How to Set and Achieve Your GoalsHannah Hippe
The Nystrom & Associates provider consulted for this article is Katy Valine, Outpatient Therapist.
Goal setting is crucial for those who wish to improve their mental health. It acts as a roadmap to help people overcome depression, anxiety, and other challenges in life.
However, while we’re motivated at the start of the year to follow through with our freshly crafted goals, the time of year when New Year’s resolutions tend to fall to the wayside has arrived. According to U.S. News, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February, with self-sabotage and lack of self-discipline being the most common culprits of failed goals.
So, how do you prepare yourself to successfully set and achieve your goals?
Believe in Yourself
To optimize your potential for success in working toward new goals, there are a couple helpful things to keep in mind. First, motivation to change comes from within—you, alone, are responsible for your own growth—so believe in your strength! Next, give yourself grace, remembering that lasting change is gradual, and setbacks are momentary. They will only derail your progress with your permission. And finally, consider how amazing you will feel in January 2022, if you implement those changes toward a healthier version of yourself.
Set and achieve your goals through having your own back; lead with a positive mindset. Encourage yourself to set realistic and positive goals for your life, and be gentle when things don’t turn out exactly as planned (they rarely do).
Related: Ways to Move Forward When You Feel Stuck
Make a Plan
Part of setting yourself up for success with a new goal is to have realistic expectations, which involves both the goal itself and the timeline.
For example, say you despise running, but made a goal to become a runner in a three-week timeframe. Instead, start with a smaller goal, like going for a long walk a few times a week and gradually build up to a brisk walk/light jog. Or, if you despise running, why make the goal to be a runner in the first place? Try another form of exercise that makes your body move, but inspires rather than depletes you.
Make a plan to set and achieve your goals in a realistic and motivating way. In the case of exercise, try what lights you up, not what drains you.
In order to create lasting change, we need to accept that bumps in the road are bound to occur. It’s completely normal to fall off track; no one is perfect.
To help mitigate setbacks though, have a check-in with your progress every other week or every month. Write the dates for these check-ins down. Schedule uninterrupted time with yourself or a friend to assess what’s going well and what isn’t. Adjust as necessary.
Creating a flexible system to hold yourself accountable will help you to set and achieve your goals in no time.
Related: How Routines Benefit Your Mental Health
Motivation is bound to go down naturally if you let it. The key to staying on top of your goals is to stay inspired. Surround yourself with people who support your vision, social media pages that pump you up, and avoid situations that may derail your progress.
A Word From Nystrom & Associates
While creating any type of change, uncomfortable emotions and stressors will pop up. Therapy can help you express those emotions in a supportive environment, so you can stay on track while you set and achieve your goals.
In addition, therapy provides the opportunity to:
- Develop coping strategies for different situations
- Work on habits you’d like to change
- Stay accountable (without judgment)
Take a look through our providers or request an appointment online today.