There is an entire field of experts that study human potential and achievement. Within this field is a variety of experiments, studies, and research that goes on to uncover the secrets of achieving our dreams. One such study uncovered that people are 9 times more successful if they write down their goals than if they hadn’t written them down. Nine times more successful is a significant difference! Because of this finding, this article will explore the benefits of goal setting as it is related to recovery from addiction.
There is a quote that is often recited in achievement-oriented circles:
If you continue to do what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always gotten.
If you’ve never set goals for yourself and if you’ve never written them down, you might not have ever received what you desired. However, if you were to do something different, such as creating clear goals and writing them down, then you might have something different in your life. Now, it might be that you’ve never thought about goals. You might have gone with the flow of life and simply went along with what others said or did.
However, recovery is different. You’re going to need to find determination and courage inside of you to stay sober on a long-term basis. Temptations to drink or use drugs frequently show up when you’re in recovery and it may take some inner strength to stay sober. Fortunately, setting goals can help with creating that inner strength!
To create a goal, think about what you want. Now, put your desire into words. You might start by writing down your ideas for now. But be sure to revise your initial ideas into well-formulated, specific, realistic, measured objectives. You may need to take some time to continue to revise what you originally thought about until it’s a clear, specific, and realistic statement(s) of what you want.
You may want to do this for more than one area of your life. However, for now come up with a goal for your recovery. It might be something like this:
I want to stay sober for the next 3 months by attending 12-step meetings 3 times per week, meeting with my sponsor once per week, and seeing my doctor at least once per month.
Notice that this goal is clear, specific and measured. You’re stating clearly out what you’d like to do and by when. Notice that it is also realistic, meaning that this goal isn’t sobriety for the rest of your life. Although life-long sobriety may be your long term goal, this is objective keeps sobriety within a certain period of time that is down-to-earth and practical.
Now, write down your goal on an index card and keep it where you’ll see it often. Perhaps even write it down more than once and keep it in your bathroom, on the refrigerator door, in your car, and on your kitchen table. In this way, you’ll remind yourself again and again of what you’re after and then you can make all your choices in favor of your goal.
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