While millions of Americans set goals around the new year, statistics show that most struggle to stay committed throughout the year. In fact, as many as 80% of goal-setters give up on their New Year’s resolutions by February 1st. Setting goals that are not only achievable but also specific and measurable can help ensure you stay the course from the beginning of 2021 to the end.
Setting SMART Goals in Addiction Recovery
Setting goals that are vague, too lofty, or impossible to measure often leads to feeling overwhelmed and eventually throwing in the towel. When using New Year’s resolutions to stay in recovery, setting smart goals that support achievement is more important than ever before.
You can use the acronym SMART to determine whether your goals are clear and focused. Consider each of these attributes of a solid resolution as you set yours: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Setting your New Year’s resolution with intention can bring energy and purpose to your life and recovery.
How To Use SMART Goals for Addiction Recovery
Setting goals is central to long-lasting, successful recovery, and ensuring they meet the criteria of SMART goals can improve your chances of staying committed and achieving the long-term success you need and want. Keep these attributes of smart goals in mind as you set your sights for addiction recovery in 2021:
- Specific. Your goals should be clear, focused, and simple. Rather than, “I won’t relapse this year,” try something more focused like, “I will meditate every morning,” or, “I will reflect through journaling at the end of each day this year.” Once you’ve set your goal, you can hone in even further by setting micro-goals designed to help you achieve your resolution. In this case, if you’re hoping to journal daily, you might schedule 15 minutes at the same time every day or find an accountability partner to ensure you’re staying true to your commitment.
- Measurable. Measurable goals are easy to monitor and achieve. You should be able to easily identify whether you’re on track toward achieving your goal. There are lots of forms of measurement: the number of times you complete something, the number of days you do as you set out to do, the number of pounds you lose, and more.
- Achievable. Impossible goals are defeating and deflating. Instead, choose an achievable goal. Expecting to lose a hundred pounds in one year might be too lofty, for example, but setting your goal at thirty pounds might be more attainable. (Losing thirty is an improvement over getting overwhelmed and giving up!).
- Relevant. The best goals are goals that are relevant – to your sobriety, in this case. Sobriety goals often focus on 1) abstaining, 2) healing, or 3) building positive habits. Examples of goals that support sobriety include abstinence from situations that trigger or tempt you, engaging in self-care like counseling and recovering meetings, or establishing new, healthy routines and habits like meditating, journaling, or exercising.
- Time-bound. Set clear milestones and deadlines for progress toward goals. Even New Year’s resolutions should rarely span the entire year; instead, set daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly goals so they’re attainable and measurable. These can come together to help you achieve a bigger goal. For example, journaling every day for 30 days supports your goal of maintaining sobriety.
The Reality of Realistic New Year’s Resolutions in Recovery
As you begin 2021 in recovery, set resolutions that are motivating, meaningful, and aligned with your sobriety goals. It’s especially important to be mindful of your likelihood of success; unrealistic goals can not only fall by the wayside but be damaging to your recovery.
By choosing goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, you can set yourself up for long-term sobriety and success, using the New Year as a launching point. To start your journey toward recovery, visit the compassionate team at Riverside Recovery in Tampa, FL, today. We’re here to support your sobriety, now and going forward.