What does this day hold in store for you? For most people, days are full of things they need to do: work, errands, chores, kids, parents, and more. Occasionally, they have time for fun or hobbies, but these seem to be nice add-ons, sprinkled in when possible. Imagine, though, for a moment if this ratio were reversed? What would it look like to spend more time doing what was important to you instead of just getting by? Many people are discovering how much control they have over their time and over their calendar. They are using goals to make changes now that could pay dividends for them in a year, two years, five years, and more.
“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts,
liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie
All too often, people think of setting a goal as forcing themselves to do something miserable, but there is another perspective. As Andrew Carnegie states above, goals often bring inspiration, hope, and energy to people’s lives. Setting a goal is simply prioritizing a value—people naming what is worthy of their attention and time.
Research has documented the connection between setting goals and high achievement. Despite the clear benefits of setting personal and professional goals, many people struggle with this practice. A typical obstacle in the goal-setting process, especially at first, is that any success requires work and sacrifice in the short-term. Although the long-term benefits are almost always worth the effort, many people have difficulty implementing changes in their lives. To offset this problem, many people are turning to a professional life coach or counselor for support.
The licensed therapists and counselors at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO are seeing more and more clients who seek help in setting goals and sticking to them. Our professionals know what it takes for people to focus attention upon what is important to them and make difficult but positive changes in their lives.
Dreaming and Setting Goals
When most people think about their future, they have dreams about what they want their lives to look like and what they want to achieve. Goals translate those dreams into action steps. Dreams ask, What could be? Goals ask, What will it take to get there?
Goals put legs onto dreams. Goals may help people…
- Block out distractions—distinguish between what is good and what is good for them
- Bolster self-control
- Focus people’s attention on what’s important
- Spur significant but challenging actions
- Bring actions and focus into alignment
- Bolster motivation so that setbacks and challenges can be endured
Professional goal setting coaches at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO can help with every aspect of this journey.
Assembling Many Targets for Goal-Setting
Excellent goals are both exciting and challenging, and they can be about anything. In fact, the more diverse types of goals people assemble, often the more fun they can have achieving them. For example, people can make goals about…
- Attitude: Think about the type of person you would like to become. More joyful? Self-assured? Generous?
- Career: What kind of work would you like to dedicate your life toward? What problems in the world can you help solve?
- Finances: How do you want to spend your money? Are there causes or businesses you want to invest in? Would you like to live debt-free? How about maximizing your earning potential?
- Physical strength: What type of health do you want to prioritize and enjoy? How might you grow healthier and stronger?
- Fun: Think about what makes you smile. How can you add these activities to your routine?
- Family: What would you like your family life to be? Do you want to be single? Married? Have kids? What would you like to achieve in your relationships with your parents? Siblings?
- Education: What would you like to explore? How would you like to be mentored? Are there any skills you want to cultivate?
- Artistic growth: How can you cultivate your artistic talents? Support other artists? Or enjoy meaningful art?
How to Set Realistic Goals
For most basketball fans, aiming to make an NBA roster would be an unrealistic goal (although for some people, this is possible). However, a realistic goal might be to attend a game of their favorite team. The mental health professionals at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO know that goals should be grounded in people’s values, skills, and talents, but they should also push people out of their comfort zone.
While the details of an individual goal will vary, often the form of a realistic goal is the same. Realistic goals are usually…
- Written: Documenting a goal means people can revisit it and focus their attention upon it. The methodology does not matter. Write them with pen and paper, make a Word Doc, make a note on a phone, or even get a tattoo.
- Specific: When it comes to setting a goal, details are friends, vagueness is an enemy. Do not set the goal of “exercising more.” Instead, set a goal of “jogging for 20 minutes every morning this week.”
- Shared: Everybody needs help for achieving a goal. Let people who are willing to be an ally know about the goals. Ask for their support in specific ways. For example, ask a friend to send you an encouraging note or to check in on your progress.
- Time-bound: Every goal should have a specific deadline. Timeframes motivate, but they also allow people to see a light at the end of the tunnel. When the goal is reached, they provide an opportunity to feel the satisfaction of achievement.
Prioritize and Set Goals with a Counselor at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO
If you are ready to speak with a counselor or a life coach about setting and achieving a goal in your life, the licensed mental health providers at Thriveworks in Littleton, CO are ready to listen. Thriveworks offers evening and weekend sessions, online counseling and in-person counseling, and quick turnaround on appointments. They also accept many forms of health insurance coverage. Let’s get started. Contact Thriveworks in Littleton, CO today. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals!