Addiction Recovery

7 Steps to Set Achievable Goals

There are 7 steps you can take to set achievable goals while recovering from addiction. Learn more in this blog from The Forge Recovery Center.

7 Steps to Set Achievable Goals

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

August 10, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

When you enter drug and alcohol treatment, you may envision who you want to be with a life free of addictive substances. Getting to your dream destination may seem overwhelming and daunting, especially if you have no idea where to start

Setting goals is an essential part of addiction recovery. Setting goals will not only allow you to have hope for your future but will also help you accomplish what can seem like impossible tasks by breaking them down into achievable pieces.

#1. Write Out Your Goals

Having multiple goals is excellent but tackling them all at once can be incredibly difficult, especially if you have other responsibilities in your life. A crucial purpose of goal setting in the context of recovery is to give you hope for the future. If you get burnout pushing yourself to achieve everything at once, it will likely lead to stress and disillusionment.

Before you start diving into your goals, write them down and decide which one of your goals should come first.

While you are deciding which goal should come first, it is essential to take inventory of which goals are the most relevant and realistic. Questions you can ask yourself while prioritizing your goals include:

  • Is this goal in alignment with my values and beliefs?

  • Do I have the time and energy right now to focus on this specific goal?

  • Do I currently have the resources or stability to achieve this goal?

  • Will this goal enhance or take away from my recovery?

Once you have chosen a goal to focus on, it is time to start researching how to achieve it. 

#2. Research

You may have a variety of goals that you want to achieve during and after recovery. These goals can include things like returning to school, becoming an artist, reconnecting with loved ones, or staying sober.

Regardless of what your goal is, achieving it will require you to have an understanding of how to get there. You can research the steps to achieve a goal by talking to someone who has achieved it. You can also use resources like the internet to explore the steps you have to take to reach your goal.

#3. Break the Goal into S.M.A.R.T. Steps

As you do your research, you will begin to better understand what you need to do to move forward. Write out the steps you need to take to reach your goals. To ensure each step is clear and manageable, you can use the S.M.A.R.T. method. For a step to be S.M.A.R.T., it should be:

  • Specific

  • Manageable

  • Achievable

  • Realistic

  • Timed

The last S.M.A.R.T. criteria—timed—stresses the importance of giving yourself deadlines for when each task needs to be completed. Adding realistic deadlines will help you remain accountable to yourself and your dreams, but do not be hard on yourself if things do not go as planned.

People frequently underestimate the amount of time it takes to accomplish a task.

#4. Enlist Your Support System

While you are building your life, it is crucial to remember that you do not have to do it on your own. Pursuing achievable, realistic, and attainable goals is much easier when you have a support system to cheer you on.

Once you have written the steps you need to take to achieve a goal, let your friends, family, peers, or treatment team know what you want to accomplish. By enlisting your support system, you will have people around you who can be excited for the new life you are building and be there to support you when things get tough.

#5. Evaluate Your Progress

While you are on the road to your dream destination, it is vital to remember that recovery and goal achievement will not happen overnight. There will likely be a fair amount of trial and error as you enter a new lifestyle without drugs or alcohol.

When you encounter stumbling blocks, do not beat yourself up. Instead, ask for help from your support system to help you get back on track and reassess. Achieving your goals takes time. Remember: no one expects you to get better overnight, and you should not expect this either.

#6. Celebrate Your Successes

Breaking down your goals into smaller steps will help to make reaching your dream destination seem less overwhelming. Additionally, each time you complete a step, it will give you a sense of victory that you can relish in—and you should.

While recovering, it is essential to permit yourself to feel good about yourself. Take pride in your work and celebrate when you achieve your milestones. Doing this will not only help improve your mental health, but it will also allow you to feel energized, which can lead to further success.

#7. Rinse, Wash, and Repeat

After you achieve a goal and celebrate your victory, you can move on to the next one. Starting with step one in this list, you should reevaluate where you are and determine which goal should come next. As you progress toward your goals, remember to be kind to yourself and not overwhelm yourself by taking too much on at once. 

Your health always comes first, and it is vital that while you are recovering, you take time for self-care, relationships, and the other facets of your life that will keep you healthy and ultimately make you more able to pursue your goals in the long run.

The Forge Recovery Center will Help You Reach Your Goals

Going through recovery is difficult, but it is also an exciting time marked by exploration and self-recovery. The Forge Recovery Center is more than a place for detox and therapy. After you complete treatment with us, we want to see you filled with the hope and energy to achieve your goals and a support system that will be there to walk with you in the next chapter of your life. Our staff will provide you with resources and opportunities to help you discover who you want to be when you enter into a new lifestyle without drugs and alcohol.

We will help you set goals and connect you with peers who share your recovery goals. For more information about treatment here with us, contact The Forge Recovery Center today.

Newsletter banner

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay updated with the latest news, resources, and updates from The Forge Recovery Center.