In mental health counseling and therapy, one of the main starting points for any counselor at Orlando Thrive Therapy is to formulate goals with our clients. A goal is something that we aim to pursue, derived from ambition, success and value. Goals can be as simple as "I want to get six hours of sleep every night," or as complex as "I want to be a better decision-maker."
Under each goal is an array of different smaller goals or tasks that help to amplify or work toward the larger goal. These are similarly called long-term goals and short-term goals. Long-term are going to be the more broad, harder to attain goals. Short-term are the smaller tasks working toward another goal or can be completed in a week or two. Let's break these down even further:
Long-Term Goal: I want to get six hours of sleep per night consistently.
Short-Term Goal: Setting a bed-time for each night at 10:00PM.
Short-Term Goal: Minimize use of electronics an hour before bed, phone and laptop put away by 9:00PM.
Short-Term Goal: Eat my last meal or snack two hours before bed, etc.
Another important thing to note about goals is that you want them to be attainable and measurable. What does this mean? When we say attainable, we mean the goal needs to be in reach. We want you to succeed in your goal even if that means minimizing it. Break down your goal into steps to make the transition easier for you to attain. Measurable means that you can see the result, it isn't vague. In the previous example, I name six hours of sleep. I also set time parameters. This makes the goals more measurable.
ANYTHING! Some examples are goals in your social life, goals in your physical health, goals in your professional life, goals in your family life, goals in your relationships, goals in your leisure time or hobbies, goals in your mental health, etc. The list never ends, and you might find that these goals all have a similar message or spill into other categories because each incorporates your life and daily functioning. A good way to break it down is taking a broad goal and set yourself a 5-year goal, 1-year goal and a short-term 1 month goal.
It is important to remember that goals change, sometimes we don't meet our goals and that is okay. Failure leads to further understanding. Utilize positive criticism in your work, take note of your goals and your accomplishments along the way. No one's path is truly linear, we all have bumps in the road. This is where we rely on our coping skills, our support system, and our ability to move forward. Don't discourage yourself!
Write your goals in your journal, jot them down in your iPhone, write them on your calendar, set reminders on your laptop, tell your support system. Hold yourself accountable, and be reminded of them. Ask yourself, "what can I do today to help achieve this goal?".
If you or someone you know would like further guidance on setting attainable and measurable goals, as well as being held accountable by them set up an appointment with a mental health counselor in Orlando at orlandothrivetherapy.com. To speak specifically with the author of this article, you can email Mallory Hawkes. Thrive on!
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.