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Setting Goals in Addiction Recovery Using the S.M.A.R.T Method

Setting goals during addiction recovery is a key component of successful recovery as it helps us gain a clear vision of where we would like to see ourselves in the future.

Having goals can help us dedicate our time and efforts to focussing on recovery and finding harmony in a life of sobriety.

setting goals

Setting Goals During Addiction Recovery

There is a specific method of goal setting known as SMART goals. This method was developed years ago and can be applied to all areas of life.

When we use this method, we create a sense of direction and accountability which in turn aids us in achieving goals and avoiding disappointment or failure.

The SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound) method helps us set small goals that help us achieve the bigger ones later on in our journey towards sobriety.

Setting Goals That Are SMART


It's extremely important to be specific about what you want to achieve. When you know what you want, it becomes harder to deviate and easier to avoid distractions.

The process of goal setting is important as it makes it easier to achieve and helps you remember why you want to accomplish your goal. This is particularly useful during the recovery process.

By clarifying your goals, you are able to figure out what factors can contribute to your recovery and how you can incorporate them into your process.


Your goal must be measurable in order for you to understand the progress you have made. When we have a visual of the progress we have made, we gain a sense of encouragement to carry on.

The easiest way to make your goal measurable is to apply a number to it to make it quantifiable and tangible.


It’s important to make your goals attainable. This prevents you from being discouraged by a goal that is too far out of reach.

Attainable goals challenge you to commit to its demands without you losing hope of ever achieving them.

They also help you keep your finger on their objectives and this directly improves your self-confidence which is crucial during recovery.


Realistic goals are set up by making sure you have the necessary tools and resources to achieve them.

Having unrealistic goals is setting yourself up for failure which is dangerous territory during recovery. Make sure your goals are relevant to your individual circumstances.


Your SMART goal needs to have a time frame. Deadlines are what drive commitment and also helps you keep on track.

Furthermore, your timeline can give you a clear perspective of how close you are to the finish line. A start and endpoint make your goal less vague and more attainable.

Your timeline can include both short- and long-term goals. Short-term goals can be used as stepping stones to achieve your long-term goals, so it’s extremely important to set out a specific time-line.

Benefits of Goal Setting in Addiction Recovery

There are many benefits of SMART goal setting that help you work towards a successful recovery, but here are a few important ones:

  • They require self-examination and introspection
  • They help you shift your mindset to a more positive way of thinking
  • It creates a better understanding of self
  • They help you focus on the future rather than the past
  • They help you feel a sense of accomplishment and capability

Step Away – Rehabilitation Centre South Africa

At Step Away, we believe in setting SMART goals during the recovery process as this can help us work towards a life of sobriety.

For more information on how setting goals can facilitate the recovery process, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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