What Are Five Ways To Set Measurable Goals In Recovery?

The decision to seek treatment is one of the most crucial choices an addict can make. Such action demonstrates that said individual finally recognizes their dependence has caused their life to spiral out of control and they must take drastic steps to achieve sobriety or even stay alive.

That said, recovery is a process. For some recovering individuals, such efforts could seem intimidating. However, many addiction specialists suggest that one way of rendering said endeavor more manageable is an effort called goal setting.

The Benefits Of Goal Setting In Recovery

Rehab’s ultimate aim is to help people change. That said, such alteration does not merely refer to no longer ingesting an addictive substance.

Recovery centers often strive to inspire healing subjects alter other key behaviors including:

  • How they cope with the problems and pain that may have precipitated their dependencies
  • The way in which the world is viewed
  • The manner in which personal and professional relationships are conducted
  • The identification of healthy and productive stress-coping methods

Above all, the improving soul will learn to adapt to life as a sober individual. Setting goals enables said subject to view their recovery as a number of steps instead of one overwhelming and stressful event.

Ways To Set Measurable Goals

When helping patients under their tutelage set goals, addiction treatment professionals subscribe to the SMART philosophy. SMART is an acronym for establishing specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely endeavors.


When identifying and setting prospective aims, recovering addicts are urged to be specific. Ergo, said persons are instructed to formulate specific goals. For example, declaring that one wants to overcome their dependency is an admirable but not extremely specific statement.

Industry insiders maintain that those those in recovery establish a more formal plan detailing why they wish to conquer their demons and clearly document the steps they are willing to take to make said goals happen.


Setting a goal is a quality effort. However, in the realm of recovery, quantity is considered just as important. Many rehabbing subjects are taught to think in terms of how much and how many.

An example of this would be a healing individual disclosing they intend to exercise three times per week for at least 30 minutes each session. Quantifying a specific goal renders said aim more concrete, gives the goal setter specific barriers to meet, and demonstrates whether or not they are reaching tangible aims.


Setting achievable goals is crucial. Granted, everyone has dreams. The desire to achieve lofty aims could be even more pronounced in persons undergoing recovery. This can be attributed to the fact that they feel a sense of rebirth. That said, while setting big goals should certainly not be discouraged, more numerous smaller and more immediately achievable goals should be established and pursued.

For example, a recovering individual might yearn to one day become an award-winning screenwriter. That said, such aims often take many years of craft-honing, networking, and interpreting entertainment industry trends.

To someone who has not set smaller goals, failing to achieve the preceding mandate quickly could prove discouraging. However, if the individual in question sets smaller, reachable goals, such as reading screenwriting instruction books, enrolling in classes, and learning to master important craft facets, like character, story, structure, and plot, they are setting the foundation for attaining the larger, loftier aims of fame and recognition.


All goals should be relevant to maintaining sobriety. Any future achievements should be conjured with the notions of staying clean and partaking in only productive, positive tasks in mind.

Using the screenwriting example, the healing person should pursue said aim only for the pure joy of writing and sharing their stories with the world. Such reasons are healthy and productive. However, if they are in it merely for immediate fame and fortune, they could grow discouraged, which could foster negative emotions and potential relapse.


A former dependent’s goals should always be somewhat time-sensitive. Every goal should have a deadline. Granted, not all timelines have to be tomorrow or next week. However, they should not be indefinite either.

Placing specific time constraints on a given aim inspires the prospective achiever to take the necessary steps to reaching the intended goal, in addition to measuring the progress they make along the way.

Contacting Us

Those either corrupted by addiction, or are associated with someone who has been are implored to reach out to us. Our southwest Florida establishment has worked with individuals with varying addictions and hailing from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Above all, we enjoy a favorable track record helping said individuals beat such struggles. Please contact us today at 844-639-8371.

Scroll to Top