Setting Healthy Goals While in Recovery

January 26, 2021
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Healthy Goal Setting in Recovery

January is traditionally a month of goal setting—most often the start of New Year is viewed as a clean slate, a new page, and a fresh start. Goals are important because they can motivate us, they help us prioritize, and if utilized correctly, they can contribute to important personal growth and development.

If you’re in recovery, the idea of setting long-term goals can seem like a paradox. How can I set goals for the future, while also taking my recovery one day at a time? The good news is, there is a healthy way to set and achieve goals that can complement and even further your progress in your recovery journey.

Take Inventory and Visualize

The 12 Steps introduced you to the concept of taking inventory. In Step 4, you learned how to take a moral inventory and admit your shortcomings. This is a courageous step of true honesty and humility. In the same ways, when you begin to think about setting goals for yourself, begin by taking an honest inventory of where you’re currently at in different aspects of your life.

You may focus on your personal relationships, finances, career, wellness, other areas, or all of the above! When you reflect on your current situation, think of your position currently, and then visualize what your realistic yet ideal situation would be.

Be as Specific as Possible

You’ve heard it many times before, especially in recovery, don’t get too ahead of yourself, don’t “future trip,” and more importantly One Day at a Time.

The best way to set and achieve goals while also staying present in your recovery is to be as specific as possible with what you’d like to achieve. Goals that are too broad, such as “I’d like to save more money,” can be overwhelming, and frankly, can set you up to fail.

Being specific means setting a goal that is measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (you may recognize this as a SMART goal!)

For example, a specific (and SMART) goal about saving money would be:

GOAL: I want to save $50 out of each paycheck to put in my savings until May. I’m going to cancel a subscription I have and eat out only once a week to save this money.

This goal is realistic, it gives you direction, a time-line, and sets you up for success.

Write Them Down!

It’s incredibly important to write your goals down! Bring your goals into a physical reality by writing them in a journal that you use often, on a whiteboard, or you can arrange them on a vision board with pictures of what you’d like to achieve. Studies show that you’re more likely to achieve the goals that you write down and review often. Don’t forget to track your progress either, take pictures, make notes, and record updates as you go along to keep you motivated.

Recovery First

No matter what, if you’re in recovery, keep your recovery first in your life. You know that you will lose anything you put before your personal recovery. The beautiful thing about the 12 Steps is that they are the true map and guideline for your ultimate long-term goal of sobriety. Keeping recovery at the forefront of your life affords you the solid foundation and stability to build all of your other goals upon.

If you need extra support, don’t forget to reach out to your recovery network, your sponsor, or your home group to discuss the goals that you feel comfortable sharing with others. You may turn your more personal goals over to your higher power as you understand it.

For more tools to assist you in setting healthy goals that support your recovery…JOIN US TODAY 1/25/2021!

Fellowship Hall and Triad Lifestyle Medicine are teaming up to bring you a FREE live webinar on how to set healthy goals related to overall health/wellness and self-care to keep you successful in your life, and in your recovery!

For those who register on Zoom, you’ll receive a checklist and goal assessment tool to help you succeed.

When: TODAY January 26 at noon EST

Where: Join us on Zoom (check email for registration link) or watch on Facebook LIVE!


For more information, resources, and encouragement, “like” the Fellowship Hall Facebook page and follow us on Instagram at @FellowshipHallNC.

About Fellowship Hall

Fellowship Hall is a 99-bed, private, not-for-profit alcohol and drug treatment center located on 120 tranquil acres in Greensboro, N.C. We provide treatment and evidence-based programs built upon the Twelve-Step model of recovery. We have been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1974 as a specialty hospital and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. We are committed to providing exceptional, compassionate care to every individual we serve.

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