Goals help you move towards, where you want to be in your journey to great mental health, Also they help in the journey we call life. This is a definitive guide to help you set goals for your mental health journey
Have you ever thought where is my life taking me? what do I want to do with my life in the future? Are you clear about where you want to go on the journey that is your life? Maybe your not even clear about what you want to achieve by the end of the day!
Goals are the way forward, think about it our lives are a constant series of goals. we accomplish goals all day long, from the moment we wake up in the morning. we are setting goals. we get out of bed that’s a goal as we are getting up to accomplish something in our lives. We have breakfast that’s a goal to fuel our body. So you see our lives are a constantly evolving series of goals.
To accomplish our goals thought we have to know how to set the goals that we wish to accomplish. We can’t just say “I don’t want to suffer Anxiety anymore or Depression” it doesn’t work that way. Goal setting is a process that starts with considering what it is we want to achieve? Then we achieve it by putting in the actual hard work we need to meet our goals!
There are some proven steps that we can take to help us with our goal-setting journeys. lets now take a look at 5 methods we can take to better help us set goals for our mental health
5 METHODS TO HELP SET GOALS!
1. SET GOALS THAT HELP MOTIVATE YOU!
I have come up with 5 steps to help motivate you in reaching your goals!
1. START WITH THE END IN MIND!
“What is your Why”? “What is the reason for your goal”?
We really have to be specific about Why we want to set a goal. It’s not enough just to set a goal there has to be a reason behind our goals. I find it helpful to write or post that reason Why in a place I can always see it. I have found that doing so helps push me and motivate me every day to get closer to that goal.
2. CREATE A SUPPORT SYSTEM!
So we all know the benefits of having a support person in our lives and that’s the same for goal setting. Which can take the form of a spouse a co-worker or a friend or it could someone else you see often that can help motivate you. Also, it could be an outside group it could be an online group or a local group with the same goals in mind. https://www.facebook.com/groups/yoursupporthub/
Also there are thousands of groups out there and joining a group is a great way to hold your accountability. Most people in the group have a similar goal, so it’s a great resource for empowerment and support. Also, it’s really a great place to learn how to push your goals further. having someone or a group there on a daily basis really will help motivate you on your journey.
3. SET MILESTONES!
When I think about goals, I think about milestones and setting small goals while keeping the larger goal in mind. Don’t get me wrong there isn’t anything wrong with setting big goals. The only problem there is BIG and that word can be very scary, Also it can feel overwhelming and daunting.
Let’s take that bigger goal and break it down it to smaller achievable milestones. Things that make you feel “gosh I can make it to the end goal”, or “I can accomplish that”! What happens is when we get these small victories that gain momentum and the victories get bigger. Intern this pushes us further down the road to accomplishing the bigger end goal. SO TAKE YOUR BIG GOAL AND BREAK IT DOWN INTO MILESTONES!
4. CREATE HABITS AND ROUTINES!
Yeah, I know what your thinking when you hear the word habits your thinking smoking biting your nail, etc. But here I’m talking about habits that can be helpful, as habits are the things we do without thinking. Also, we can take our BIG goal to break it down into our MILESTONES and then into daily HABITS.
These little daily habits move us little by little towards our bigger goal. So i will share what I mean let’s say your goal is to start excising to help with your mental health. So the habit you might want to get into is getting up each morning and walking for 30 mins. To be able to make that start to be a habit you might set an alarm, lay out your workout gear, and your shoes ready for the morning. Also, say you wanted to drink your 8 glasses of water daily, you can fill up a nice drink bottle of water and set it next to your alarm so you can get a start before your walk.
So there are lots of little things that we can do to form good healthy habits that get us to the BIG goal. Also when we start doing these things on a regular basis they become habit and part of our routine. which then becomes part of our subconscious and we don’t even need to think about it anymore. So this makes it easier to motivate yourself to reach your goals.
5. REWARD YOURSELF
We all like to be rewarded and having that little reward or carrot dangling at the end that gets us moving in the right way. So one way you can do this is to record your habits in a habit tracker in a journal. So this allows you to see your progress and now you can start to reward yourself.
Also a reward could be a new pair of running shoes for getting a certain amount of walking days in. Also, it could be a meal out every month for sticking to your diet, also we all enjoy so time alone may be reading a book, enjoying a hobby. these are all really simple rewards and they don’t have to cost money it just has to feel rewarding to you.
So here’s what happens when we hit those milestones that we set for our self’s, and we reward ourselves we are encouraged and empowered to move forward. So that’s what I found really important and what helps us sustain our motivation so we can reach our REALLY REALLY BIG GOALS!
