Welcome to January 2020! This month brings a fresh start and is often filled with New Year’s resolutions and all the lists of changes we plan on implementing. While setting New Year’s resolutions can be important for implementing change, sadly most of these resolutions fall by the waist side by late January, only to be left with falling back into our comfortable and old habits. So, instead of setting yet another new year’s resolution, it may be helpful to set some short term and long term goals that are manageable, achievable and can help to maintain your recovery.

Why Goals Are Important In Recovery

Setting goals for yourself in recovery can help keep you focused and stay on track with the present and  future. Establishing goals can also help keep you motivated and feel accomplished. When you set out and achieve goals, it can also give perspective on the progress you’ve made in your recovery which can be a reminder especially on the difficult days where you feel like giving up or feel you are stuck in a rut. Setting and achieving goals in your recovery plan can help you work towards making bigger changes down the road.

Setting Goals

When setting goals for the New Year or at any time, it’s important to remember a few things to help ensure success. It’s important to set goals that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Here Are A Few Helpful Hints:

  • Be specific about your goal; what is it that you want to achieve
  • Break the goals down into smaller steps to make them more manageable, achievable and perhaps less intimidating.
  • Identify some potential barriers or obstacles and develop a plan on how to overcome them
  • Write your goals down somewhere you’ll see on a regular basis for a reminder.
  • Tell someone; by telling someone, it holds you accountable and they can help keep you motivated and provide support.
  • Set a timeline; ex: try 3-6 months, that way it’s easier to accomplish and you can stay motivated and build on your success.

Here Are Some possible Short Term Goals To Help Maintain And Improve Your Recovery:

  • Attend a certain amount of meetings per week.
  • Stay for the full meeting even when you may not want to.
  • Follow up with counselling appointments; seeing a counsellor can be an extra support.
  • Find a new support person or resource that can help you for those difficult times.
  • Find a new hobby; this can help manage boredom.
  • Try to practice some mindfulness each day; start with 5 minutes a day and then build from there.

It is important to recognize that setting goals for yourself is about the progress you make in recovery and it will not always be perfect. No matter how small the goal is, celebrate your successes for what they are and be proud of the steps you take in your recovery. Embrace the New Year and welcome the opportunities to live prosperous, laugh, love and grow. Cheers to 2020!

If you have more questions or require more information about gambling support, call the Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-306-6789