Approximately 35 million people worldwide experience adverse effects from drug and alcohol use and hence meet the substance use disorder criteria. This is a complex condition characterized by uncontrolled use of alcohol and substances despite the harm they cause.

Most healthcare systems typically focus on treating addiction’s physical and psychological harms. However, it’s essential to realize that addiction doesn’t only happen inside the body. Social and community aspects of a person also get affected and are just as vital to the recovery process.

A holistic addiction recovery plan helps an individual overcome an addiction crisis by focusing on the person. It not only enables you to focus on the physical symptoms but also spiritual, social, and mental aspects of your well-being. All these are interconnected in helping you achieve recovery. Having an addiction recovery plan is essential because it provides direction and support, much like a reliable car and gas on a road trip, to help you reach your destination.

If you’re interested in developing a holistic plan, you can look for a reputable addiction treatment center or any relevant healthcare center to help you. The other alternative option is reading through this blog to get enlightening as follows:

1. Prepare Yourself Psychologically

The journey toward recovery from addiction may not be easy. Hence, it’s fundamental to prepare yourself well and know what you’re likely to face. One important thing you need to know is that the transition phase is usually difficult.

The reason is that you’re doing something you’ve never done before, and you’ll be denying your body what it’s used to taking. You may experience cravings and irritability; however, remember that you can conquer all that only if you keep your eyes on the goal. Also, remembering why you’re making this change will help you avoid relapsing.

To gain motivation, consider setting milestones to keep you focused. For instance, you can start with 90 days; then, after that, you set another one—maybe one year. After each milestone, you can reward yourself to celebrate your achievement. This is a great way to help you stay motivated and focused.

2. Ascertain Whether You Have Other Underlying Problems

Sometimes people take drugs and substances as a way of coping or escaping from their problems. As you consider making this change, it’s critical to take a step back and analyze when and how you started taking alcohol and other illicit substances. It’s important to approach this process with compassion and self-awareness, recognizing that addiction is a disease that affects individuals differently.

Doing so lets you know which other issues to deal with besides addiction problems. Some examples of issues you may discover you’re facing include the following:

  • Trauma
  • Depression
  • Environmental factors
  • Unresolved conflicts
  • Work issues
  • Struggles with relationships or family dynamics
  • Genetic problems
  • Loss of income

Uncovering these issues will help you address them accordingly, of course, with the help of a certified professional. They’ll help you develop a treatment plan for such problems and addiction.

3. Set Realistic Goals

The next step after soul searching is to ascertain if you have other problems is setting specific, measurable, and achievable goals. This list should help you focus on areas in your life that you would like to address.

You can get a psychotherapist to guide you through this process, especially if you’re experiencing mental health concerns such as anxiety or depression. Such a condition can make you feel adrift from your overall goals and direction in life. Hence you may need help in setting goals to help improve your quality of life.

Here are some tips to help you create effective personal recovery goals:

Generate A List Of Personal Recovery Goals

If your therapist asks you what your personal goals are, you may answer with the following statements:

  • To become a better person
  • To regain full sobriety
  • To be happy
  • To learn healthy ways to cope with emotions

As much as these goals are ideal, they only portray the bigger picture. Hence it would help if you gave smaller and measurable goals. This will make it easier to formulate ways to achieve them.

In this regard, you can set more specific goals that are measurable and achievable. Some of them include the following:

  • To have better mental health, especially if you’re suffering from mental health issues like anxiety and depression
  • To quit smoking and abusing drugs and alcohol
  • To become spiritual
  • To become more self-aware
  • Personal growth and self-improvement by reading educational material, learning new skills, and watching helpful content
  • Making proper lifestyle decisions like eating a balanced diet, exercising, or losing weight
  • To have better relationships both at home, school, and work
  • To become financially stable and get out of debt
  • To advance your education
  • To give back to the community through volunteering or other service activities

Once you’ve ascertained your goals, you can proceed to the next step.

  • Confirm Which Goals Are Most Relevant And Vital To Your Health

Now that you have a clear vision of all the goals you’d like to achieve, you’ll realize that you need to put in some effort to achieve them. However, it’s important to prioritize goals that will benefit your physical and mental health before working on other areas.

So, for instance, as a person in recovery, one of your main goals can be leading a sober life. Next can be putting your finances in order, and the others can follow. Consider listing them in order of priority to help you focus on what’s most important.

  • Ask Yourself Why The Goals Are Important

You need to ask yourself what you’ll achieve by setting those goals before working on them. Some of the answers you should be getting include the following:

  • To enhance your health
  • To help you achieve happiness
  • To improve your relationships
  • To help you get peace of mind

If you find that some goals don’t align with your personal values and priorities, it’s okay to reconsider and adjust your goals accordingly. Try to ensure that you’re not pursuing goals to please anyone but yourself. Once you’ve prioritized your goals, ascertained they’re realistic, and confirmed they’re essential, you can start figuring out ways to work on them.

