The Art of Setting Goals in Addiction Recovery

The Art of Setting Goals in Addiction Recovery


“How can setting goals help me to overcome addiction or alcoholism?”

The idea of setting goals for ourselves has become a bit cliche….but it can be an exciting way to live if you take it seriously. If you want to supercharge your life and get excited about living again, here is what to do:

Start by setting some big, lofty goals for yourself. Things like “Start my own business” or “Take a vacation in Hawaii,” or “Lose 30 pounds.” Let yourself dream a little and come up with some goals that might seem out of reach. Don’t think small. “Make it in to work tomorrow” doesn’t count.

Person jumping a hurdle

Too often, we get so caught up in the daily grind of day-to-day living that we focus only on the immediate tasks that lay right in front of us, and don’t devote any time or energy to long term dreams we might have. We wake up one day and say “Hey! Hasn’t like, 5 or 10 years gone by and I haven’t really done diddly-squat?!” This is unacceptable, and we are capable of so much more. Those “unreachable” dreams you have are well within reach….they just take a bit of planning and preparation. Take your biggest and juiciest goal, make a decision to do it, and then come up with a plan and a series of actions that will get you there. Come up with a concrete timeline and a budget. Maybe you want to go on a trip that will cost several thousand dollars, but you simply don’t have the money for it. Start working out the details and plan it for a year or two down the road, put fifty bucks away out of each paycheck, and make it happen.

Starting your own business is no different from planning a vacation–for most of us anyway. The problem involves risk….we simply can’t afford to quit our day jobs in order to pursue other interests. The solution to this is to save up enough money in order to give ourselves some cushion when we finally decide to strike out on our own. If you still can’t free up time from your day job despite all of your savings, you can always outsource your business venture with your own money. Either way, if you want to “take a risk” and start your own business, the best way to minimize the risks is to build up some savings to fall back on.

Take some time to examine a couple of key areas in your life. Are you completely satisfied with your body and your current level of physical fitness? What about your dietary and nutritional habits? Are you satisfied with your level of income, or do you wish you made more money?

The next couple of years are going to pass by regardless of what you do….imagine yourself a few years from now if you set some major goals for yourself in all of these categories. The alternative is to just keep doing what you’ve been doing….which might involve making little to no growth, and never really changing. Make a commitment to yourself to set some big, juicy goals for yourself and to start working towards them.

Some would argue that living a goal-oriented life is less than ideal; that the best way to live is to transcend mere goal setting and live a life of purpose. Upon closer examination, however, this turns out to be a bit of a cop-out for most people, and the vast majority of us would still benefit from setting concrete and specific goals for ourselves. Living a “life of purpose” is an excuse for passivity. Making the decision to set and reach concrete goals inspires us to take action!

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