Setting achievable goals through small steps

Setting achievable goals through small steps

“Just for today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once.” — Al-Anon meditation

The beginning of recovery is an exciting time, as you set new goals and dream of new opportunities for your life. But things can quickly become overwhelming as you learn new habits and navigate unknown situations.

The important thing to remember is that you have a long journey ahead of you. As the cliché goes, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. To be successful, you need to set achievable goals — and that means small, simple steps.

Break down your big goals into basic, achievable actions. These small actions help you not only to stay on track but also to navigate your new life one day at a time.

Each day can bring a new reason to celebrate success. Certainly, living healthier, longer, happier lives is a wonderful goal. But you can’t really quantify that without reaching those small, simple goals along the way.

So start with the things you know you can do. An easy first step is to go to a recovery meeting, so you can both stay accountable and get tips from others walking in the same shoes.

Is gaining employment at the top of your priorities? Start by making a list of potential jobs that may be suitable for you and think of your employment goals.

Dust off that resume — and if you need help, take advantage of free community resources, such as WorkSource advisers and classes.

The main thing to keep in mind is that your goals need to be not only realistic and attainable but also specific and measurable. If you say your goal is to repair relationships damaged by your addiction, you’ll have a difficult time following through — where do you begin?

Instead, think of what it may take to repair those relationships. First, figure out who the affected people are.

Then, you can open the door by simply making a phone call to say hello. The relationship didn’t become strained overnight, so be realistic and don’t expect it to improve instantly just because you’ve gone through treatment.

As you contemplate your list of goals, remember to include your social and physical wellbeing.

Here are five goals that you can easily achieve today:

  • Schedule your next preventative checkup with your physician.
  • Take a 20-minute walk to clear your head, meditate and work some exercise in.
  • Call Olalla Recovery (or another community organization) to learn about the next group therapy session.
  • Eat one healthy meal. You’re not going to change your diet in one day, but you can work up to better eating habits by doing something every day.

Don’t think that just because your goals are small, they are not important or that you can just bypass them. You can’t simply throw a dart at your future and hope for the best.

Also know that small, doable steps doesn’t mean they’re easy ones. All you’re doing is focusing on what you can do today, right here, right now. That’s the easy part, focusing in the moment.

Keep staying grounded in today and don’t worry where life will take you in ten years. As long as you’ve set yourself up for success through small achievements, you’ll have plenty to celebrate — every day.