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Taking One Step at a Time: How Goal Setting Can Help You Beat Addiction

A couple celebrates their success after hiking up a mountain.
Setting one goal at a time can help you gain and maintain sobriety after addiction.

When you look in the mirror, who do you see? Do you see a healthy, vibrant individual full of promise and potential? Or is the person staring back at you an addict who has lost their health, confidence and independence to drugs or alcohol?

When you see what addiction has done to you, it can feel like there’s no way out. It’s like you’re a slave to the cravings with no freedom in sight. But the truth is recovery is possible. And as one Tennessee couple in recovery shared with BBC News, the trick to overcoming addiction and staying sober is goal setting.

In this article, we’ll review why setting goals is so important in addiction treatment and recovery, and review some of the goals you can set for yourself.

Why Goal Setting Can Help You Beat Addiction

There are many reasons why addiction has such a tight grip on your life. Because of the way addiction affects the brain, it takes up all of your focus and makes you believe drugs or alcohol are the only way for you to feel better if you’re struggling with depression or anxiety.

Of course, you still need credible addiction treatment to get the drugs out of your system and help you get to the bottom of your substance abuse. But goal setting can help you move forward and even serve as a replacement for drinking or drug use.

Why? For starters, goal setting triggers action and positive behavior. Once you set a goal, your focus is on how you’re going to achieve it. You’re going to behave in specific ways and do specific things that move you closer and closer to that goal until you reach it.

Goal setting can also be addicting all on its own. Achieving something you want and have worked towards triggers the release of dopamine in your brain, making you feel good. You’ll then set another goal to reach because you’ll want to feel good and confident again!

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Goals to Set for Yourself in Treatment and Recovery

The good news is goals can be anything you want them to be. From running a race to getting a new job, you can set whatever goals you want – as long as they’re attainable and you’re keeping yourself accountable.

Goals You Can Set During Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment is all about discovering why your addiction started in the first place and developing new skills and habits to help you stay sober. Rehab is your time to improve your diet, exercise and work on your mental and emotional health in therapy.

During treatment, challenge yourself to try new and healthy foods you typically wouldn’t try. After all, a strong, lean diet will help get your health back on track. Or set a goal to walk, run or bike a specific amount of miles every week to help develop an exercise routine.

Set a goal to uncover something new about yourself in every one of your individual therapy sessions, and challenge yourself to practice yoga or meditation every day.

Goals for Recovery After Treatment

You don’t want to lose the momentum you gained in treatment, so keep the goal setting going as you transition back to everyday life. First and foremost, make sure you continue to practice meditation, mindfulness and other relapse prevention techniques.

Then, set a goal of cutting yourself off from the people and environments that influenced your addiction. Get rid of phone numbers, disconnect with those individuals on social media and stop frequenting the places where you used to drink or get high. Instead, join a sports team, become a member of a club or volunteer to make new, positive friendships.

After that, the sky’s the limit! Did cardio during rehab help you feel good? Sign up for a 10K and follow a training schedule to keep you on track. Have you always wanted to get a college degree? Go back to school and get closer to graduation, one course and class assignment at a time. Want to buy a house for your family? Set an amount you need saved for a down payment and work towards it.

No matter what your goal is, remember to set it and stick to it until you achieve it. And when you’re done? Set a new and bigger goal that helps you strive towards being the successful, confident person you want to see when you look in the mirror every morning.

Find Lasting Recovery from Addiction at The Raleigh House

At The Raleigh House, we know one of the biggest hurdles to seeking addiction treatment is simply reaching out for help. So, make that your very first goal. Decide today that you’ve had enough of addiction and it’s time to save your life.

At our wellness lodge just outside of Denver, you can escape the chaos of your everyday life and focus on healing your mind, body and spirit. We provide evidence-based treatment combined with holistic therapies to give you the best chance possible at lasting recovery.

Ready to overcome addiction? Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our treatment programs.

Call Now: 720-891-4657

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