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  • Writer's pictureJohn Clymore

What Makes Up a Goal?

Last week I found myself wanting to organize my office. I thought, I need to make this different but had no sense of direction. Often people make goals that are small, such as organizing a space or have large goals like buying a house. Sometimes our goal is just to relax more but we do not have direction. Setting goals do not have to be difficult but do require planning. Here are some suggestions in planning and completing goals:

1) Identify the goal: Is the goal really relaxing more or is it practicing saying no when we have too many things on the calendar? Does the goal add meaning, improve your values or create comfort?

2) Identify a timeframe: Is the goal a short-term or long-term goal. What is realistic? I want to buy a new house tomorrow but that really isn’t going to happen in a day? How motivated am I to make this happen?

3) Is my goal measurable: How do I know that I am on the right track? Maybe the goal should be a series of smaller goals to let you check-in or you check on your progress every week? How will I know when my goal is complete?

4) Give yourself grace: Changing behaviors or making transitions is not always easy. You may want to give up after missing your goal date or a new barrier might be discovered. You can adjust your goal, no one is perfect.

5) Ask for help: Occasionally we need help to reach a goal. You may need to check-in with someone to problem solve or to motivate you. You made need a therapist to help you conquer barriers, incorporate strengths or learn distress tolerance skills. Ask yourself, who can help me get to my goal? Then ask them.

6) Celebrate Success: When you complete a goal, you might be motivated to start something else. That is great but don’t forget to celebrate. Pat yourself on the back first and enjoy you newly organized office before moving to the next goal!

Initiating change can be difficult. You may not know how to identify a goal. You may discover that change creates uneasy emotions or increased stress. This is the opportunity to refer to number 5, asking for help. Therapy can help develop your goals, understand uneasy emotions and create coping resources to decrease stress. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself in adding meaning, improving your values or creating comfort.

By: John Clymore


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