Realistic Addiction Recovery Goals for Your Early Sobriety Journey

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Realistic Addiction Recovery Goals for Your Early Sobriety Journey

Goals can be stepping stones to a happier and healthier life, but they require a lot of work. Many people may set goals, but not everyone will follow through on them. Addiction recovery comes with a lot of big changes and setting goals in recovery can help provide you with some direction. While they are important for your sobriety journey, achieving these goals is often far from easy, especially if you have unrealistic expectations.

Setting Goals in Recovery

Transitioning from a PHP or other treatment program back to your everyday life can be challenging. You are left to rely mostly on yourself and can come in contact with some strong addiction triggers. It is easy to fall off the wagon, but setting goals in early recovery can help ensure that you stay on track after rehab and avoid relapse.

The best and most achievable goals in early recovery are:

  • Specific
  • Not too big
  • Quantifiable
  • Accompanied with a time limit
  • Divided into smaller steps if long-term
  • Written down

Realistic Goals for Addicts in Recovery to Start With

Goal setting in recovery is good for your sobriety, especially in the early stages, but following through on these goals is even more crucial. Unfortunately, this step isn’t always so easy, so it is important to set realistic addiction recovery goals that are actually achievable.

Stay Sober Today

While you may be quick to say you want to be sober forever, it’s likely you will stumble along your recovery journey. Relapse is a part of the process for many people, so life-long sobriety may not be a realistic goal for recovery. Especially if you just completed residential addiction treatment and are transitioning back into your everyday life, it is important to lower this expectation. Start by setting a goal to make it through each day one at a time. As you progress through sobriety, you can start extending these goals to weeks, months, and even years.

Work Out 3 Times A Week

Prolonged drug and alcohol abuse can do a number on your physical health. Now that you are in recovery, you want to help your body heal from this damage, and one of the best ways to do this is through exercise. Instead of setting out to run a marathon or to get a six-pack, start slow. A more realistic goal in addiction recovery is working out three times a week, even if it is just a brisk 30-minute walk. Building up to more intense workouts can help you make exercise a part of your regular routine, instead of burning out after one grueling workout and never going to the gym again.

Attend 1 Recovery Meeting a Week

It is important not to get complacent with your sobriety, so your addiction recovery goals should include measures that keep you active in your recovery. Committing to one recovery meeting a week shouldn’t be too challenging and will help you stay on the right path, especially in early recovery when times are trying. Try not to overwhelm yourself with too many meetings as it could leave you feeling more stressed than supported and could turn you off to the meetings altogether.


Addiction can destroy your personal relationships, and while your overall addiction recovery goal may be to mend these broken relationships, this process takes time. Before your loved ones can fully trust you again, you need to start by making amends. Instead of acting like everything is back to normal, apologize to your loved ones for your wrongdoings first. Apologies are the first step to rebuilding relationships after addiction. If your family is struggling and you are really committed to improving these relationships, signing up for a family addiction program or group counseling may be a helpful next step.

Get A Job & Start Thinking About a Career

If you were fired from your last job before rehab, now is a good opportunity to start thinking about a career, especially if you are newer to the workforce or disliked your other jobs. While securing a job of any kind is a step in the right direction, a job that places you on your chosen career path is even better. If you need schooling before you are able to find a position in your desired field, start taking classes. If you are confused about what you want to do, start by brainstorming possible careers you may be interested in as well as ways to start working toward those positions. Look for an internship, talk to people in the industry, and research training or schooling.

Addiction recovery is a long journey, but you should always try to keep moving forward and sobriety goals can help. Don’t forget to celebrate sobriety milestones and your progress as well. Sobriety is a big deal, and when you achieve your goals in addiction recovery, you have a lot to be proud of.

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At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we want you to find lasting success in your sobriety journey. If you or a loved one has an addiction or mental health problem, let us help. Call us today at 561-220-3981 to learn more.


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