Goal-setting is a powerful tool in recovery. The S.A.M. goal setting model is a shorter version of SMART goals. This brief tutorial will teach you why it’s important to make your growth goals Specific, Attainable and Measurable (SAM), and give you an opportunity to practice setting a SAM goal. As you read, you will notice prompts to set SAM goals. Get in the habit of using this model and you will be able to identify, reach and track your accomplishments.
Many people use SMART goals to help them in goal-setting. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Specific. We’ve shortened this tool to three parts. SAM stands for Specific, Attainable and Measurable. We left out Relevant—because we’re assuming you would not set a goal around something that wasn’t relevant to you, and Time-Specific falls under the Measurable category.
The first part of this guide is about being specific in your goal setting. So, what does it mean to be specific when setting a goal? Here are a couple examples illustrating the difference between a non-specific goal and a goal that is specific:
Here are some questions to help you when coming up with a specific goal:
Practice writing a specific goal. Pick one goal you’d like to achieve, and make it as SPECIFIC as possible.
The word attainable means “having the ability to accomplish or achieve something.” When setting our goals, it’s important (especially in early sobriety) that we make sure our goals are attainable. Here are examples of an unattainable and attainable goal:
Here are questions to ask yourself when creating an attainable goal:
Practice writing an attainable version of your goal. Write your goal in ATTAINABLE terms.
Finally, why should a goal be measurable? Once you’ve written a specific and attainable goal, you need to make sure you can measure the success of your goal and be able to cross it off a list. Here are examples of what unmeasurable and measurable goals look like:
Here are questions to help you create a measurable goal:
Practice writing a goal that you can clearly measure. Write your goal in MEASURABLE terms.