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  • Lets Talk: Setting Goals in Recovery

    Community Builder
    Posts: 587
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Lets Talk: Setting Goals in Recovery

    Tue Apr 19, 2022 10:53 am

    Setting Goals in Recovery!


    Time and time again we hear people talk about the importance of setting goals in recovery, but how do we actually go about setting goals? The main approach taken in recovery is known as S.M.A.R.T!

    S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound. Let's get into those in a little more detail.

    - Be clear about what you are trying to achieve. Simply saying “I’m going to stop doing x” is vague and might lead to you tying yourself in knots trying to work out where to start.

    If you’re having trouble working out how to make your goals specific, ask yourself
    - What do I want to accomplish?
    - Why do I want to accomplish it?
    - How can I accomplish it?
    - What will I need to do to accomplish it?

    - By making a goal measurable you are able to see clearly how close you are to achieving it. A goal such as having two nights a week when you do not drink is measurable. You know that when your head hits the pillow in the evening without having had a drink then you’re on the right track.

    - A goal that is too big can lead to you feeling overwhelmed and make it difficult to get started on. By starting small and setting goals which are easy to achieve, you can maintain your motivation as you take steps to achieving your larger recovery goals. Telling yourself you’ll never drink again is probably not going to keep you motivated, but breaking it down into smaller goals like “I will drink one less drink per night”, or “I will have two nights a week when I don’t drink” is a lot more achievable.

    - When setting goals, it’s important to make sure they’re actually helping you move forward in your recovery journey. Your goals don’t have to be directly related to substances, but they should be supporting you and your journey. If you know that exercise is an important part of your recovery, you can base a goal around that, or another hobby which you know will support you on your journey.

    Time bound
    - Having a time frame helps keep you focussed on your goals, you can’t keep putting it off! Set time frames based on the size of your goal and think about what you’re able to achieve, any boundaries that might come up and how you can move past them. A time frame can be anything from a few days to a few months, as long as it’s there, you have a clear date to work towards.

    By breaking up your goals in this way, taking the S.M.A.R.T. approach, you can really focus on specific and achievable goals which will get you moving forward towards your big goals!

    If you want to read a little bit more about S.M.A.R.T goals jump onto the website, here.
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    Community Builder
    Posts: 587
    Joined: Tue May 04, 2021 9:59 am

    Re: Lets Talk: Setting Goals in Recovery

    Tue Apr 19, 2022 10:58 am

    I'd love to hear from some community members about how you manage your goals

    @PnorkelPW @ScorpionPW @Azura @MoodyM00 @Chanel @Desperate @seni @bettyfordfalcon @bh16 @Jayman007
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    Peer Worker
    Posts: 491
    Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:14 pm

    Re: Lets Talk: Setting Goals in Recovery

    Thu Apr 21, 2022 9:04 pm

    Nice one @Lhiver ……….The SMART goals structure is awesome.

    I need to have goals in my life. A number of years ago when I had a gambling lapse I spent a couple of hours talking with a friend. There was a lot going on in my life at the time but there was also a distinct lack of goals and all of that combined resulted in me acting out in a manner that wasn’t healthy. I need goals to give me purpose, direction, a sense of achievement and to keep me moving forwards. If I stand still for too long it’s not good for me.

    My journal helps me keep track of my goals and helps me realise when I might need to set some new one. It shows up when I start to have feelings of using again, of feeling lonely, unsettled and a little bit lost. I like routine and regularity but I need to shake that up from time to time too. New goals help me grow and stop me standing still.

    Recently I realised that I needed something new in my life and ended up buying the kayak I’d been thinking about for a couple of years. My goals started small and were just about getting used to it and learning balance and technique. I’ve progressed now and have been kayaking in the river and the bay. When I’m more confident I’d like to upgrade and start to do longer paddles on the bay……….but it’s taking things one step at a time. The end goal is about strength, stamina, fitness, mindfulness, nature, getting out of the house and getting a sense of achievement.

    A sense of achievement is big for me and I find that setting small goals helps that. It keeps me focused, interested and motivated. I like to have a mixture of goals too. Big and small, short term and long term. I try to remember that I won’t achieve all of my goals………and that’s important. If I forget this I can start to get disappointed in myself and feel like a failure. But failure is important because there are lessons to be learnt and we fail our way to success. Just trying is what it’s about. Sometimes I’ll lose interest and realise it’s not that important. Sometimes other things will need to take priority. Sometimes I realise that the goals I’ve set just aren’t realistic and I need to reassess them. Setting goals for me isn’t about achieving them all, it’s about discovering what I’m capable of and what’s important to me.

    But how do I keep track of them? In a similar fashion to SMART goals. I set a timeframe and have an expected outcome. I reflect on that timeframe and make adjustments as necessary. Maybe I need to extend my timeframe. Maybe I achieve it earlier and need to set a more challenging goal. Again……this is where my journal helps me keep track. I’ve also learnt to share my goals with friends and family because I’ve discovered that they can help me achieve the goals by offering advice or putting me in touch with people who can help. I never used to share my goals with anyone because I was afraid of what people might think if I didn’t achieve them. Now I understand that the satisfaction comes from just trying.

    Goals stop me getting bored and that keeps me in recovery.
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    Junior Member
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    Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2022 7:48 am

    Re: Lets Talk: Setting Goals in Recovery

    Fri Jun 10, 2022 8:42 pm

    Thanks for the tag @Lhiver My strategy, like nearly everything in my life, is to wing it, play it by ear, roll with the punchesand more often than not, take the path of least resistance. So not really a strategy, or not one with a great chance of success, but there it is.
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    Peer Worker
    Posts: 401
    Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 10:06 am

    Re: Lets Talk: Setting Goals in Recovery

    Wed Jun 15, 2022 8:32 pm

    Hi @bettyfordfalcon, I know you posted this a while ago but I just stumbled upon it and I love what you said, the path of least resistance.

    That is actually a strategy I use really often. Like, if I feel wound up, frustrated, unsure of what's going to happen or if I've got any fear about something that I have no control over. In these situations I really try to pause and ask myself, what is the path of least resistance? How can I go with the flow of things instead of going up stream so to speak to make everything more difficult. But at times, I don't realise I'm doing it and need an outside perspective to see that I'm fighting against things when what I really need to do is let go.

    How are things going for you at the moment? :)
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