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Making the Most of Your 2015 Resolutions


One of the most valuable concepts that we learn during the course of addiction treatment is how to set goals. And while we set goals throughout the year, there is no time like the New Year to set new and often lofty resolutions. And while grand goals for New Year are admirable they sometimes exceed the scope of our reality, especially if the expectations for reaching those goals are too high. The result is the loss of motivation and desire, which over the course of time can lead to frustration, anxiety, depression and more.

Setting goals the right way – using some of the tips below – can increase the likelihood of following through and meeting or even exceeding your expectations.

Setting the right goals begins with realistic expectations as well as a comprehensive plan to reach the ultimate goal. Usually, being very specific about your goals hits both points. For example, rather than simply setting an end goal, you could consider mapping out a plan on how you will reach that goal. This will require research and thought. Spending some time to develop a plan for reaching your goal will allow you understand what is necessary to achieve it. So if your goal is to lose weight, set milestones along the way…5 pounds by February 1, another 5 by March and so forth. Along the same lines, be realistic about your target goal weight.

Setting goals goes hand in hand with addiction treatment and relapse prevention. Reaching your goals can be the motivation you need to stay clean, while missing them can cause the stress and frustration. Ultimately, the goal is to create an environment conducive to achievement and with some planning, it can be done.

The same principle applies to addiction counselors as well. After all, their own mental health, general demeanor and state of mind can enhance or cloud the treatment process. Personal and professional development is key to career advancement, job performance and security, so addiction counselors should also create their short- and medium-term goals using the same foundational principles