Since you got back home from going to Discovery Institute’s drug rehab in NJ you’ve been reading books and blog posts to see how other people have survived the transition from a NJ detox center and rehab to everyday life and get the best advice possible to thrive. You’re really feeling confident in your decisions as far as continued recovery goes. You’ve found a great mental health provider. You’ve been going to your meetings and sharing there, you’ve even started meeting with a sponsor. What’s the next step after your healthy boundaries are working for you, you’re making the right choice most of the time in the face conflict, and you’re managing your triggers and cravings? Everyone says to make a bucket list. But instead, consider making goals.


Discovery InstituteIt’s More Than Just Semantics

A bucket list assumes a kind of impending collision course toward your own mortality. While, of course, there is nothing wrong with making a list and writing “Bucket List” on top of the list, why not structure some short term and long term goals? A list of must do experiences to cross off before you die can be inspiring, but making multi-faceted goals to enrich who you are and where you’re life is going can feel like it is more focused on life than death. As someone recovering from a struggle with drug and alcohol addiction, orienting yourself toward life rather than death becomes more than just semantics.


Short Term and Long Term Goals

Making short term and long term goals resolidifies to yourself that you’re planning on living out a sober life, free from the threat of an early death due to overdose or other medical complications. You’re planning for your future and you’re following your passions. The great thing about making goals instead of a bucket list is that there are goals like going back to school that can be a longer term goal, and shorter term goals like organizing your closet so that it doesn’t cause you anxiety while you’re looking for work clothes in the mornings. Any goal that makes your life fuller, simpler, or more content is worthy of your focus. Start with making long term goals breaking those down into smaller ones so you can see yourself making progress. You can write them down and hang them somewhere visible so to keep your goals in mind as you live out your everyday sober life.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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