as well as short and long-term goals.

Once you are in long-term recovery, it is imperative to maintain hope, and setting and achieving goals builds self-esteem, self-confidence, and resilience. The feeling of independence that goes with long-term success is powerful. Self-motivation is essential in long-term sobriety and will help you achieve self-fulfillment and flourish in all areas of your life.

How to Set Goals

When you set goals for yourself, they will be more achievable if you keep the following points in mind:

  • Identify WHY you want to achieve each goal
  • Make your goals SMART — specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound
  • Realize that long-term sobriety is a long-term achievement and one that continues for life
  • Set both big and small goals so that the small ones support the big ones

Set Unique Goals

Your goals should reflect your own needs and support where you want to be. The following are examples of goals you can set:

  • Love yourself and be compassionate to yourself
  • Be mindful — mindfulness can help keep you in the present and focused
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Manage negative aspects of life
  • Ask for help when you need it; asking for help is not being weak, and surrounding yourself with support is smart
  • Set boundaries; learning to say yes only when you really mean it is achievable; saying no can feel scary, but that, too, is achievable
  • Watch your emotions and respect how you are feeling; acknowledging feelings helps you get through them

Having reasonable goals means knowing what your values are and making certain that your life is built around your core values. You will become fulfilled by working to improve your goals, and your relationships and life will improve every day.

The Guest House provides residential and outpatient programs to treat mental health issues and substance use disorder (SUD). In addition, we offer alumni programs to meet the needs of individuals who have finished treatment but would still like support from a treatment center. We create integrated, individualized programs for each client to ensure that every client has a long-term wellness plan in place when they finish treatment. We at The Guest House understand how overwhelming detox, treatment, and recovery can feel. In addition to evidence-based treatment, we integrate holistic treatment modalities into each client’s plan. These modalities include equine therapy, art therapy, conscious-connected breathwork, music therapy, and psychodrama. You don’t need to tackle long-term goals alone; we can support you long into your recovery. We offer our treatment and alumni programs on a serene 52-acre estate in Central Florida. Call us to learn more at (855) 483-7800.