How Do I Stay Motivated in Early Recovery?

Deciding to enter into recovery and begin doing the work towards building a better life for yourself is a significant decision. However, it does not mean you will always feel motivated to continue in recovery and not have difficulties along the way. The important thing is how you choose to deal with these obstacles, whether you decide to allow them to hold you back or to motivate you to keep pushing. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to move forward despite your mind telling you that you cannot heal, but there are ways to forge ahead. 

Remind Yourself Why You Started

After being caught in the cycle of obsession and compulsion that is addiction, beginning your journey to recovery is no small feat. A significant event or compilation of events most likely caused you to make that decision and choose life. When you feel low and as if you cannot continue in recovery, a great way to remotivate yourself is to remember why you started in the first place. Whether it was to get out of legal trouble, repair relationships with your family, see your kids again, or simply to better your life and heal yourself from the inside out. 

Remember the Benefits of Recovery

Not only is it important to remember what brought you to recovery, but it is also essential to remind yourself of the benefits that recovery will have in your life as a whole. Itis easy to feel stuck in early recovery when you hit a roadblock and realize it is not a smooth journey. However, knowing the benefits such as living a longer life, being healthier, and finding happiness can be enough to motivate you to continue and maintain your recovery.

Practice Self-Care

When you are not taking proper care of yourself, it can take a physical, mental, and emotional toll; this is especially true in early recovery because your body is still healing from the physical effects of drug and alcohol use. If you find yourself feeling demotivated, ask yourself if you have been practicing self-care. If not, consider these tips to keep you on track:

  • Get seven to nine hours of sleep each night
  • Eat nutritious foods such as high-protein snacks, fresh fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.
  • Get enough exercise multiple times a week, such as 30 minutes a day.
  • Drink enough water to stay hydrated and avoid drowsiness
  • Keep your spaces organized to give you peace of mind.
  • Connect with others to avoid isolation and boost your mood
  • Practice healthy coping mechanisms
  • Connect with a higher power

Appreciate the Little Things

When you are drowning in doubt and darkness, you may lose sight of the good things present in your life. By making a conscious effort to name the things in your life that you have to be grateful for, you can remind yourself that good things are present and good things are coming. Consider practicing gratitude journaling or making a mental list at night before you go to sleep. Giving up will not solve the problem or bring you happiness. Recovery can offer you these things; you just have to put in the work.

Connect With Others

Isolating yourself can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, doubts and leave you stuck in a perpetual cycle of negative thoughts. When you reach out for support from others, you can get advice and outside opinions that you may not have thought of on your own. This can also help connect you with the recovery community to build up your sober support network to help you on difficult days in the future as well. It can be comforting to hear success stories from others that have gone through similar struggles and come out on top. 

Set Specific Goals

Recovery as a whole can be overwhelming for someone that is just starting. The challenges in early recovery can cause you to doubt yourself and think that you cannot do it. A way to overcome this feeling is to set specific, attainable goals in a reasonable amount of time. For example, an achievable goal in early recovery is to stay for the entire program a treatment center offers. Staying for an entire program allows you to receive the full benefits that treatment offers while also creating a commitment to yourself. Think about what you want to achieve and then plan ways to make it happen.


Early recovery is a time of hard work, dedication, and effort to get better. It is hard work, and it can be easy to want to give up when the going gets tough. However, there are ways to overcome your doubts and stay motivated to stay the course. Remaining motivated involves reminding yourself why you started, appreciating the little things, and connecting with others. You can also engage in other practices to help you maintain your motivation in early recovery. You will thank yourself for these later when you are out of treatment and able to maintain sobriety on your own. It is essential not to be discouraged. Should you ever need help, contact the team at Northstar Transitions. Your recovery journey at our facility will be full of supportive people and moments to help you stay motivated. The Northstar difference is clinical excellence, evidence-based therapeutic modalities, personalized treatment plans, and our location in the serene and majestic setting of Boulder, Colorado. Call us today at (303) 558-6400 to learn more about our program.


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