Goals can be a helpful way to ensure that you’re achieving what you want out of life. The key to executing goals is to make sure they are realistic and sustainable within your current season of life. Since life can be unpredictable at times, it’s important to know how to adjust your goals accordingly. This will look different for every person, as many factors can influence how and when goals are achieved. However, three ways to ensure your goals match your season of life are to be flexible, do things that bring you joy, and keep up with your health.
One of the most important, and often overlooked, parts of goal-setting is to be flexible. Have a backup plan. You cannot control or predict every part of life, therefore, some flexibility is required. This is especially important in the healing journey, as there is no “quick fix” to radically transforming your habits and actions.
The point of being flexible is not to create anxiety by planning for every single scenario. Rather, the point is to give yourself grace as things change. For example, if you set a goal to run one mile outdoors every day, it would be wise to account for weather changes. Having an alternative plan for days that you’re not able to run outside could help you still achieve your goal. Instead, you could run on a treadmill indoors or find a gym with an indoor track. Keeping an open mind so you can adjust your goals when unexpected things come up will help prevent future frustration.
It’s also important to note that just because you set a goal doesn’t mean you have to achieve it. Sometimes circumstances change and certain goals no longer serve you well. It’s okay to let them go and shift your focus to something else that will better suit your current season of life. You’re not a failure or incapable of achieving that goal in the future, it just means that, right now, it’s not the right time to pursue it.
For example, if you’re training for a half-marathon in December, but you break your foot in November, you’d have to adjust your goals to better suit your current needs. You may have to push your half-marathon goal back to next year and create a new goal. This goal might be attending physical therapy weekly until you’re able to begin training again. It’s okay to be disappointed that the initial goal didn’t happen the way you wanted, but it’s also necessary for your health and well-being to adjust accordingly.
Another key to ensuring your goals match your season of life is to do things that bring you joy. This can change and fluctuate based on the time of year, stress level, amount of rest, and life circumstances. However, having something to look forward to is a great way to make sure your goals are achievable.
This will look different for everyone and every goal. Some people find it helpful to set up a reward system for themselves whenever they make progress on a goal. For example, if you have a goal to read 20 books by the end of the year, you could reward yourself after every five books you complete. You could treat yourself to an iced coffee or buy yourself a new book after you’ve read five books. This way, it builds momentum and encourages you to continue reading, which makes it easier for you to complete your goal.
Whether or not you have an active goals list, it’s also important to do things simply because you enjoy them. There doesn’t always have to be a reason for wanting to do something fun. The Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy found that having a healthy relationship with fun and play can enrich your life and make the day-to-day so much more enjoyable.
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Tending to your mental, physical, and emotional health can help you achieve healthy, realistic goals. This will look different for everyone, depending on the individual’s needs. For some, this may include regular appointments with a licensed professional counselor (LPC) to ensure their mental health is in a good place. Others may need to regularly attend support groups or group therapy, like the ones at Sage Recovery, to keep their priorities in line with their goals.
Maintaining your physical health is an important part of achieving your goals. Not only is physical health correlated with overall health, it’s also important for overall life satisfaction.
Here at Sage Recovery, we know that achieving goals can be difficult, especially when life feels complicated. That’s why we offer so many different avenues of healing. We know that every person’s goals, history, and future are unique. Whether you need to heal from substance use, anxiety, or trauma, our masters-level clinicians are able to use evidence-based techniques to help you heal healthily. CBT, DBT, and EMDR are some of the techniques we rely on to help people heal from the hard things they’ve been through. Additionally, we also offer innovative techniques, such as equine therapy, wellness groups, nature immersion, and art therapy. Reach out to us at (512) 306-1394 to find out how we can help.