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SMART Goal-setting

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Knowing how to make good goals can be a great step towards better mental health.

There is a broad spectrum concerning how goal-driven someone is in terms of their behavior and life choices.  We’re not here to say whether someone should necessarily be more goal-driven or not, but we do want to help people get where they want to be in order to live the healthiest and happiest life possible.  

For those who struggle with achieving and maintaining forward momentum, using a goal-setting formula may help to create those positive changes.  We realize that formulas may seem overly structured and not too realistic for some, however, if you need some positive change, then why not try it?  You may even like it!

Formula For “SMART Goals.”

S = Specific.  Any goal that you set must be specific in order to be realized.  Otherwise, if it’s too vague, there’s no way to tell whether or not it was met. This can lead to lack of motivation over the long run because the goal is always out of reach.

M = Measurable.  Although this may seem to be a reiteration of “specific,” a measurable goal usually has a number involved.  For example, “I will do 5 pushups each day.”  Again, it helps with motivation and knowing whether or not you were successful.  It can also help to track whether or not you’re improving as you make efforts in reaching or even surpassing your goal.

A = Achievable.  It’s easy to set any old goal and just “see if it happens.”  However, make sure that it’s something you can actually do.  Just saying, “I want to fly a plane,” doesn’t necessarily lead to it happening.  Relying on the “anything’s possible” mindset doesn’t lead to forward momentum.  It must be something that you’re motivated to accomplish and that it’s reasonable that you will be able to do it.

R = Resources.  Other formulas for SMART Goals, a well-used acronyms, say that “R = Realistic” but that’s too close to “A = Achievable” to make much sense to us.  We’d like to change it to “Resources” because identifying the means, whether they are immediately accessible to you or they are things that you have to progress towards through relying on others, to make things happen will help set you up for success.

T = Time Based.  All good goals have a timeline for acquiring and utilizing resources as well as measuring whether or not progress is being made.  If there’s no time component to the goal, then it’s easy to put off for tomorrow what you can do today.  That can leave too much room for shifting motivation and just not feeling like it on any given day.

Again, we’re not here to hammer you with motivation.  We’re here to help!  Sometimes, providing structure for those who do not easily gravitate towards structure is the key to success.  Regardless of where you are in your own recovery process with mental illness, even if you haven’t even started down that road, we’re here to partner with you and meet you as you so that you can lead the healthiest life possible.

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