The teenage years can be challenging. Teenagers are often dealing with the challenges of school, friends, and family, as well as the hormonal changes that come with puberty. Add to that the pressure to conform to peer groups and the ever-present temptation of drugs and alcohol, and it’s no wonder that so many teens struggle with substance use disorder.
Goals Are Vital in Recovery
The good news is that recovery is possible. One of the most important things for teens in recovery to do is set goals. Goals benefit recovery in several ways:
- Goals give direction and purpose. Teens in recovery need to know what they’re working towards, and setting goals can help them stay focused on the future.
- Goals inspire motivation. When teens see the progress that they’re making towards their goals, it can provide the incentive they need to stay on track.
- Goals promote accountability. Checking in with a trusted adult or sponsor about goal progress can help teens stay accountable for their recovery.
Without a goal, it can be easy for the teen to become discouraged and give up on their sobriety. Goals also help keep the teen accountable and can provide a way to measure progress. For example, if the goal is to stay sober for one year, the teen can celebrate each milestone. But ultimately, the goal is to help the teen build a foundation for a successful and lasting recovery.
Goals give teens something to work towards and provide motivation to stay on track. However, not all goals are created equal.
SMART goal setting — which stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based — is an effective planning tool. A SMART goal’s specifications help ensure that the goal is clear, attainable, and relevant to the individual or team. In addition, the time frame associated with a SMART goal helps keep the goal on track.
Ultimately, the purpose of SMART goals is to improve the likelihood of achieving the desired outcome by providing a clear and concise roadmap. When used correctly, SMART goals can be an invaluable tool for teens.
Here are some tips for teens to set SMART goals in recovery:
- Be specific about what you want to achieve. Vague goals are more challenging to accomplish than specific ones. For example, rather than setting a goal to “exercise more,” try setting a goal to “work out for 30 minutes three times per week.”
- Make sure your goals are measurable. This will help you track your progress and see how close you are to achieving your goals. For example, rather than setting a goal to “eat healthier,” try setting a goal to “eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.”
- Set achievable goals. It’s essential to set goals that you can actually achieve. If your goals are too complicated, you will likely get discouraged and give up. On the other hand, if your goals are too easy, you won’t see the need to put in the effort to achieve them.
- Make sure your goals are relevant to your recovery. This means setting goals that support your sobriety and help you stay on track. For example, rather than setting a goal to “drink more water,” try setting a goal to “avoid drinking alcohol or using drugs.”
- Set time-bound goals. This means developing a deadline for yourself to achieve your goal. This will help you stay focused and motivated. For example, instead of saying, “I will clean my room,” try setting the goal of “I will clean my room by 5 p.m. on Thursday.”
When You Don’t Meet Your Goals
What happens if you don’t reach your goals? It’s not failure, it’s a learning experience, and you can adjust the plans as needed. For teens in recovery, try again. You may not have reached your goal the first time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try again. Be flexible with your goals, and remember that they’re intended to be living, breathing things that can change as you change.
Allow yourself to be fluid to learn what works best for you in treatment and what doesn’t. There is no shame in trying and failing, only in not trying. Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. People care about you and want to help you succeed. You can reach your goals with hard work and dedication. Please don’t give up on yourself because you’re worth it.
Therapy Can Help
Teens in recovery from SUD face many challenges. One of the most important things they can do to increase their chances of success is to set goals and develop a plan to achieve them. Professional help can be critical in this process.
Therapists can help teens in recovery identify their goals and develop a plan to achieve them. They can also provide support and guidance as teens work to meet their goals. In addition, professionals can help teens identify barriers that may prevent them from achieving their goals and develop strategies to overcome these obstacles.
If you’re a teen recovering from SUD, professional help can make a big difference in your ability to meet your goals. Therapy and counseling can provide the support and guidance you need to make lasting changes in your life.
One of the most important things for teens in recovery from substance use disorder to learn is to set goals. Goals give direction and purpose to the challenging and sometimes confusing process of recovery. They provide a sense of accomplishment and pride as the teen meets each milestone. Additionally, goals help the teen to see the progress that they’re making and to stay motivated on the road to recovery. Without goals, it’s easy for teens to become discouraged and give up on the hard work of recovery. SMART goals provide a framework for measurable and achievable results. Therapy can be helpful for those new to recovery as a professional can help your teen get clear on what they want to accomplish. For more information on how to help your teen set goals in recovery from SUD, call Clearfork Academy today at (888) 966-8604.