Setting and Achieving Goals—Counselors and Coaches in Columbia, SC
What does the day ahead look like for you? If you are like most people, you have a substantial to-do list that includes work, chores, errands. You may have some free time to do what you want, but then again, you may not. For many people, their calendars are filled up with to-dos, leaving little to no room for what is important to them. Take a moment to think: what if the opposite were true? Many people are taking back control over their calendar—over their time to maximize what they want out of life. How are they doing this? They are setting goals that align their values with their actions. They are making important changes today that will yield a difference in a year, two years, five years, or more.
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts,
liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie
Setting a goal is all too often associated with being forced to do miserable tasks: flossing teeth, eating vegetables, making the bed. Andrew Carnegie, however, offers a different take: goals bring energy, inspiration, and hope to everyday tasks. Setting a goal allows people to focus upon the value that goal adds to their lives—those actions that are worth their time and attention.
The connection that goal setting has with high achievement is well-documented in the research: people who are high achievers are usually goal-setters. Like many things in life, however, an effective process is rarely an easy process. The benefits of goal setting are clear but the struggle to implement the practice is real. Tasks worthy of people’s effort almost always require sacrifice. There is no way around the short-term work a worthy goal requires, but there are ways to ask for help. Many people are working with a counselor or life coach to achieve their goals and receive the support they need for the challenge.
More and more people are walking through the doors of Thriveworks Columbia for assistance and support as they set and achieve a goal. Our counselors and coaches are often able to guide them toward what matters most to them and the steps it takes to get there.
Dreams Can Drive Goals
If most people stopped for a moment and thought about the future, they could name a few of their hopes and dreams. People often have a general idea of what they can and want to accomplish when they are asked, What could your life be like? Goals take the answers—people’s dreams—and ask, How can that become a reality?
Goals give definition and structure to dreams. They help people stay focused upon what matters to them. They can…
- Spark change—allow people to overcome inertia that keeps life the same and instead make challenging but substantial changes.
- Guard against distractions that will derail people’s plans—help people distinguish between what might be good for someone else and what is helpful to them.
- Increase motivation—setbacks and challenges are normal, but goals allow people to remember the finish line in the midst of difficulty.
- Boost self-control—at times, people are their own worst enemy and can sabotage their own plans. However, goals may allow people to make better choices.
- Focus attention upon what matters—when people sharpen their thinking about what they want and why, they are often empowered to achieve.
- Align action with focus—people can integrate their behaviors, their values, and their attention.
Setting Personal and Professional Goals
Healthy goals are very personal: people’s skills, values, and resources are the foundation. For example, many baseball fans may want to make a Major League Baseball roster. For some, this goal may align with their skills, values, and resources, but for many, a better goal may be to buy tickets for their favorite team.
Healthy goals also stretch people beyond their comfort zone. While goals usually begin with people’s skills, values, and resources, they do not end there. Goals constantly ask how people can expand, grow, and refine. Growth always requires discomfort, but it is almost always worth the effort.
Healthy goals also take on a certain form. The details will vary from person to person and from goal to goal, but often, the structure is the same. For example, healthy goals should be…
- Specific: The more details a goal has, the better. For example, “eating three different vegetables every day this week,” has more specifics than “eat healthier.”
- Written: Writing goals down means people can remember them and revisit them. Documented goals often hold people’s attention.
- Shared: If friends and family will provide encouragement, let them know about the goal. Ask them to be allies in the achievement.
- Time-bound: Give goals a deadline. Setting a time frame will provide motivation.
Counseling or Coaching for Goal Setting Help
Are you ready to spend your time pursuing what you value? Is there a particular goal you want to achieve? Do you want more control over your calendar and more focus for your days? Goal setting help might be the right next step. Many people are learning how to set effective goals and are experiencing the dividends of their efforts.
If you want to meet with a coach or a counselor at Thriveworks Columbia, SC know that our office has worked to make the process of scheduling an appointment as easy as possible. New clients often have their first appointment the day following their first call. We accept most insurance plans, and we offer convenient, after-hour appointment times.
If you are ready to achieve a goal, we are ready to help. Call Thriveworks Columbia today.