Making Recovery Goals that Stick

Now that June is here, it's time to reflect on some of the growth and recovery made this year. In the beginning of every year, I like to tell myself that "this year will be different." It rarely is. I find myself stuck in the same cycles and behaviors over and over again. This year, I was adamant about looking for ways that I was hurting myself and my relationships, to try to make something different happen this year.

Step One: Breaking Down the Goals

There were some major changes I needed in my life. These were some of the goals I set out for myself.

  • Sobriety
  • Not being around people that make me feel worse
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Keeping up with my recovery, through therapy and medication
  • Stop allowing my mental health disorders to control my life

To make this happen, I needed to break down my goals into manageable steps that I am able to do throughout the year.

For example, sobriety meant that I needed to stay sober, every single day. I went a step further and declined any party invitations and stayed away from friends who were heavy drinkers.

Then there's the infamous yearly weight loss goal. I decided to talk to my doctor and some of my fit friends to see what I can reasonably do different. Knowing myself, I won't stick to any exercise goals, so I decided to change up my diet. After doing the keto diet for the first half of the year, I successfully got rid of the 15 lbs I've been working on.

With recovery, I knew that I needed to consistently be in therapy and also give medication another try. I also created a mental health support group to keep myself afloat. There is always someone to talk to, especially when I feel like I'm going to spiral into a panic attack.

Write the smaller goals out and prepare to meet them halfway. Set boundaries in your life and surround yourself with people and things that are positive influences on that journey.

Step Two: Positive Influences, Every Day

I believe that you are who you surround yourself with. For me, it means that I needed to stay away from friends who were heavy drinkers and decline invitations to parties. Instead, I replaced my drinking habits with writing, blogging, and baking. I occupied my time with baking cookies from scratch and writing my woes away.

Eventually, the cravings went away and I stopped thinking about drinking every second of the day.

Surrounding myself with other people in recovery was also helpful. I created the House of Misfits mental health discord server in order to support others on the same journey as I am going through, and to receive support when I needed it.

I also told my friends that I may decline a lot of invites and hermit myself for a while. I needed the space to collect myself and heal at my own pace. Luckily, my friends were all very understanding of my needs and a lot of them were happy that I was able to seek help.

Getting a therapist was also a positive influence in my recovery. I got advice and help with different ways to cope. Slowly, I started replacing my negative habits with better ones where I don't need to hurt myself.

Step 3: Being Consistent

I think this step may be the most important of all.

Recovery is something that you need to practice every single day. One drink can undo months of work. Diving into temptations of being negative will open the door down that path.

You need to practice the discipline of being consistent with recovery, every single day.

Sometimes, you might slip up. For me, slip ups came in the form of binge eating to stifle the anxiety gurgling in my stomach or eating my emotions. I would always feel disgusting after it happened, but this was also a place to practice self-forgiveness. 

That I'm human. I make mistakes. And that's completely okay.

Goals for the rest of the year

The first half of the year has been relatively successful for me. To keep going, here are my goals for the rest of the year:

  • Keep working with therapy and medication
  • Keep working on my mental health Discord server
  • Journal at least once a day
  • Lost another 15 lbs
  • Drive consistently

They may seem like small goals, but recovery is about the baby steps towards the bigger goal.

What goals do you have for the rest of the year? Let me know in the comments below.