Skip to main content

Defining + Understanding Compassion

How to Actually Accomplish Those Goals You're Setting


←  Go back                                                  Next page

by Elliot Caleira 

Whatever plans we make, setting good goals is very important. If we start without a plan, things can get out of hand quickly. But with a reasonable set of goals in mind we can be successful.

Goals should be measurable

Make a list of goals you want to reach within a limited time frame. Some people set goals for a week at a time, while others plan ahead over one to three months. Start with a time period you are comfortable with. Set a goal that is very specific. For example, instead of planning to "stay in touch with friends," you could instead plan to "phone or text a friend each day." Instead of volunteering somewhere, plan to call at least two non-profit organizations during the week to see if volunteers are needed.

Define your goals

If you want to give up a bad habit, be specific about how you will do it. For example, if you want to stop smoking but cannot go cold turkey, plan to smoke one less cigarette per day this week and two less cigarettes per day next week. A specific, well-defined plan can help you immediately see positive results and give you instant feedback, in this case on a daily basis, on whether you are following through. If not, maybe the goal needs to be adjusted to ensure a better chance of success.

Get assistance if needed

When struggling to stop a negative behavior or start a good one, you may want to get help with your goal by enlisting the help of a friend or family member. A loved one may notice if you start getting antsy and restless as a possible sign you may be tempted to use drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, when stressed. Ask your friend or relative to suggest other actions or remind you of a commitment to avoid negative behaviors so you have an accountability system in place. A good friend will be honest but not overly critical.

Professional assistance may be helpful as well. Meeting with a counsellor, therapist, or pastor may help you to vent about concerns or answer questions about a stress you are dealing with. They can advise you about the realistic aspects of your goals or whether they may need to be adjusted.

Failure is temporary

Even if you fail to meet a goal, you can reset it at the same level or adjust it if needed. Watch for warning signs that you are becoming stressed, anxious, or depressed about the goal before you and fear of failure. If you cannot meet it, don't worry too much. We can all change and improve over time. Just set it at a slightly lower level and try again.

Be committed

When setting goals, give your best efforts to reach them. For example, when entering an outpatient drug treatment program, you should try to have a good attitude about all the benefits that will be yours after completing the program. Focus on staying strong and finishing the treatment rather than being tempted to give up and drop out. Stay in touch with loved ones who can offer reassurance and encouragement during your treatment. Then prepare to set new goals upon completion that will help to change your lifestyle into one that is more conducive to success in avoiding substance abuse in the future.

Goal setting is a valuable way for everyone to tackle big or difficult projects. Taking a long journey begins with the first step, according to a Chinese proverb. To give yourself the maximum chance of success, plan your goals in small, measurable, well-defined steps that will help you fulfil your objective and acquire new confidence that will make it even easier in the future to set and meet important goals.

Source: Career Addict