Whether you have a mental illness or an addiction, goal-setting is incredibly important in recovery. Forbes Magazine states that setting goals build your confidence by triggering behavior, guiding your focus, sustaining momentum, aligning your focus with thoughts and behavior that truly impact your recovery in the best ways possible, and promoting self-mastery, which means you will one day be able to help others get to where you are at in recovery. The benefits of setting goals in recovery are endless, and you’ll likely want to work with your healthcare team to establish these goals. Now, you may be thinking, “I’d love to get on board with this, but where do I start?”
First, it’s important to identify short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals may include something you want to get done within the next day or week, while long-term goals are typically set over the next few months to years. A 2018 study published in the journal Psychology & Health sought to explore the effects of goal setting on patients’ physical activity. Researchers from the study found that setting goals led to a greater number of intentional physical activities, as well as positive emotion towards taking the steps towards reaching their goals.
Second, it’s important to take some time to really think about what you want out of life. In the long-run, what do you want to be able to say about your physical health? Financial health? Personal relationships? Contribution/impact to society? Career? Once you’ve got a good idea of where you want to be in the future, take a moment to consider some examples of short-term and long-term goals:
- 1-day goal: Meditate for 5 minutes.
- 1-week goal: List 3 books based on recovery for me to buy and read.
- 1-month goal: Work out 3 times each week for approximately 30 minutes.
- 6-month goal: Volunteer at a local organization.
- 1-year goal: Enroll in a local college to pursue my degree.
- 5-year goal: Serve as a leader in mental illness/addiction recovery.
These goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (SMART). If you find that some goals are too easy, set more goals for yourself that are harder to obtain. Doing this will help you establish exactly what you need to be doing in order to get to where you want to be – and only the most successful people do something each today towards their future success.
From the mountains to the coastline, the possibilities of living a life without limits are endless. At Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California, we’re helping men recover their lives from addiction through innovative treatment designed to transform their lives inside and out. For information, call to speak with one of our graduates: (855) 202-2138