Setting and achieving goals

Many of us have visions of what we would like to accomplish

With opioid dependence, a lot of time and energy are focused on the day-to-day challenges of managing the condition. It is also important to take steps toward rebuilding the other aspects of your life. When you set goals, you are giving yourself a focus. When you accomplish a goal you gain a sense of satisfaction and feel motivated to continue with your other goals.


Types of goals

Some goals may be short term, meaning that you can achieve them quite quickly. For example, you may decide to organize a room in your home, get back in touch with family members, or apply for a job.

Some goals may be long term and require a plan, such as going back to school, or saving money for a car.

Other goals can be ongoing, such as exercising, eating healthily, or having a hobby.

Setting goals

Putting your goals in writing can help you commit to them. Keeping track of your progress can show you what you have achieved and can motivate you to continue.

Many people prefer to set positive goals that focus on what they are going to do (such as “walk a mile each day”), rather than negative goals that focus on what they will not do (such as “watch less television”). You may want to start with a small number of goals that are realistic, achievable, and important to you. If you have a long-term goal, break it down into smaller steps to help measure your progress and to help with your motivation.

It is also helpful to review your goals regularly, add new goals when you are ready, and to celebrate what you’ve achieved.

“Set small goals. Try to look at every day, every week, every month that you are not using as a victory – because it is.”

Personal experience

“You have to first maintain your recovery if you are going to achieve any other life goals. Whether you want to rebuild your family and friend network, buy a house or get married, or get a good job or go back to school, the first step to achieving all of those goals is to maintain your recovery.”

Personal experience

“My main goal is to live a balanced life. Addicts are really bad at balance. Addicts tend to go to the extremes whether it’s the really bad extremes or the really good extremes. Finding a happy medium is important. My life goal is more about overall peace of mind and contentment with life – rather than being happy all the time or being rich or being successful.”

Personal experience

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