Staying Motivated and Goal Setting in Recovery

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Staying Motivated and Goal Setting After Rehab

by Hope Rehab Team 

Topic at a glance:

  • What is the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation?
  • What is the link between inspiration and motivation?
  • How do I set goals without putting too much pressure on myself?
  • What are SMARTER goals?

Extract from the Hope Rehab Aftercare Manual – Click to Download This Free eBook

Motivation Levels – Staying Motivated

Psychologists differentiate between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (internal/external drives). If you behave in a certain way because you fear either, punishment or because you are looking for an external reward (e.g. praise or financial), this is described as extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation can be effective in the short-­term, but it is not powerful enough for lasting change. When you first quit drugs, there will probably be plenty of people around to offer you encouragement and praise, however you need to stop for firstly yourself.

Intrinsic motivation: If your reason for choosing a certain activity is that it makes you feel good, JOYFUL, this would be described as intrinsic motivation. Such as personal emotional satisfaction or a spiritual reward. This motivation fosters an independent and longer lasting behaviour.

Exercise – What is Blocking Your Motivation?

Also, another major drawback with extrinsic motivation is the ‘overjustification effect’. The strange phenomenon whereby extrinsic motivation reduces your intrinsic motivation -e.g., if you love painting as your hobby, you may lose your passion if you were to be paid or win prizes for it. The overjustification effect happens because once we feel like we need to be bribed by getting rewards to do something, we stop feeling its intrinsic value so much. Also, we could start getting the feeling we are doing it for other people.

There are many other possible reasons for why we lose motivation, but the most common is that we start to take the improvements in our life for granted, known as adaptation or complacency. Some of the other common reasons for why we lose motivation include: symptoms of anxiety or depression, feeling stuck, dishonesty, and romancing the using.

Goal Setting & Planning

don’t try and catch up quick or compare yourself to others

When you leave rehab to start your clean and sober life, the last thing we recommend you do is set goals that create unnecessary pressure. However, goal-setting is a valuable tool to help you stay safe and progress in a positive direction. Some goal setting methods are more suited to major objectives like visualisation techniques. Goal setting keeps you motivated and purposeful.

Other goal setting tools are for the stages needed to achieve the bigger picture or long-term goal. You can break down your goals into 3 different types. You could think of these as sub-goals and main goals – e.g. if you main goal was to become a counsellor your sub-goal might be a behaviour change required to begin this journey.

Types of Goals Based on Time, Focus and Topic

The SMARTER Goal Setting Tool Helps with Clarity and Structure.

Don’t forget, this is post is an extract from the Hope Aftercare Manual. You can read the entire eBook for free just by clicking here

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