Addiction recovery takes a lot of hard work emotionally, physically and spiritually. Getting clean is very liberating, and most addicts hit the ground running in early recovery. As time wears on and real life starts to creep in though, it can be hard to stay motivated. A lack of motivation can derail a recovery program, but it can be overcome.

Losing Motivation

There are many reasons you might lack motivation at times during recovery. Part of it may simply be because you lose steam when fighting a long battle against addiction. Reaching your recovery goals may be more difficult than you think, or you may let your guard down as you get further into recovery.

Becoming static in recovery can cause a loss of motivation, too. What was working for you in the beginning may not be working for you anymore, which can really slow you down. Unresolved emotions like fear, guilt, and anger can keep you from moving forward as well.

Having Realistic Expectations

Losing motivation during recovery can slow your progress, which can leave you open to the risk of relapse. One of the biggest reasons people in recovery lose motivation is their life isn’t turning out exactly how they expected it to once they get clean. No matter how great your progress is, there are still going to be difficulties that come along, and every day is going to require hard work.

Some may think that by a certain point, in a month, or in a year, they won’t have to struggle against their addiction anymore, but this isn’t usually the case. Healing from addiction takes time, and there are going to be setbacks. Having realistic expectations regarding recovery can help you overcome setbacks and stay motivated to do better.

Finding Joy in the Journey

When working toward a new, sober life, it’s tempting to focus on the big goals you’re hoping to reach in the future. Long-term goals can really help to keep you on track, but it’s the small successes along the way that will help you stay motivated.

Take the time to celebrate each accomplishment you make in your recovery process, whether big or small. Finding reasons to be grateful and even keeping a gratitude journal will help you to stay focused on everything you have, rather than what you don’t have. Look for reasons to be happy, and remind yourself daily about the things that are really important to you, and why you want to keep working hard for recovery.