What does your calendar look like today? If you are like most people, it is mostly things you have to do with a few things you want to do sprinkled in: go to work, call a friend, run errands, help the kids with homework, exercise, play video games, have a glass of wine. People have significant choices to make every day about what they will prioritize and do. The choices they make today will affect tomorrow and the next day and the next week and possibly even next month and next year. An infinite amount of distractions bombard people every day, attempting to keep people from dedicating their time toward what they value and what they want to achieve. One way people combat these distractions is to set goals.
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts,
liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie
Goal setting is often associated with being miserable—people forcing themselves to do things they do not want to do. However, there is another way to see it: setting goals is the key to focused, inspired, and energetic days. When people set goals, they are prioritizing what they value—giving their time and attention to what is important and eliminating distractions that might knock them off course.
Many studies recount the connection between goal setting and achievement. Even so many people struggle to set goals for their personal and professional life. One of the biggest obstacles people face is the reality that anything worth people’s efforts usually requires a short-term sacrifice for a long-term success. There are no magic potions for achievement, but many people are working with mental health professionals such as counselors and life coaches for support in the process.
Thriveworks Chesterfield offering counseling and coaching for goal setting help, and we have worked with many clients—helping them set goals that focus their attention upon what they value and thwart distractions.
Setting a Goal versus Dreaming a Dream
Most people have dreams about their future—ideas about what they might be, do, or accomplish someday. Dreams are important, and they are the foundations upon which goals are built. Dreams often ask, What might be? Goals then ask, How can become a reality?
Goals are the vehicle for achieving dreams. They can…
- Fortify people’s self-control.
- Keep people’s focus directed toward what matters to them.
- Stimulate meaningful actions.
- Aligning focus and behavior.
- Sustain momentum despite setbacks and challenges.
Aiming at Many Targets
The best goals excite and challenge people, and one way to achieve that inspiration is by setting up a variety of goals. For example, goals be for one’s
- Attitude: Think through what kind of person you want to become. More patient? Kind? Joyful?
- Career: What type of work do you want to be doing in five years? For the rest of your life?
- Finances: How would you like to prioritize your money? Paying off debts? Investing in a vacation? Capitalizing on your earning potential?
- Physical strength: Is there a health goal that would improve your quality of living?
- Fun: What activities do you enjoy? What is refreshes you? How can these be incorporated into your daily life more?
- Family: How are your relationships with your parents, spouse, extended family, children? What can you do to improve them?
- Education: Is there something you want to learn or explore?
- Artistic growth: Do you want to learn how to paint? Reignite your love for writing? Play the guitar more?
Setting a goal does not have to be a miserable process. Keeping goals varied and fun can make the process easier.
What Makes a Healthy Goal?
Good goals are grounded in people’s talents, skills, and values. One way that life coaches and counselors help people in their goal setting is by helping them grow in their self-awareness. Goals should be challenging and stretch people, but they also need to be realistic. For example, a 45-year-old who loves basketball should probably not set a goal of making an NBA roster, but he might set a goal of attending a certain amount of NBA games.
The form the goal takes is important as well. The following are often characteristics of healthy goals:
- Documented: People can hand-write their goals, they can type them into a Word Doc, they can make a note on their phone, they can tattoo them on their forehead. Documented goals hold people’s attention and can be revisited easily.
- Time-bound: Each goal should have a timeframe. Deadlines mean there is a specified evaluation point where people can feel the satisfaction of their achievement or make necessary adjustments.
- Specific: Details are a goal’s best friend. For example, instead of making the goal to “eat more vegetables,” make the goal, “eat two servings of vegetables each day.”
- Shared: Most people need help achieve their goals. This help can come in the form of tangible support or encouragement. Either way, people who can offer support should know about the goal.
Coaching to Set Goals with Thriveworks Chesterfield, VA
Is there a new challenge in your life you want to tackle? Would you like to increase your focus upon what matters to you? If you are ready to set a goal, we are ready to offer support and guidance. Thriveworks Chesterfield has appointments for coaching and counseling help with goal setting.
When you contact our office, you may be meeting with your therapist or coach the following day. We do not keep a waitlist, but we try to get our clients the help they need, when they need it. We offer weekend and evening appointments, and we accept most forms of insurance. Contact Thriveworks Chesterfield today.