When facing the end of rehab and the beginning of the next phase of the journey of recovery, each recovering addict will need to start thinking of what goals they wish to accomplish going forward.
Yet the pressure of facing life after rehab can be immense and potentially crippling to the decision making process. Addicts must move past that and learn how to set goals for their recovery journey.
Stepping out of rehab and back into the day to day rhythms of life and routines of daily activity, recovering addicts can find themselves overwhelmed by the renewed demands on their time and energy. By setting goals, the recovering addict can funnel their attention to things a little bit at a time, one step at a time.
Yet it’s important to know where to start with setting goals. For instance, it’s easy to think of “Don’t relapse” as an important goal, and of course every thing the patient does out of rehab is done with this idea in mind. But as a goal, it’s not very good. It’s entirely open-ended, with no way to reach completion. The only way to remove the goal from your list would be to fail, which is clearly the wrong approach.
No, big mission statements are fine but they’re not suitable goals. Your goals should be smaller milestones, accomplishments you can reach with a certain amount of time or effort and complete.
Completion is important. Reaching a goal can help bolster the faltering self-esteem of a struggling recovering addict and reinforce their steps on the right path in the right direction.
So start with just a few, manageable goals. Don’t set too many, lest you overwhelm yourself with expectations. Perhaps keep your list to one hand’s worth of fingers at any given time, so you can recall them easily and quickly. As you meet a goal, you can add a newer goal, perhaps a bigger one as you become more confident and comfortable with your direction after rehab.
After you’ve finished a few goals, you might consider expanding your list, but eventually you may not need a specific list of goals to help you manage life after rehab. Your goals will just be the usual daily checklist of anyone else working to balance life, work and family, addiction or no addiction.
If you’re struggling to come up with a suitable list of goals, however, it’s not shameful to seek help from those who have been there before you and can guide you through the process. Support groups, friends and family and others can work with you to find the right goals to stay sober and away from the clutches of addiction.
At Good Landing Recovery, the therapists and others in your treatment plan can help you devise goals for your future as you approach the end of rehab. Having worked with countless clients before you, they have extensive experience working through the goal making process for others and can do the same for you.