For people who are going through addiction recovery, motivation is an irreplaceable engine. In fact, many recovery centers interview new clients about the sources of their motivation for starting treatment. Therapists and counselors probe into this area because motivation is critically important for recovery. During treatment and recovery, your level of motivation may not always be constant. Sometimes you might feel inspired or propelled to implement changes, while other times, you just feel defeated and hopeless. The key is to nurture that motivation and allow it to grow sustainably.
Where Does Motivation for Recovery Come From?
Your motivation to enter into treatment and recovery programs from addiction may come from different sources, including painful experiences from addiction, fractured relationships, a desire to be healthier, and unwavering support from loved ones. Deciding to stay sober is not easy, given the recurrent and persistent nature of addictive habits. After detoxing and getting rid of triggers, you may struggle with anxiety over the potential for relapse. You may need to swallow your pride and admit that you have a serious problem and your lifestyle has been unhealthy. Self-motivation commands a kind of humility to ask for help.
If you have decided to enter a treatment plan toward long-term sobriety, you have made a great first step. Having that motivation already takes great willpower. That alone needs celebrating! Furthermore, scientists have found that people with intrinsic motivation are more likely to recovery from addictive habits. However, the difficulty is in staying motivated during the entire process. Nobody can predict how long it will take for you to achieve long-term recovery. The risk of relapse is always present and can be unsettling. But you have the key to recovery, which is to have sustainable motivation.
Practical Tips for Sustaining Motivation
Motivation can be contagious. A motivated person can inspire others around him or her. You should connect with a recovery community and surround yourself with people who show strong motivation. This is why joining a 12-step group is extremely beneficial. Your counselor, peers, and sponsor can help keep you motivated. Even better, their motivation comes with accountability. You are encouraged to be a constructive, contributing member of the group. As you progress, you get to help others overcome lethargy or lack of motivation at the same time as they’re helping you. Below are a few practical tips for achieving sustainable motivation:
- Fully realize the negative health outcomes of drugs and alcohol. Do not be deceived by what drugs and alcohol can offer. This reckoning is fundamental in re-routing your bad habits. Remind yourself that the cycle is hard to break, but detox is the right thing to do.
- Positivity is fuel for the engine of motivation. Get in the habit of listing and celebrating small victories. There is always something to be thankful for in a day of recovery. Connect with positive-thinkers.
- Identify those who inspire or motivate you. Invest in quality time with them. Meanwhile, avoid or minimize contact with people who have not taken your treatment or recovery seriously. Taking their advice will wear our your dose of motivation.
- Make time for fun hobbies and exercises that calm and uplift you. Doing so helps save up enough energy for overcoming future emotional challenges.
- Keep a progress journal and read back on past entries each week to check your level of motivation. Stay focused on your short-term goals. Build up your intrinsic or internal motivation for long-term sobriety.
A 12-step group can be the starting point for you to rebuild your relationship skills and get motivation. It is important for you to find other groups where you feel a sense of belonging. We all want to be accepted and understood. Sometimes that community alone can be powerful motivation. Finding one to belong to is very important to your long-term healing process.
Internal Motivation and Making Practical Goals
It is important to build up your internal motivation at various stages of recovery. Talk regularly to family members or loved ones who care about your recovery progress. Their unwavering support will continue to motivate you externally. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with them, and express the need for their support as motivation. Maybe include their ideas in creating a reward system for yourself. For example, if you complete this treatment plan, reward yourself with a family trip.
Sometimes you feel defeated and ready to give up because the goals are simply not achievable. It is wise to make short-term and long-term goals. Having daily checkpoints marking minute progress can be extremely helpful. In any case, it is important to make goals that are S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. The S.M.A.R.T. approach teaches you to build structure into planning. If you join a 12-step group at your treatment center, your therapist or counselor can coach you in this area. Through interviewing and subsequent counseling sessions, they can make sure that you are finding various sources of internal motivation to keep the engine going.
Do you feel motivated to recover from addiction? What are the internal and external factors of motivation for you at this point? Are they sustainable? Are you losing steam on the path to recovery? Finding sustainable motivation requires a supportive social network. It is a long and challenging process. But you do not need to struggle alone. At Laguna Shores Recovery, our compassionate staff understands how difficult long-term recovery can be. That is why we offer our clients a range of support, including the best behavioral therapies, tailor-made treatment plans, family relationship programs, 12-step groups, and alumni services. Taking a holistic approach to treating addiction, we are also a complete medical and residential facility. Call us at (866) 229-9923, and we would be happy to keep you motivated in order to achieve the goal of long-term sobriety. Schedule an appointment with a licensed mental healthcare professional or therapist to start making sustainable goals.