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Motivation plays an important role in each stage of change when you’re in recovery. Discovering how to stay motivated is key because it enables you to seek out, make and continue successful, long-lasting changes.1 Let’s take a look at several different ways to stay motivated in the recovery process.

How to Stay Motivated in the Early Stages: Ask Yourself What’s Most Important

In the early stages of recovery, decisions about using are especially difficult. When decision-making seems tough and you’re tempted to use, think about what’s most important in your life. The key question to ask is, “What do I want more than my addiction?” The people and things you value will come to mind, and hopefully be enough motivation for you continue seeking treatment.

How to Stay Motivated for Long-Term Sobriety

Motivation is simply the desire or willingness to do something—in this case, it’s staying in recovery.2 Follow these simple tips to stay motivated:


Keeping it simple is an easy way to clearly see what motivates you. When you look at the big picture or too far in the future, you may feel overwhelmed. Keep it simple by dividing long-term recovery goals into smaller, short-term goals.

You can then direct your motivation toward achieving the shorter, measurable recovery goals that are more specific, making them easier to reach. By creating smaller goals, you’ll feel successful in the process more frequently, giving you encouragement to continue.


Each time you reach a goal, give yourself the luxury of a celebration for a job well done. When you’re setting up your goals, plan rewards for when you reach them to treat yourself. Examples of rewards are a day out at a salon, a trip to a place you enjoy visiting, or a meal at your favorite restaurant. By planning a small reward for each goal, you’ll be more motivated to follow through.


Structure through a daily or weekly routine is essential when you are figuring out how to stay motivated. Create this structure by making a schedule of both recovery and non-recovery activities. Schedule your recovery activities like meetings, groups, and counseling sessions. Non-recovery activities should include enjoyable things you’ll look forward to doing. When you have this blended routine, it keeps you motivated to stay sober, so you can enjoy activities which were once put aside when you were using.


An excellent way on how to stay motivated is to surround yourself with people who support your recovery and offer encouragement. Build a network of people who are positive and upbeat. You’ll then have a group of people whom you can depend on when life gets rough. They can also be your cheerleaders when you reach your goals.

Seek Help If You Falter

We’ve reviewed ways to stay motivated, but if you find yourself struggling despite using these methods, be sure to reach out for help. Call your sponsor, discuss it with your group or talk with your therapist. They’ll offer needed support to help you stay motivated and sober.

Give us a call or come visit our Addiction Recovery Treatment Center


  1. http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/arh23-2/086-92.pdf
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/motivation
How to Stay Motivated in Addiction Recovery
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