Goal Setting in Recovery
A person who begins recovery has many questions about where to go from here. A person’s mind can become overwhelmed with all the things that need to be done and the wrongs that need to be made right. Recovery is a lifelong endeavor and not all problems or concerns need to be addressed right away. In order to avoid feeling overwhelmed and risking relapse, the following are a few suggestions to help get you on track with recovery.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Abraham Maslow theorized that our psychological health is based on need. The first need is that of air, sleep, food, water, and shelter. Maslow called these needs our physiological needs. When beginning recovery, you might want to ensure that your basic needs are met. This would involve making sure that you have food to eat, water to drink, and a safe place to sleep. Once these needs are met, a person can move forward. Put your other worries aside until your basic needs are met.
After your basic needs are met, you can begin to think about some other concerns you might be experiencing. These concerns could include financial, relational, or legal. If you are experiencing any legal issues, it is advised that you take care of these as soon as possible. Legal issues can turn into larger issues if not resolved.
If you have unsurmountable debt as a result of your addiction, consider speaking with a person who is familiar with your situation. There are possibilities even if it might seem overwhelming. Another outlet for getting financial solutions is in 12-step meetings. Many members have been where you are and survived. Set goals in terms of how you will earn a living and what expenses you have. Make a budget and stick to it. Some people find it useful for a family member or other loved one to handle finances for you so you can focus on recovery. This is a viable solution for the short term. Over time you will learn how to budget your finances but you need to know where you are starting financially and where you would like to be in terms of income and expenses.
It is important that you set goals not just related to your personal life but also to your recovery. How many meetings do you wish to attend per week, per month? Set a goal for social support through meetings. Many recovering addicts plan on 90 meetings in 90 days. How many days per week would you be able to attend individual or group therapy sessions? Consider these options as you set goals for recovery.
Family and relationship issues also involve setting goals. Some addicts find it useful to make lists of those wronged by the addiction and a plan for making amends to each. Again, this will take time and will not happen overnight. Take it easy and take it slow. Recovery is a lifelong process and over time, overwhelming feelings or experiences will begin to appear clear and you will be able to address all of your concerns with confidence and self-awareness.