4. Jot Everything Down

After settling on specific measurable and achievable goals, it’s essential to list them. Having them in mind is good, but human beings are prone and subject to forgetfulness. And so, to avoid this, you need to capture your plan in a medium to help you review it later as you go through your recovery journey.

You can store these goals electronically or handwrite them in your journal. Doing so will make it easier to keep track of all the details of your plan. Moreover, it’ll be easier to actualize them and make them real. If you’re having difficulty writing down your goals, you can ask your therapist to assist you.

5. Check Out Viable Holistic Therapies

Now that you have goals, there are ways to help you achieve them. One of them is through holistic treatment options. It’s essential to know all the available holistic treatment methods professionals recommend. You can explore different options and choose the ones that resonate with you to support your recovery journey.

Examples of holistic therapies include the following:

  • Physical exercise
  • Yoga
  • Guided meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Proper nutrition
  • Massage therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Adventure therapy
  • Tai chi
  • Wilderness therapy
  • Life skills development
  • Animal-assisted therapy
  • Breathing exercises

Once you’ve learned about different therapies and treatment options, you can decide which ones align with your personal values and preferences. You can consult a therapist if you need clarification on your choice.

6. Generate Action Steps And Implement Them

It’s essential to have a to-do list of small action steps that’ll enable you to reach your main goal. When creating action steps, it’s important to make sure they are realistic, measurable, and meaningful. These steps should help you achieve the goals you’ve already jotted down. Some examples of action steps you could take include:

  • Starting therapy sessions
  • Exercising daily for a specific number of hours
  • Eating a balanced diet every day
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Avoiding bad company
  • Reading addiction recovery books and material
  • Deliberately avoiding tempting areas like pubs

Once you’ve begun taking action, you can move on to the next phase of your recovery journey.

7. Set Time Frames

With all the above in mind, you can set specific time frames in which you plan to achieve these goals. Setting deadlines can help keep you on track and make it easier to stay focused on your goals. Thus, it’s critical to have deadlines and time frames, especially for activities with dates like group meetings and therapy appointments. You can have therapy sessions twice a week for several months.

For example, if you plan to incorporate meditation into your daily routine, you could choose a specific time to practice and set a goal for how often you want to meditate. You can use the day you complete the activity to reflect on your progress and determine whether you have made any strides towards your recovery goals.

8. Keep Track Record Of Your Progress

As you start working towards reaching your goals, it’s critical to check how far you’ve come and whether you’re making any progress. If your plan involves moderating the number of times you take alcohol or substance, you can regularly check and record how often you take the alcohol or substance and the quantity you take.

If you plan to abstain completely for a particular time, you must ascertain that you’ve achieved your goal. If you experience a setback and relapse, it’s important to document this and use it as an opportunity to learn and improve.

You can also record other aspects related to your recovery. Some of them include the following:

  • The time you’ve spent with your family and friends
  • If you’ve worked out all the stipulated days
  • If you’ve been able to take eight glasses of water daily
  • Tracking your sleep patterns and noting any nights when you struggle to sleep

Ideally, it would help to look at the aspects that impact your recovery process and record how you’re actualizing it. It can be beneficial to take note of how you feel during your daily activities and reflect on any emotions or triggers that may affect your recovery. Setting aside regular intervals to document your progress, as previously mentioned, can help you stay on track and motivated.

9. Consult Different Sources And People

When creating your recovery plan, it can be helpful to explore various resources, such as relevant websites and books, for additional tips on addiction recovery.

Recognizing the importance of having a support system to achieve your goals is crucial. It’s rare to face life’s challenges alone, and addiction is no exception. The reason is that chances are high you’ll experience a lot of emotions like:

  • Guilt
  • Fear
  • Shame
  • Anxiety

Therefore, having people to offer encouragement, guidance, and support is essential. If you do not feel comfortable relying on family members for support, consider seeking assistance from healthcare professionals, such as psychotherapists. Other potential sources of support include members of support groups, coworkers, friends, and others you trust.

Ultimately, the decision of who to include in your support system is yours to make. You’re on the right track as long as they’re trustworthy, understand your needs, and will help you achieve your goals.


Staying engaged and willing to change is the key to a successful recovery process. Focusing on meaningful activities and spreading kindness through small gestures can be beneficial to your recovery process. Working towards repairing any damaged relationships can also help you and your recovery.

Rewarding yourself occasionally is critical as you follow the above holistic recovery plan. This will help you stay focused and more motivated. Understanding the reasons behind your substance use can make the recovery process more manageable.

Each person’s journey is unique, and treatment methods should be tailored to their individual needs and circumstances. It’s important to avoid comparing yourself to others and to seek guidance from professionals in developing an effective addiction recovery plan.