Think about what is listed on your calendar for today. Maybe you have to go to work. Maybe you have to run a few errands. Maybe you have to pay a bill. Maybe you want to catch up with friends. Maybe you want to volunteer with a local charity. If you are like most people, you may have more “have to’s” on your calendar than “want to’s.” What would you do if one day, that ratio were reversed? A lot of people are taking back control of their calendar by setting goals that may lead to a calendar and to-do list that truly reflects what is important to them.
“The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun,
in the short run. It seems to me, though, that
the people who get things done, who lead,
who grow and who make an impact… those people have goals.”
Substantial research has shown the power of setting a goal: when people take the time to clarify what they want, map out steps, and give themselves a timeline, they often achieve what they set out to do. However, just because a process works does not mean that it is easy. Many people can resonate with what Seth Godin explains: anything worthy of people’s time and effort means a short-term sacrifice.
To overcome this challenge, people are turning to counselors and life coaches. Often, mental health professionals can guide people toward the right goals and the right strategies for accomplishing them, all while offering support along the way.
The counselors and life coaches at Thriveworks Grand Rapids are seeing more and more people who want to take control of their calendar. They are ready to make the short-term sacrifices to accomplish a goal, but they also want help in the process.
Setting the Right Goals
A good goal can inspire and excite. It can motivate and sustain focus. What are characteristics of these kinds of goals? First and foremost, goals should be an expression of people’s priorities and values. Goals should also capitalize on people’s skill, resources, and talents—expanding them and pushing beyond people’s comfort zones. To achieve these, one key to goal setting is self-awareness. This is one of the ways a counselor or coach can help: exploring and clarifying what matters most to people.
The details of each goal will be very personal and particular, but otherwise, there are a few general tips that may make goals more effective. Often, a well-formed goal is…
- Time-bound: Every goal should have a specific deadline. The timeframe should be reasonable but challenging, and when it is achieved, people will feel the reward from their hard work.
- Specific: Details are the lifeline of a goal. The more specific details a goal has, the more it helps people achieve. For example, “using my phone less” is a vague goal, but “putting my phone away at every meal this week” is a very specific goal.
- Written: When goals are documented, people can revisit them. Written goals can guide people’s attention, reminding of the actions they need to take.
- Shared: Let people know about your goal will allow them to become allies. Everyone needs help and support.
Different Types of Goals
So often, people think of a goal, and they associate it with having to complete a troublesome task: eating less sugar, working harder, flossing teeth, and so forth. There is no question: goals take effort. However, setting up different types of goals can make the process so much more fun.
Many people are learning to set goals that prioritize their own values so that they organize their lives according to what is important. These people are setting goals in all areas of their lives, for example,
- Artistic Endeavors: What creative endeavors do you want to pursue? Is there an artist you can support? Or a festival you can attend?
- Attitude: Who do you want to be? What kind of character do you want to cultivate? Do you want to be empathetic? Patient? Self-assured?
- Finances: How do you want to spend your money? Do you want to earn as much as you can? Do you want to live debt free? Do you want to give money toward a cause?
- Education: What ideas do you want to examine? Would you like a mentor or to pursue a particular learning experience?
- Career: What do you love and want to commit your time toward? Would you want to pursue a job change or map out a career path?
- Fun: When do you feel refreshed and lighthearted? How can rest and rejuvenation be a part of your regular routine?
- Family: What type of relationships at home would you like to cultivate? Do you want to be single? Do you want children?
- Physical Strength: What changes do you want to make to be stronger? Are there adjustments that could improve your physical strength?
Goal Counseling at Thriveworks Grand Rapids, MI
If you are ready to speak to a life coach or a counselor about retaking control of your calendar, you are not alone. Many people are learning to dedicate their time to what is most important to them. Like many others, little changes in your schedule today may make a big difference tomorrow, next month, next year, and more.
Thriveworks Grand Rapids offers coaching and counseling for goal setting help. When you call to schedule an appointment, you may be meeting with one of our professionals the following day. We do not keep a waitlist, but we do offer evening and weekend appointments. We also work with multiple insurance companies.
Let’s get started. Call Thriveworks Grand Rapids today.