No matter where you are in your recovery journey, there are things you can do today to set future achievements in motion. If you feel a bit overwhelmed or lost after completing a rehabilitation program, then making a plan can give you a way to focus. There is a method of psychotherapy called reality therapy that involves recognizing unmet needs in your life and developing realistic strategies for meeting them. A research study from 2014 concluded that reality therapy increases accountable behavior and feelings of hope associated with recovery. You can use psychotherapies to cut through the confusion, making it easier to look toward the future with hope and confidence.
Ask the Hard Questions
Before you can start planning for your future, you need to figure out where you are and prepare yourself for determining where you want to go next. Below are a few questions you can ask yourself to sort through your motivations, strengths, needs, and possible future goals:
- What are your recent achievements, and how have they improved your life? Are there any other areas of your life that would benefit from a similar change?
- Can you identify strengths and weaknesses in your current identity and lifestyle? What changes would remove those weaknesses?
- When taking responsibility for your past and current actions, how can accountability benefit you in the future?
- What about the future makes you feel anxious, and what can you do now to address those anxieties?
- What requirements must you meet to change your future for the better?
- Are you committed to making changes? If you have reservations if self-doubts, what can you do to regain your confidence and motivation?
Get an Outside Perspective
There is more to setting a life goal than making a list on a piece of paper. You need to make sure that goals are realistic, achievable and create a positive change in your life. The best way to do this is by working together with someone else who can be an objective outside perspective. A primary goal in most types of therapy is to help you achieve current and future plans, so therapy sessions are an excellent environment for determining practical objectives and motivations that will hold up over time.
Ultimately, you need to choose what will allow you to achieve a future where you will feel healthy and happy. Utilize an outside perspective when you can, but do not feel like you need to give up control of your future to other people’s suggestions. For example, if you talk over possible future scenarios with a close family member, there might be some pressure to conform to their opinions on what you should do. A trained therapist or counselor is ideal for doing this kind of work because they know how to stay objective.
Prioritize Your Goals
Once you know what type of future you want to build towards, it is time to prioritize your goals. You want to keep your health and wellbeing in mind when you decide what to focus on first. Plans for your future can include:
- Recovery goals
- Personal goals
- Relationships and family goals
- Educational goals
- Work and career goals
You need to decide what order they should go in. There is no right or wrong answer because every person and their circumstances are different. Personal wellbeing and recovery are crucial to your mental and physical health. Some other goals are a little harder to prioritize. For example, should career goals come before your relationships? These are the type of questions you will need to ask. An excellent way to prioritize is to figure out which plans will have the most significant impact on you and the people around you, and then work your way down the list to those that will have the most negligible impact.
Use Your Resources
If you are not sure about your ability to make plans for your future, use your resources to get help. Sometimes people feel overwhelmed and unsure where to go next when returning home after rehabilitation or an alternative treatment program. You should have an aftercare plan to follow. However, if you underwent non-standardized treatment, you may have to use other resources, including one-on-one therapy, self-help groups, and additional community-based assistance. Most states and counties have sites listing their current resources.
You need to hold yourself responsible for your current and past choices before you can effectively plan for the future. Only by building off a foundation of honesty, hard work, and accountability will you feel confident about achieving your goals. A great way to do that is by sharing your progress with sober peers, your therapist, self-help groups, and close friends and family.
The future is coming, whether you plan for it or not. However, you are more likely to succeed in your personal and professional goals if you prepare in advance. Facilities like Everlast Recovery Centers in Riverside, California, provide comprehensive and personalized aftercare plans to help each client prepare for their future after rehabilitation. These include community-based resources and ongoing therapy and treatments designed to give you a solid foundation for building up your new future. You will feel more confident in your decisions when you have a series of healthy goals to work towards. Making plans for your future is a simple but essential step in the recovery process and can be done on your own or with the help of educated professionals. To get more information on the services that we offer or to find out about local resources in your area, call Everlast Recovery Centers at (866) 338-6925.