So we can make sure that our goal is motivating, by writing down why it’s valuable and important to us. Also ask yourself, “If I were to share my goal with others, what would I tell them to convince them it is a goal that I should pursue?”. Also, you can use this motivating value statement to help you if you start to doubt yourself or lose confidence in your ability to actually make the goal happen
2 SET S.M.A.R.T. GOALS!
Have you ever heard of a smart goal? It’s OK if you haven’t we are going to have a look at what and how to use them now. We have established that goals are very powerful and help us to function daily and move forward when we are feeling a little stuck. So what is a smart goal? its an acromion and this is what it stands for!
Set Specific Goals!
Our goals must be clear and well defined. Vague or generalized goals are unhelpful because they don’t provide sufficient direction for our journey to better mental health. Remember, you need goals to show you the way to where you want to be in your life. Make it as easy as you can to get where you want to go by defining precisely where you want to end up
Set Measurable Goals!
Also While setting our goals, it’s important to set. times, dates. And precise information at this stage. So to give us a way to gauge our success and the degree of how successful we have been in reaching our set goals. If our goal is simply defined as “To reduce our Anxiety” how will we know when we have been successful?
In one month’s time if you have a slightly reduced Anxiety or in two years’ time when you have a 50% reduction in your symptoms? Without a way to measure your success, you miss out on the celebration that comes with knowing you have actually achieved what you have set out to achieve.
Set Attainable Goals!
Make sure that it’s possible to achieve the goals you set. So if you set a goal that you have no hope of reaching. You will only demoralize yourself and lose your confidence to achieve any further goals you set your self on your journey to great mental health.
However, resist the urge to set goals that are too easy. Accomplishing a goal that you didn’t have to work hard for can Have the opposite effect. Also, this can make you fear setting future goals that carry a risk of non-achievement. By setting realistic yet challenging goals, you hit the balance you need. These are the types of goals that require you to “raise the bar” and they bring the greatest personal satisfaction when you actually achieve your goals
Set Relevant Goals!
So our goals should be relevant to the direction we want our lives and health to take. By keeping goals aligned with this, we can develop the focus we need to get ahead and do what we want. Set widely scattered and inconsistent goals, and we fritter our time and our health away.
Set Time Bound Goals!
Our goals must have a deadline. Also, this means that we know when we can celebrate success. When we are working on a deadline, our sense of urgency increases, and achievement will come that much quicker and our end goal will have much more meaning.
3. SET GOALS IN WRITING!
The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible. You have no excuse for forgetting about it. As you write, use the word “will” instead of “would like to” or “might.” For example, “I will reduce my Anxiety this year by challenging my self,” not “I would like to reduce my Anxiety this year by challenging myself.” So the first goal statement has power and you can “see” yourself reducing your Anxiety. Also the second lacks passion and gives you an excuse if you get sidetracked on your goal.
Frame your goal statement positively. So if you want to improve your retention rates say, “I will start a morning routine to help with my depression” rather than “I will reduce my depression.” The first one is motivating; the second one still has a get-out clause “allowing” you to make excuse as to why you didn’t reduce your depression
Grab a journal And use it to structure your goals to create to-do lists with your goals on top. So you have clearly defined your goals, from here you can make an action plan of smart goals to help accomplish your goals.
4. MAKE YOURSELF A ACTION PLAN!
So this step is often missed in the process of goal setting. We get so focused on the outcome that we forget to plan all of the steps that are needed along the way. So writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as we complete it. by doing this we realize that progress is being made towards our ultimate goal. This is really important if our goal is big and demanding, or long-term and has multiple milestones on the way. So remember to write up a good action plan to help reach your goals.
5. STICK WITH IT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING!
Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity, not just a means to an end its a lifestyle. Also, build in some reminders to keep ourselves on task to complete our goal. So make regular time-slots available to review our goals the review process is important to help evaluate them. So our end destination may remain quite similar over the long term, but the action plan we set for ourselves along the way can change significantly. Make sure the relevance, value, and necessity remain the same throughout our journey and this will help us stay on track.
Goal setting is much more than simply saying to yourself you want something to happen. So we should clearly define exactly what we want. So we understand why we want to seta goal in the first place. Also by following the steps to Goal Setting you can set goals with confidence and enjoy the satisfaction that comes along with knowing you achieved what you set out to do.
So, what will you decide to accomplish today on your mental health journey let us know.
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