Setting Goals During Recovery

Most people achieve things they desire in life by setting goals. Through this, they will have a clearer idea of what they are trying to do in life. When people are caught up in addiction, their main goals are to get drunk or high. All other goals in life a person has created for themselves are set on the back burner. During recovery, it’s essential for these people to set realistic and achievable goals that help encourage sobriety.

As rehabilitation continues, further growth is highly encouraged. This is a perfect time to focus on establishing your specific recovery benchmarks to restore your sense of purpose and enhance the overall quality of life.

Why setting your goals is important in recovery

For people in recovery, these can help keep them on track and give them something to work towards. When these are achieved, they can start to get back to the goals they set before they fell into substance abuse.

Furthermore, your relationships with your family, friends, and other loved ones will be restored. Goal setting helps you to remain motivated and move through recovery in a healthy and positive way.

When a person starts to set goals in recovery, they give themselves something to strive for. This helps a person learn and grow throughout their journey in recovery. Without goals, a person will have no motivation to get better and kick substance abuse for good. Recovery is a journey focused on self-improvement, because ultimately only you can truly make changes in your life.

Things to consider when setting a goal

Create an attainable goal

One thing that’s very important is to set attainable goals. A person in recovery shouldn’t make goals that seem unattainable, you have to be realistic with your goals. Recovery takes an ample of time, while you are looking for lasting health and happiness, setting unreachable goals can only lead to frustration and failure.

Set small measurable ones that will make you stretch out a bit while remaining achievable in your set of objectives. A good example is to seek part-time employment or internship opportunities that can lead to a full-time job.

Specify your goals

Don’t be vague when creating your goals, be specific. The objectives you have set must be both practical and concrete.

Set a Timeframe

You must consider the timeframe in which you want to achieve your goals since you have clearly defined realistic and specific objectives. With goals opened without a date attached, there is no motivation in the first place to work towards the objective.

Learn to adjust in every situation

You should always remember that life does not have any manual, unexpected things will happen that might challenge you. There will also be obstacles to achieving a goal even with the best planning and intentions. If you do encounter hardships, have the versatility to change the goal so it will still be achievable.

Give yourself room to learn from losses, as a result, you will grow. Accept that life is not perfect and that you must adapt to your goals to achieve what you want in your life and recovery.


It may be unpleasant to think about, but may fall short when it comes to your goals. The best thing you can do is find acceptance. Learn from the experience and make revisions when you fail to achieve recovery. These learning experiences can be as valuable as the achievement of an objective. 

It is important to understand that failure does not mean that you should fall back into old habits. As mentioned above, you must recognize that you are imperfect and have the opportunity to change the way you are striving for your objectives.

What techniques are needed?

The most well-known technique to set your goals is SMART. It supports individuals who have chosen to abstain from addictive behaviors or to refrain from it by teaching how to change self-destructive thoughts, emotions and actions, and to work towards long-term satisfaction and quality of life. The acronym SMART stands for, Specific, Measurable, Achievable,  Relevant, and Time-bound.


It is important to understand the desired outcome in setting recovery goals. Whenever one knows what he or she wants, distractions that inevitably arise can easily be avoided and fewer people guess what the next step is to achieve that objective. Take the time to write the goal so you can see it easily. This helps you to keep them specific and clear.


It is empowering when you are able to measure progress towards a goal. You won’t be able to determine whether you are on the road to achieving your goal without criteria.


Set goals that you can achieve. One easy way to be discouraged is through the creation of goals that are far above your reach. It’s vital to create an attainable goal that challenges you to meet its demands. Continuing to achieve goals increases the self-esteem and confidence of a person. In recovery, that’s crucial.


A SMART objective must be relevant to a person’s recovery journey. A person that is going through recovery must make goals that make sense for them. Recovering addicts need to make their own ones specific to them and their needs.


Time-bound goals help you work towards something and put a little extra motivation on a person. Engagement and conduct can be driven by deadlines. If a goal has no beginning or end in mind, it cannot be achieved. A time sensible goal also enables a person to know when the finish line is close, and in many cases, this is just necessary to push himself or herself so that he does not abandon his goal.

If your first objective is to seek treatment that will help you with the necessary instruments and support to help you find lasting recovery, then you will be prepared to accept sobriety. The day that you decide to set recovery goals is the day when you regain control of your life. This is the day you begin to live purposefully again. That is why it is so important to set the goal for recovery.