Establishing Goals in Early Recovery: Part 1
“One Day at a Time” a common phrase we hear in our journey through early recovery. The thinking is to stay in the “present”. Just because you are taking it slow, this should not be a reason to not put together some short-term and long-term goals. These goals should be basic goals for your life and for your start in living a life clean and sober. Start with immediate goals for the present and then work on long term goals for the future.
Having a variety of short and long term goals keeps the idea of “One Day at a Time” and to not get overwhelmed by the idea. The main focus still being recovery and focusing in the one 24-hour period at a time. So we are going to break down a few goals that have the short-term goal highlighted but then a long-term goal attached. You will be able to see how stress-free of a process setting realistic goals can be.
1. Get a Sponsor (Long Term Goal: Become a Sponsor)
At The Beaches Treatment Center we believe in holistic healing, meaning the body, mind and spirit. We also encourage the 12-Step methodology for addiction treatment. Having our headquarters in Boynton Beach, FL we are part of a huge local recovery community. The best way to meet others on the same journey is finding a good local meeting to be a part of. A huge part of 12-step based recovery suggests getting a “sponsor”.
A sponsor is a person who acts as a type of guide to you as you are newly clean and sober. A sponsor’s main focus is holding you as their sponsee accountable to your own personal recovery, but also teaching you about the steps as you complete them.
The steps of an AA or NA program are (12) guidelines or chapters to work through, resembling a curriculum for recovery.
A sponsor has already successfully worked the 12-steps of the AA (or NA) program and has maintained a good amount of time in recovery, they will act as a parental type of figure to get you started on your own journey through the steps. The steps of an AA or NA program are guidelines to work through almost as a curriculum for recovery.
After you have successfully completed the steps, and have at least a year clean (or as suggested from your home meeting “old-timers”), the 12-step program encourages you to bring a fellow alcoholic or addict through the steps. This is the whole addicts helping other addicts mentality that you will hear about often. The reasoning behind becoming a sponsor is for further healing and to give back to the cause. Reworking the steps every few years really helps a person grow through life and it never hurts!
2. Get a Job (Long Term Goal: Find a Career)
Straight out of treatment, it is encouraged that recovering addicts or alcoholics early in recovery live in a strictly sober environment. At The Beaches Treatment Center, we actually provide our own sober living. So a therapist or case manager will often suggest and encourage clients to begin their recovery journey in a strict and sober setting. This proves for a greater chance of recovery, and the rules and regulations at sober living facilities keep the individual focused on their recovery and away from relapse.
When it comes to living in a sober living facility (or anywhere) paying rent is expected almost immediately.
The best way to pay rent, is to get a job!
Seems easy enough, right? It really is. Start small, get a job, be humble, get anything you can, you can always build from there but it is important to get a job quickly to keep yourself busy during your first few weeks out of treatment and transitioning back into the real world clean and sober. While recovery needs to be your main concern and focus, keep in mind that once you have your recovery plan mapped out, you’ve worked your steps, and are doing well, the next target in your sights should be making actual career goals.
We often hear, make your passion your career. This is true to some extent. You may have passions, try and find a career that can highlight those passions. If you need to seek schooling, training, or experience, make it a priority to get it. Write down a goal list, so you will be able to find a job within a career you can grow with. Having a successful career and a purpose is an awesome way to give back to society, prevent relapse, and continuing to be the best version of yourself.
All of the goals are focusing on you becoming the best version of you. We will pick up this topic next week and give you three more goals to keep in mind for early recovery.
In the meantime, if you or someone you know is struggling in early recovery, or even worse- still living in active addiction, call The Beaches Treatment Center: (888) 670.9424.