Being sober can certainly be a completely overwhelming experience. One of the big challenges that many face at some point in recovery is setting goals for what they want their life to look like in the future. This can be a completely overwhelming task when this hasn’t been something that hasn’t been given a lot of thought previously! Many people in early recovery are faced with making big decisions around huge areas of life such as housing, finding a job, and possibly going back to school.
These changes would be stressful for anyone, and when someone is struggling with addiction they can be a trigger for relapse. So how can we set goals in a way that is less likely to be overwhelming and more likely to be achieved? The best advice when setting goals is to think small and specific. We may need to start with that big overarching goal, but then break it down into smaller concrete parts. For example, “I want to lose weight” is a pretty common big and broad goal. A key question to ask yourself is “so how will I accomplish that”? once you know the bigger goal you are working towards.
In this example, it may be setting smaller goals for yourself like “I will exercise for 30 minute 3 days a week”, “I will lose 15 lbs in the next 6 months”, “I will eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day” etc. As you can see breaking our big goals into smaller very specific and measurable goals can not only make our goals feel less overwhelming and more attainable, but it also gives us a clarity about when we have accomplished them because they are so specific. This can be really helpful in building confidence. If you are interested in more specific strategies for setting effective goals Google SMART goals. This will really be helpful for learning how to set goals that really set you up to be successful at achieving them.
Questions about setting goals or anything else addiction or recovery related? Feel free to get in touch!