The best therapy and counseling practices make setting and achieving goals easy! To-do lists, vision boards, new year’s resolutions, monthly goals, etc. We are always setting goals for ourselves, hoping to achieve them within a certain time span, this is what drives us for betterment and growth. The hardest part of setting goals is determining what it is we want to work on, how to prioritize them, and finally how to achieve them in a timely manner.
Setting goals in therapy, and in life, should focus in on a few different factors: How long of a time span, a short-term goal or a long-term goal, attainability, realism, importance, and measurability.
A short-term goal is something you can achieve within a few weeks, where as a long-term goal may last for the entire year. Ask yourself, how long will this goal realistically take me to achieve in a manner in which I feel fulfilled? The importance of the goal impacts how you prioritize it. If there are a few goals you are considering taking on at once, perhaps focus in on the one that is easiest to do. Achieving one goal can help provide more motivation in achieving the next. If one of your goals takes maybe an hour to complete versus a couple days, tackle the easier one first!
Maintaining and achieving our goals are perhaps the hardest part of the process. Ensure that you are keeping updates on your long-term goals and do personal check-ins with them. Writing down your goals and creating milestones within them can be beneficial. For example, if your goal is to lose 5 pounds this month, document your milestones and weigh yourself daily, keep track of what you’re eating or your daily activities.
Documenting and referring to your progress is a key activity in achieving our goals and sticking to them. Keeping a list of your goals, even those you have completed to show how far you have come and all you have accomplished since you started. For those more inclined to art and organization, look into bullet journaling. As therapists, the best therapy strategy is to teach clients to set both short-term and long-term goals, most often three of each. Once completing a goal, you can focus on the others or add a new one!
Setting goals that prove to disappoint us, or that are perhaps too far-fetched for where we are personally at the time can inhibit our abilities and motivation to conquer other more desirable and attainable goals. Measure your abilities and keep track of how you are improving. An example would be to stop smoking by the end of the month. Anyone who has faced nicotine addiction or dependence can tell you that quitting very rarely is that simple. So perhaps write your goal like this: I will limit nicotine intake to half a pack a day rather than a full pack. After seeing the progress in the first month, you can alter your goals to challenge yourself. Don’t set yourself up for failure and disappointment. The more comfortable you get with achieving your personal goals, the more challenging you can be with yourself.
Defining goals and finding ways to achieve them will help your overall health. In individual counseling, teaching clients to track their progress helps them to maintain their motivation. This builds confidence! Conquering challenging goals, and even struggling with some can help develop your resilience. If you’re having difficulty with setting and achieving your personal goals in Orlando, speak to a professional counselor and try learning some of the best therapy techniques for goal-setting. Contact a therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy today at 407-592-8997. We also offer reduced rate sessions on a limited basis. Give us a call or send us an email with any questions and refer to our website for other informational blogs and services provided.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.