It’s a wonderful feeling, when you achieve a goal you set out to accomplish. You feel a sense of increased confidence in yourself, and better having strived for something and completed it. Sometimes it can be difficult to maintain motivation when life gets busy, but keeping up with your objectives often has many benefits to mental health, such as improving decision-making and prioritising skills, and gaining a sense of purpose and direction.
But there are a few things to keep in mind when setting goals to be sure you get the most out of the experience. If you consider these steps when starting your journey you may find you have a much easier time reaching your goal.
- Take time to sit down and think deeply about a few things: what do you want to experience and accomplish through life? What do you want to learn? Is there something you want to change? What is holding you back? Consider your previous achievements, your strengths and possible barriers to realizing your goal.
- Write them down: write down your ideas and consider whether or not it is realistic, attainable, measurable and relevant to you. Does this goal motivate you? Realistically, how long do you think it will take to achieve? Phrase the goal in a positive manor with words like “I will” instead of “I might”.
- Consider your circumstances: have you taken into account your work roster? And if necessary your family’s schedule as well? Have you set the goal too high, or do you have too many goals to focus on? Don’t set yourself up for failure but instead work to surpass the target you fixed.
Create an action plan: find what works for you, whether it’s to check in with your goal daily, weekly or monthly but make a plan to identify the steps needed to make your goal a reality. Remember not to focus only on the outcome but also the process required, this is needed especially in long-term and particularly challenging goals. You can ask a friend or family member to help you stay on track, or use progress-tracking tools such as this app.
Setting goals can be a great way to give your life structure, improve overall mental health and wellbeing and give you a sense of control over your life. Other benefits can include decreasing stress, identifying personal strengths and increasing prioritising skills, but remember to not pressure yourself with large and overwhelming goals. Work to know your strengths and the potential obstacles you may face, and set your goal to be achievable and to be surpassed!