Keywords: Goals, Goal Setting. Mental Health
No matter how much life experience you have there is most likely some sort of goal out there that you would like to reach. It could be doing something positive for your health and wellbeing such as exercising, quitting smoking or learning how to manage anxiety. Or it could be that you would like to pick up a new hobby. Either way, below you will learn the top 5 tips on how to set goals and actually reach them.
Research supports goal setting is helpful in therapy, whether you are aiming to reduce stress or anxiety, or increase your self-esteem, talking your goals through with your therapist can help support your recovery.
1. Think Big
Often, we overestimate what we can do in a day, but underestimate what we can do in a year. When setting goals, it’s important to think beyond where you are at today and to look deeper into where you want to be. You might not know all the steps now, but if you set a goal for yourself that is outside of your comfort zone, you’ll be able to break those steps down over time and eventually reach them. The time will pass anyway.
2. Write your goals down on paper
There is a reason many of those who have achieved great things had journals of their accomplishments. It’s because there is power in getting your thoughts and goals out of your mind and onto paper. By writing down what you want to achieve they become real and you’re able to see in front of your eyes what you’re about to go after. Watch your creativity kick in which will allow ideas to flow onto the page.
When they do, be sure to write those thoughts and ideas down too as you’re creating a blueprint. Each time you hit a milestone,, it is also great to reflect on how you were able to do so and evaluate what needs to be done next.
3. Be realistic when starting
Once you define what your goals are, you’re then able to begin breaking down the steps to helping you achieve them. When doing so, recognize that some of the habits you’ll be implementing may be new, therefore it’s important to be realistic when starting out.
If your goal is to run a marathon but you have no previous experience of running the first step of action would be to gradually build up your fitness by doing short runs and increasing them over time. You can then find a route you enjoy, and work your way up to 1, 3, 5, and 10 miles, then a half marathon, and finally a full marathon.
When you are starting out breaking your goal into smaller tasks will prevent you from getting lost or overwhelmed. You are more likely to be discouraged if you don’t develop a clear plan of action.
4. Take it easy on yourself
We each tend to be our own worst critics and that is no different when we are trying something new. As you’re developing new habits, be sure to take it easy on yourself as you’re now a beginner again. Getting outside of your comfort zone comes with some growing pains that you must be able to work through.
By taking it easy on yourself when you don’t get it right off the bat or as you continue onto the next step of your goals, you’re able to give yourself the grace that you would anyone else who was learning something new, and yes, you deserve that too!
5. Seek accountability and be resourceful
No matter what your goal may be, there is likely someone out there who has already done it or something similar to it. Search online, follow those who have already achieved what it is you would like to for yourself, and reach out when the opportunities present themselves for you to improve.
There are many ways to find a mentor, coach or counsellor to help you reach them, and most likely there are programs out there to help you accelerate your growth. Be resourceful in finding the accountability and the connections you need. You don’t have to do it alone.
No matter what your goal may be, getting started and developing a plan of action towards reaching it is key. By following the tips above, you’re sure to start off strong in both setting and reaching your goals.
If you need some additional support to reach your mental health goals, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Clear Haven Therapy. We offer Counselling, and Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT), if you would like to find out more you can book a free Discovery Call.