Goal Planning for Your Recovery in the New Year

It’s been a long year for a lot of people, and as the year wraps up, it’s time to start thinking about their hopes, dreams, and goals for the upcoming year. So, what are the plans you are hoping to make? What do you want to do to make 2019 a fulfilling and substance-free year?

Planning is Better Than Resolutions

Planning in recovery is more rewarding than setting an unrealistic list of resolutions. Think about the people you know who aren’t in recovery and the kinds of goals they set. Many people will say they’re going to work out daily, lose weight, quit smoking or will cease other bad habits.

The problem, however, is that you can’t just stop or start doing anything that easily. You know this! After all, getting clean and sober probably felt like an insurmountable challenge when you first started on this path.

Creating and Achieving Goals

Just like recovery, achieving goals requires making a plan and going step-by-step. You can’t accomplish anything in life without a few steps. For example, you can’t say you want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and then expect it to appear. Instead, you must first get out the jelly jar, the peanut butter, bread, plate, and butter knife. Then, you must smear jelly and peanut butter on the bread. Finally, you place the sandwich together, and you have a sandwich.

Breaking down goals is similar to writing a recipe. First, you need the tools to complete the goals; then you must do the work. The final product is when you reach the goal.


What do you want to achieve this year? Maybe you want to spend more time with your husband or your parents. Perhaps you want to get a better job or return to school to get a degree. These are all goals that are healthy and realistic, which is essential. Now, you need to determine the tools you’re going to need to make these goals happen.

Sit down and list your goals. Once you’ve decided on your goals, list the steps you need to take to achieve them. How much time will you need? Who can help you with these steps? Share these goals with a therapist or sponsor and ask them to help you with the planning process. Remember, your goals can always be modified if you need more time or something else becomes a priority. Just don’t stop working toward them completely!

Getting Help

Do you or a loved one need help with a substance use disorder? Help is available. While it can be hard to ask for help, it’s an essential first step towards getting the help you deserve.

Give us a call at 1-877-228-2401 to learn more about your options. All calls are 100% confidential.

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