In sobriety, many of us find a rejuvenation of desire as we return to goals we had before addiction sidetracked us. However, many times, we may have had dreams that remained just that – notions of things we said we would love to do some day that simply never become actualized. Often, the problem lies not in our ability to achieve – but simply our failure to set goals that can be attained. Setting reasonable goals means making our desires concrete, organizing time and efforts, gathering resources and outlining steps for attainment.
Ways to Set and Achieve Attainable Goals
With some basic tenets, you can set and achieve goals in a stress- and fear-free manner. Here at The Orchid Recovery Center, we are happy to help you achieve your goals. Here are a few tips for setting goals that are specific, actionable and attainable.
- Visualize Success
You won’t know when you achieve a goal if you haven’t decided what success looks like. Take some time to list your goals and then attach verbal and sensory values to them. What does it mean to “advance at your job”? What does “quality time with your kids” look like? Get specific, knowing you can amend your picture of success as it evolves over time. Ask yourself what sounds, scents, visuals and feelings would accompany your picture of success. Create a “vision board” with magazine cutouts, drawings and inspirational words that symbolize your success, to create tangible goals.
- Break Tasks into Steps
Make sure that you’re not creating goals that are mammoth in size. For each major goal, create sub-goals with actionable, simple steps for their completion.
- Seek out a Mentor or Partner
In addition to gaining support, mentors and partners can provide feedback and inspiration that can become indispensable in goal attainment. Whether you seek out a veteran in your company, another mother in your child’s kindergarten class or a girlfriend at school, find women of strong character and healthy lifestyles to recruit into your support network. Allow connections to build easily, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or support when you need it, while giving the same in return.
- Assess Your Resources
Sometimes, we have the tools we need to achieve our goals already; we simply haven’t recognized it yet. Take a moment after goal-setting to assess your resources. Who could help with this goal? Do you know someone with knowledge or a talent in a given area? What books might be instructional for you? What time can you comfortably find in your schedule? What money or tools might you already have for achievement? By allotting resources to achievable goals, you’ll find that you can better position yourself for attainment.
- Set a Reasonable Pace
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and goals don’t get accomplished overnight. Remember to set a reasonable pace for yourself in goal achievement. Leave time for relaxation, meditation, exercise and personal obligations. Remember that achievement is not a race to the finish.
- Plan for Setbacks
Always build both a time and a resource cushion into your goal plans. Remember that life doesn’t always go smoothly and not everything will execute according to plan. Especially around important action items, try to identify obstacles and create secondary plans for any foreseeable setbacks that may arise.