Motivation is a core part of the recovery process and is necessary to employ coping strategies and push towards goals. However, while motivation is essential, it can feel like a finite resource that needs to be managed. Staying motivated can be exceptionally difficult, especially on such a mentally, physically, and emotionally challenging journey as addiction recovery. Actively directing energy at one’s motivation can help each individual pace themselves and ensure they are focusing on their sober goals from the first week of detox to celebrating one’s first year sober and beyond.
Motivation Enables Success
While one’s focus throughout their recovery is about finding effective coping strategies, discovering new aspects of one’s identity, and even repairing important relationships, all of these different transformative goals can become muddled if an individual is not motivated to change in the first place. The desire for change and the ability to believe that change is possible are all prerequisites for effective coping strategies.
Profound transformation can seem like an insurmountable obstacle for those that are not motivated to see the challenges through. As a core component of success, actively maintaining motivation is just as important as trying new therapies or attending regular individual or group recovery programs.
The Role That Motivation Plays
While motivation can enable progress towards one’s sober goals, the lack of motivation can have debilitating effects. Not only can it stagnate the development of new strategies, but it can also compromise the strategies that one has already developed.
Without the motivation to change, it can be difficult to employ coping strategies or self-care routines when faced with stress, creating a dangerous precedent for one’s continued sobriety. Lack of motivation can not only cause frustration, depression, or hopelessness, but it can also increase the chances of urges or cravings developing into slips or relapses.
Actively Addressing Motivation
Regardless of how one is feeling about their recovery on any given day, setting systems in place to address motivation is still essential. Consciously considering motivation is a practice that can begin as soon as one makes the crucial decision to pursue sobriety. Daily and weekly practices can help ensure that one’s motivation never runs out.
Creating an Effective Rewards System
At the beginning of one’s recovery journey, making it an entire day without drinking or using substances can feel nearly impossible. Withdrawal symptoms and the brain’s own programming can make these first days in detox incredibly difficult.
Having a reward for even a day without using drugs or alcohol can help to maintain motivation and remind oneself why they are pursuing sobriety in the first place. Allocating a certain amount of money for other activities, or rewarding oneself by getting to choose what is for dinner as long as they remain sober can be effective strategies for motivation.
However, rewards systems do not lose their power later on in one’s recovery. Even as an individual reaches their first year sober, going an entire week coping with stresses and not succumbing to urges or cravings is still a poignant symbol of success. Weekly rewards for maintaining sobriety, such as shopping trips, materials for a new hobby, or getting to chose the movie for movie night can all still be effective rewards. Having multiple rewards systems in place and alternating between the kinds of rewards available can ensure that an individual does not grow tired of or lose motivation regarding the prospective rewards.
Regularly Reevaluate Goals
Motivation is tied directly to one’s goals. While setting easy goals can cause an individual to become complacent or overconfident in their recovery, goals that are too grand can cause an individual to lose motivation to pursue them. Regularly reviewing one’s goals can help an individual not only realize how far they have progressed in their recovery, but can also ensure that they are setting these goals appropriately.
Having a tough day is normal even as an alumnus, and there can be any number of unforeseen stressors. Sometimes, setting the goal for the day to just get out of bed, take care of one’s hygiene, and eat healthy meals can be an appropriate goal. Other times, setting personal goals such as getting around to writing a story, maintaining an exercise routine five days a week, or making it to all work shifts and appointments on time can be appropriate. Being able to evaluate what one can accomplish can help set these pertinent goals.
Surround Yourself With Supports
Supports and peers can be essential for maintaining motivation. Having regular meetings to discuss one’s progress, as well as a safe space to discuss how one is feeling, can all help in maintaining motivation. Not only can these individuals provide perspective on one’s successes, but they can also model their own goals and offer personal, powerful support to continually recontextualize one’s decision to pursue sobriety.
Motivation is a key resource throughout recovery, and we at Everlast Recovery Centers understand the need to balance your recovery with personal motivation components. Whether you are just stepping into the recovery sphere or are looking to further build upon your coping strategies and sober identity, we can help you today. We offer an array of programs to personalize your time with us, from yoga to music and art therapy, education, as well as parenting classes, and a smoking cessation program to help you rebuild your sober life with your own future in mind. Our comfortable, home-like atmosphere permeates through the facility and people, with peers and professionals alike ready to engage in small, intimate gatherings focused on developing new skills and strengthening each other’s resolve. For more information on how we can help you get back on the sober path, call so speak to a caring, trained staff member today at (866) 338-6925.