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Setting goals & working towards them using the SMART goal approach

The dictionary defines a goal as “the object of a person’s ambition or efforts; an aim or desired result.” Considering this definition, it becomes apparent that goals form a vital role in our lives when it comes to our progress, drive and purpose.

Having goals gives us something substantial to focus on. It gives our lives greater purpose and meaning which is something that is strongly desired by most human beings.

To have a goal is to have a challenge and to have a challenge brings excitement and joy. It also helps us channel our energy towards something positive and advantageous.

Without goals to work towards we may feel lost or out of place. We may feel as though we lack purpose and this can easily lead to us falling back into old patterns that may very likely be detrimental to our wellbeing.

Setting goals is all about intention, planning and most of all action!

Setting goals during rehabilitation treatment


Your intention was already set when you chose to live a life of sobriety. Making this choice is your first step towards a greater life!

Addiction recovery is not an easy road and takes a tremendous amount of work. It requires you to make significant lifestyle changes and most importantly it is about creating a new life for yourself; a life where addiction no longer plays a role.

The following are some guidelines to help you solidify your intention:


  • Think about why you would like to live a life of sobriety
  • Imagine all the positive things you will gain from your new journey
  • Decide who you would like to be a part of your journey; who can provide you with love and support
  • Think of some tools that you can use to achieve your new life



There are 5 universal steps to setting goals. Following these steps is an integral part of your planning process and should be done with careful deliberation.

Here are the 5 steps for setting goals:

• Specific

Setting a goal that is vaguely stated or generalised makes it easy for deviation. It is important to carefully think about what it is you would like to achieve and then to clearly define it so that you know exactly what you are working towards.

• Measurable

Find a way to measure your progress in order to gauge your success. For example, set a time line and think of small obstacles to overcome each week. Keep a record or journal of your days and weeks so you can monitor your journey closely and measure your success.

Keeping track of and measuring your success will provide you with a sense of achievement which will encourage you to keep pushing forward.

• Attainable

Ensure that the goals you have set are within reach. Understand your own individual capacity and work within those margins. Your goals must be challenging but they must also be reasonable.

Unreasonable goals are a likely cause for non-achievement. Once you have reached your first goal you can then raise the bar accordingly to continue challenging yourself. It is important to take it one step at a time.

• Relevant

Align your goals with the specific direction that you are going in. If your goals are not relevant, you may find it easier to lose focus and deviate from them.

Relevance works hand in hand with not comparing yourself to anyone else’s journey, growth or success. You are working towards your own goal, not someone else’s.

• Time-bound

It is important to decide by when you want to have achieved your goals. Having a deadline creates an element of pressure which can be a useful tool in ultimately achieving what you set out to do.

Without a deadline, your sense of urgency regarding your goal may diminish and this can result in deviation.


Taking action is the most important part of working towards and achieving your goals. Generally speaking, the first 90 days of addiction recovery is the hardest. However, this is a life long journey that you are embarking on and will require constant action to achieve and maintain your new life.

It is imperative to know that this is a step by step journey that requires one positive change at a time. Trying to achieve everything you desire to achieve overnight is going to create frustration and you may develop a sense of inability.

Here are some ways that you can take action:


  • Write down your goals and map out your plan
  • Create an exciting vision board with inspirational quotes and use pictures and colours
  • Use daily or weekly affirmations that are closely aligned with yourmilestones
  • Use sticky notes with messages of encouragement to help you through the day
  • Find new ways of having fun and use these ways to maintain your focus
  • Forgive yourself and do not hold onto your past
  • Express gratitude every day for what you have and who you are
  • Celebrate your achievements and allow yourself to feel joy when you have overcome even the smallest obstacle


Step Away Rehabilitation and Treatment Centre South Africa

Drug rehabilitation in South Africa can be daunting, especially when it comes to choosing the facility at which to undergo rehabilitation.

Step Away is a Rehab in South Africa that is fully trained and equipped to deal with addiction. We care about every person that comes through our doors and provide the necessary support required to achieve full rehabilitation.

For more information about our treatment centre, please contact us.

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