Skip to content

The To-Do List as a Recovery Tool

man writing to do list

Once you’ve been in sobriety a while, life becomes more interesting. When you were drinking and drugging, you probably had goals that you thought about. But as addiction takes over, goals and relationships go by the wayside. It’s hard to remember your sense of purpose when you’re using drugs or alcohol. But once you’re sober, you’re probably already thinking of the new possibilities in life. Setting goals is a part of your new life. Using to-do lists can help you stay organized on a daily basis.

Getting Started with Your List

Many planners and organizers online offer to-do list pages. There are many ways that people in recovery learn to chart their progress and set goals. A list of things you want to accomplish every day can help you set aside specific times to work on things.

How many goals do you have right now? Pick up to five to start out with. List them on a piece of paper.  For each of your goals, there are steps to achievement. This is how you can begin to pursue them.

How to Create a List that Makes Sense

For example, if you want to go back to college next year, what are the steps that you would need to take? Break it down into easy steps, such as:

  1. For one thing, you’ll need to choose a school.
  2. You’ll need to apply and wait to be accepted.
  3. You probably need to get your high school or college transcripts and send them to the schools of your choice.
  4. You’ll need to figure out how to pay for school.
  5. You’ll need to decide what semester you’ll go back.
  6. Finally, you’ll choose your classes and take them.

For each of these goals, you can write a new to-do list to accomplish it. Once you’ve done this, you can break each goal into small tasks that move you forward.

Consider Sober Living

Many people who have completed treatment feel like they need more time to focus on their recovery. Sober housing, in a safe and serene environment, can help you learn more about what you want out of recovery. Learn more about how sober housing can help you learn more about life in recovery by calling us at 760-216-2077.

Many people in recovery from substance abuse disorders start discussing goals after they’ve been sober for a few months. The future is a little brighter, and there is more time to focus on what you want to do with your life. During active addiction, personal goals have gotten off track, sometimes completely. The ability to have goals is a good sign that your recovery is on track.

This means sitting down and doing a bit of homework to help you get familiar with goal setting.

Three tips on setting goals:

  1. Ask yourself, what are your overall goals? Usually, the answer will be something vague such as “be happy” or “change my attitude.” Think about the things in life that are giving you the most pain or trouble. Write them down.
  2. Think about specifics. You need a list of personal recovery goals that will help you move forward in life. Will spending more time with your children make you happier? What kinds of activities will help you have a better attitude? Make these your goals.
  3. The goals you make need to be manageable and straightforward. Break them down into things you can schedule on a calendar. Some things will need to be done every day, while others will probably involve tasks that are about once a month. Be specific about the action you are going to take.

Keep your goal list in your wallet or on your phone in case you need a reminder of what you’re working towards.

Sample goal list:

Having this list is just the beginning of a recovery journey. Knowing what want you want in life is an essential driving force for change.

Sometimes you’ll have to change your goals due to unforeseen circumstances. That’s okay, too. Life changes and we often have to adapt to that.

Achieving the goals feels great. Celebrate your accomplishments, big and small. And when you meet a goal, it’s time to set a new one.

Learn About Sober Living

Sober living can help you work towards goals while making your home in a caring, safe environment around other people in recovery. Many people choose to transition from treatment to “the outside” by taking advantage of sober living homes.

Learn more about your options for sober housing by calling 760-216-2077.

Inner Page Form 2