Staying focused in early recovery is oftentimes fairly difficult. You are experiencing life through clear eyes for the first time in what may be years – learning what it is you enjoy doing, engaging in activities you may have previously thought you would never have the opportunity to explore. Early recovery is an exciting time full of self-discovery and investigation, a wonderful period during which you realize the possibilities for your future are now truly endless. However, it is of utmost importance that you stay focused on your physical and mental recovery from severe and prolonged addiction as you continue to grow emotionally and spiritually. Losing sight of past devastation or future goals can prove to be detrimental – thus while you strive to stay in the present, do not forget the past nor lose sight of the future.
8 Tips to Stay Focused and Reach Your Goals
- Don’t jump into a relationship too soon.
Take time to focus on yourself. Jumping into a relationship right out of treatment will inevitably hurt you in the long run, and serve a major distraction in the meantime.
- Avoid taking on too much responsibility.
Cut yourself some slack! Staying sober for the length of a day is a massive accomplishment in itself. Avoid taking on too many extraneous tasks so you can really focus on yourself and getting well.
- Do not spend ample time with old friends.
Old friends tend to be using friends, and spending time with those you used with is counterproductive to your recovery. This is why attending meetings and reaching out is so important – surrounding yourself with others who are in the same position as you and can relate, individuals who are strong in their sobriety, will benefit you immensely.
- Continue with aftercare – don’t quit!
Recovery is a lifelong process, one that requires continuous treatment. You are not “cured” simply because you graduated an extended stay inpatient program. Be sure you sit down with a counselor and discuss a comprehensive and realistic aftercare plan.
- Avoid questionable environments.
Discovering new activities that you enjoy is exciting, and you may be tempted to put yourself in some high-risk situations based on a potentially misguided sense of confidence regarding ‘trying new things’. Stay out of nightclubs and bars while you are early in sobriety – tempting fate is never a wise idea.
- Meet with a therapist regularly.
Addiction is typically only half of the problem – you will also likely have a plethora of underlying issues to address, ranging from childhood trauma to bipolar disorder. Meeting with a therapist on a weekly basis will allow you to delve into such issues while simultaneously treating your addiction, ensuring well-rounded recovery.
- Remain active in a recovery community.
Try to nail down a homegroup early on, ensuring a group of familiar faces that will hold you accountable to some extent. Getting phone numbers is crucial, and picking up the phone and calling people is even more pertinent.
- Attend meetings on a regular basis.
Aside from your homegroup, branch out and try to attend a wide variety of 12-step meetings. This is not only a great way to meet new people (potential sober supports), but to figure out which meetings you would like to make a permanent part of your weekly schedule.
If you stay focused and involved in your personal program of recovery, you will undeniably reach your goals eventually. Keep in mind that patience truly is a virtue, and an ample amount of effort coupled with unwavering dedication will help you to set a solid and lasting foundation for meaningful and fulfilled sobriety for years to come.