The first year of recovery is a critical time for many reasons. It’s a time when you’re still new to the program and learning how to live sober. It’s also a time when you’re likely to experience some of the most intense cravings to use drugs or alcohol. If you are one of those people, it’s okay. It’s normal to have lots of questions and concerns about your future. The decision to seek treatment must be motivated by a real desire to stop, and that’s something cannot be forced or rushed. Having a clear vision in mind of what you want to achieve is key, along with working on identifying some of the hurdles you may face along the way.
Don’t be afraid of the feeling of being overwhelmed during the process of moving forward. It’s very common in new situations and you should use it to your advantage instead of getting frustrated or feeling sorry for yourself. These goals will help keep your focus on what’s essential in your life so that you don’t get distracted by feelings of loneliness, boredom, or depression.
Goals to set for the first year of recovery
Decide to stay sober, one day at a time.
The first thing many people do when they decide to get clean is going through detox or rehab. Some treatment program or counseling usually follows this before they’re released into society with all their old problems waiting for them at home or work. At this stage, it’s important not to rush things too much — otherwise, you might end up relapsing before you even start. If you think too far in advance or look too far into the future, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all the “what ifs?” This can lead to hopelessness and despair — feelings that can quickly spiral downward toward relapse. So take things one day at a time and focus on what you need to do, not to use any drugs or alcohol today. Then move on from there and do it again tomorrow! Instead, focus on committing yourself that you’re going to make sobriety work this time around — no matter how difficult life may seem at first glance (or even second).
Attending the 12-step program and setting realistic goals
One of the most important goals for yourself as you enter recovery is attending 12-step meetings regularly. These meetings are free and open to anyone who wants to stop drinking or using drugs. Attending these meetings is a great way to start your recovery journey. You will learn valuable information about addiction and how to recover and connect with others who are going through the same thing. You will be able to hear stories from people who have gone through what you’re going through now and learn how they made it through their struggles with addiction. Also, it’s tempting to set big, lofty goals when just starting recovery. That’s a good thing! But it’s also important to be realistic about what you can accomplish now. If your goal is too ambitious and you don’t achieve it, it can leave you feeling disappointed and discouraged — which isn’t helpful at all. Instead of setting lofty goals, break them down into smaller, more realistic, and manageable steps. For example: if your goal is “get sober and stay sober for one year,” then break it down into “get sober by attending meetings every day for the next 30 days, avoid using drugs or alcohol for another 60 days, etc.”
Make no mistake: the time following your first day in recovery is a return to sobriety, not freedom. Setting goals for your first year of sobriety will help you map out the coming months. As you set these goals, remember that this is the first year of your new life as a sober individual, something that’s different from anything you’ve experienced before. But enjoy this new lifestyle and these new opportunities for personal growth. Therefore, if you feel you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, we can help you through your journey to sobriety. Call us today at 833-680-0165. Soon enough, aspiration replaces despair as you begin your life in recovery.