Goal Setting With The Seasons
We are all familiar with weight loss goals, financial goals, and many other goals we like to set at the beginning of the year. When was the last time you followed up or checked your progress with those goals? Instead of setting lofty, year-long goals, the change in seasons can be a helpful benchmark. Throughout the year our schedules become more hectic, school and work become more demanding, and our focus moves away from our initial goals. As we move into the fall season, the environment provides a very physical reminder to actively manage our goals.
Goal setting is a wonderful tool to have when managing anxiety and depression. To some of my clients, goal setting can seem overwhelming and sometimes impossible. Managing anxiety and depression can make the smallest tasks feel out of reach. While trying to maintain a healthy balance of responsibilities, we tend to forget to prioritize our needs, especially mental health needs. Goal setting can be another way to help prioritize our needs. With my clients, we discuss the ‘How?’ and the ‘What?’ about goals.
Is your goal specific enough?
It can be helpful to break down the elements of a goal so it doesn’t feel as overwhelming. Having three small tasks to achieve can feel more doable than having one large goal with unclear steps. If you have set a goal of healthier eating, how can you dissect it into smaller, more specific goals? You may decide when to shop for groceries or what foods you want to eat.
Is your goal realistic and achievable?
The idea of goal setting may seem taxing because we don’t give ourselves enough time to achieve the goal. Questioning the timetable of the goal may provide a more practical perspective. Another aspect to consider are the tools and resources needed to achieve the goal. Imagine the frustration of sitting down to start a project and realizing you don’t have everything you need to complete the project. Having a realistic and achievable goal can increase the likeliness of accomplishing the goal.
Have you set a time to evaluate your progress?
As we do with resolutions, we tend to set goals and forget about them. The change in seasons may be a helpful reminder to assess progress with larger goals. Many of my clients set weekly, even daily goals to ensure their self-care. An evaluation period allows an opportunity to make any changes or adjustments needed.
If you want more information or a chance to your discuss goals in more detail, contact one of our therapists.
Authored By: Lakeita Roberts, MS, LPC