Recovery is all about learning new practices to live our lives. We learn to make healthy decisions, to think rationally, and to have goals. Goals are a great way to keep ourselves in the direction we want to go in. We can outline our goals in a step by step process which pushes us to continue on our journey of recovery. Sometimes life throws us some curve balls and we can veer off the path. The trick is to make sure that we get back on the path when that does happen. Another part of being goal oriented is that when you complete your goals (YAY!) sometimes we can become complacent, and say, “Well, that is over” and we lose direction. When this happens sometimes this leads us to make some unhealthy decision.
Making an outline for your goals is a simple process. A great example is working for a college degree. We sign up for financial assistance, complete applications, and pick our career path. Our first semester is usually the ‘stumble forward until we get it phase.’ Then we begin to map out classes, registration deadlines and focus on potential graduation dates. When we make a plan we have a guide to our success. This plan will help us to stay on track and continue to push us forward. We can look ahead and see where we need to be by a certain deadline and what we need to do to get us there. Although we have a plan of our goals, sometimes things don’t always work out the way we expected. What happens when life throws us a curve ball? Which it most certainly will as life is unpredictable.
Let’s use college as an example scenario, what happens if someone in your close family becomes ill, or your financial situation changes? What do we do? We can have the most detailed outline of our goal and still not be able to predict unforeseen circumstances. In some cases, it may be necessary to withdraw from classes and explain to the school what is happening in your personal life that has impacted your educational path. The most crucial thing that we can do is to always have open communication with people and let them know what is going on with you. If you open up and tell people what is going on, they are more likely able to assist and keep a troublesome situation from becoming worse. Sometimes we act on impulse and just stop what we are doing. The initial blow of a life situation can sometimes cause us to freeze in our steps and turn the other way. We have to fight the urge to run and handle these situations by communicating what is going on with us. That’s the only way people can support us in reaching our goals.
Another scenario that I know can lead us astray from our healthy lifestyle is the completion of our goals. I know how this sounds. This is a joyous occasion; we celebrate and bask in our successes. Then the moment comes where we realize that we have completed what we have worked so hard for, “Now what?” Sometimes we already have our next goal in place, but what if we don’t? If we do not see the next steps ahead, we can become complacent. This can be a scary place if we stay there too long with no direction. However, these moments can lead us to a new perspective. We can always jump back on track and get back in the game, per say. It’s never too late to change our situation, no matter what it is. This is something we must always remember. It can be a useful tool to sit and reflect on where we want to go and how to get there.
Always remember that we are the change makers of our own lives, and we get to choose where we go in life. Nothing is ever out of reach; it may be prolonged by a life circumstance, but never unobtainable! We just have to work hard for it and never give up!
Life of Purpose Treatment
3848 FAU Boulevard, Suite 100
Boca Raton, FL 33431