Making The Most Out Of Recovery: Set Goals, Be Active, Stay Inspired
Addiction recovery is a long and challenging process that requires hard work, perseverance, and strict adherence to goals. There are many approaches you can take, however, that can make your recovery more enjoyable and purposeful.
Moreover, staying engaged in your recovery and your life is critical to avoid returning to old habits.
Goal-Setting and Planning
Begin by thinking about your original purpose when you decided to recover – to become sober and drug-free. Write down all the reasons why you embarked on this journey until you feel rejuvenated about your purpose.
Next, begin considering what goals you have yet to achieve. Be very specific. Include both recovery milestones as well as educational or work-related goals. Where do you want to be in one year? Five years?
After you have outlined your goals, create daily lists of what you want or need to accomplish, and include interesting activities for your enjoyment. Check off items after they have been completed, and use a calendar to plan future milestones, activities, and events.
The idea behind all this is to stay engaged in your life and remind yourself that you have things to look forward to – things that are only attainable if you remain on your path to recovery.
Engage in Both Old and New Activities
Also incorporate activities that are new to you, or that you’ve always wanted to try. Write down a long list with a wide variety of possibilities, even if they seem out of reach. Seek to learn something and maybe discover an unknown or under-used talent.
The reason why most people volunteer is because it makes them feel good to do something for others. In your darkest days, it can help you regain a sense purpose and remember why you and your recovery are so crucial to the community.
Finding volunteer work is not hard. Think of areas that you feel passionate about – for example, if you love animals, volunteer at an animal shelter.
Volunteering and making a difference in the lives of others is not only incredibly fulfilling emotionally, but fosters new friendships in environments conducive to recovery.
Surround Yourself With Inspiration
Keep a journal or post notes around your home, car, or work that you will see every day to keep you inspired, such as motivational quotes. Refer to them when you feel stressed or fearful. Write down notes that specifically refer to the goals that will keep you fired up about your recovery.
Engaging in all of these activities, being mindful, and taking an active part in your recovery is essential for long-term sobriety. Critically, by keeping your life interesting and fulfilled, you can avoid slipping back into the negative thought patterns and behaviors that led you to your addiction in the first place.
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology