Setting realistic and achievable goals is essential when making mental health and addiction recovery goals for the new year. Improve your mental well-being by clarifying your mental health goals. Use the SMART, a helpful acronym guide for setting goals based on your unique needs and situation.
In this article, you’ll learn more about how SMART goals can support you in deciding your 2024 mental health and addiction recovery goals and see how SMART can help you achieve your goals. Discover tools and resources available for mental health and recovery, plus long-term mental health strategies for success.
Understanding SMART Goals for Recovery & Mental Health
Creating SMART goals can help you set and practice effective mental health and addiction recovery. The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound, which should all be considered when setting mental health goals. Explore these SMART goal words and use them as an effective tool to make positive changes in your life.
- Specific: Goals should be clear and precise, not vague. Define what you want to accomplish straightforwardly and precisely. Example: “I will visit the Cornerstone Addiction Support Group every Tuesday evening at the Santa Ana, CA location.”
- Measurable: A goal should have criteria for measuring progress. If a goal is measurable, it’s easier to know when it has been achieved. Example: “I will keep a shared calendar with reminders for each Tuesday evening so I do not forget, and I will keep track of every time I go to the support group. I have shared with my sponsor and friend to help measure and maintain this goal.”
- Achievable: The goal should be attainable and possible, requiring realistic thinking and considering the available resources. Example: “I have the time after work on Tuesdays to go to my support group and will commit to going with the support of my sponsor and friend.”
- Relevant: This ensures that the goal matters to you and aligns with other appropriate goals. It should be worthwhile and fit in with your broader plans and objectives. Example: “This is what I need to maintain my sobriety, and it is important for my well-being. I deserve this, which is important to me and my family.”
- Time-bound: Every goal needs a target date, so there’s a deadline to focus on. This part of the goal-setting provides a sense of urgency. Example: “Each quarter, I will reward myself, my sponsor, and my friend with an achievement dinner. While this is my ongoing goal, I will recognize each quarter of achieving this goal.”
Setting Realistic Mental Health Goals
So why is setting achievable goals important, and how should we determine what these goals are? Realistic mental health goals will provide more direction to help you commit to your goals. Set yourself on a path toward tangible growth by setting mental health goals that are realistic and based on your individual needs and circumstances.
Strategies for Achieving Recovery Goals
By following the SMART goal system, 2024 can be the year you become a better version of yourself. Achieving mental health wellness is feasible by following these practical tips and strategies to attain recovery goals. Strategies for achieving recovery goals include therapy options, support systems, and lifestyle changes. Therapy options include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) skill-building strategies to support systems such as group therapy and lifestyle changes like getting quality sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, increasing physical activity and exercise, and more.
Overcoming Challenges in Mental Health and Recovery
Focusing on mental health improvement and recovery will require strength and willpower. Some challenges or barriers experienced by those who have worked to improve their mental health and reach their addiction recovery goals include a lack of knowing where to turn for help or a failure or delay in seeking the help they need.
Overcome any challenges or barriers by following the SMART goals you’ve set for yourself and reaching out to those around you, like your physician or your loved ones, or by reaching out to a support group online or in person. Staying physically active will also greatly benefit your mind and body. A positive frame of mind will also help you stick to your mental health goals. Acknowledge setbacks will occur and reiterate to yourself the positive changes you make daily.
Tools and Resources for Mental Wellness
Various tools and resources are available for mental health and recovery, including apps, support groups, and professional services. Apps such as Calm and Headspace can be beneficial for reducing stress and boosting your mood. Support groups and professional services are available through wellness coaches, local support groups, personalized online programs, mental health facilities, and more.
Planning for Long-term Success
Maintain your progress and prevent relapse by focusing on long-term and mindset mental health strategies. To achieve your long-term goals, it is essential to focus and commit to your daily goals and dedicate your attention and resources to your mental health intentions.