As we begin treatment for our addictions, we are met with a great many challenges. We must overcome our obsessive and compulsive behaviors, learn to deal with stress in healthy ways, face the loss of relationships, our job, or even our home, as well as countless other challenges. We must learn, in short, a new way of living.
We can meet any and all of these challenges, or problems, by turning their solutions into goals and opportunities. The very first goal we can set for ourselves is to finish our treatment program and “coin out” at the end of it. When we return to our daily lives, we make it our goal to find a 12-step program and attend 90 meetings in 90 days. These are specific goals with tangible results.
If we’ve lost our job, we can turn that into an opportunity to follow our passion, making it our goal to find more fulfilling and rewarding work. We might be quite surprised to find we’re capable of much, much more than we imagined. If we find we’re lacking in skills, we make it our goal to take classes or get special training in our desired field or occupation.
We meet the challenge of repairing damaged relationships by setting a goal to make amends for past behavior. We do this with the help of our sponsor, therapist, or spiritual advisor. We identify specific ways in which we can rebuild trust among our family members, loved ones, and coworkers. For example, we begin to show up on time, call when we say will, and take care of our obligations. We make it our goal to practice kindness and compassion.
We set a goal to learn new ways of dealing with our emotions, without drugs, alcohol, or other addictive behaviors. We learn to meditate and practice mindfulness in our everyday lives, identifying our thoughts and feelings as they arise.
We also face the universally human challenge of reducing our stress levels. This goal gives us the opportunity to find ways to relax and enjoy life’s many blessings. We practice new habits, activities, and hobbies. If we need to get more exercise, we might make it our goal to walk, jog, bicycle, or play sports five times a week. We also might set a goal of reading one book per week to exercise our mind.\
The most effective goals are specific and measurable. Saying, for instance, that we want to “eat better” is okay; but saying we will eat three servings of vegetables a day and halve our intake of processed sugar gives us a way to quantify our goal. It’s this yardstick by which we measure our success.
Change happens one step at a time. Design For Change is a full continuum of care options providing the hope that is promised in recovery. As a refuge for addicts seeking change, our residential programs help change lives. Call us today for information: (877) 267-3646