A large part of my day is working with clients to identify what their intentions are for the future. Once we know what their end target is we break it down and set some S.M.A.R.T goals. We discuss speaking their dreams aloud and repeating what they will accomplish many times throughout the day. We also learn to identify the motivation behind each goal so they can achieve their desired result. This develops a growth-mindset.
In order to set goals for the future, you need to understand your goals from the past. You need to identify what did and didn’t work by completing the following exercise:
- List your previous goals that you may have missed the mark on. What caused you to fail? Why were you unable to follow through or complete this goal? Write down everything that comes to mind.
- List all of your goals that you have accomplished. Really go deep with this and include goals that you reached as well as personal milestones. It can be the simplest thing (for those of us with depression even getting out of bed and getting in the shower is a success!). Celebrate it! What led you to these successes?
The importance of answering these questions is that you can discover what did and didn’t work in the past. Armed with this knowledge you can set new intentions with successful motivators.
Setting a goal without taking action is self-defeating. It is hard to take action without the right motivation. When you identify motivators that work, you can begin pushing toward your new goals from a different perspective.
Don’t set goals without knowing your motivation and how you can keep it going. Learn from your previous mistakes and use it to create future success. As I remind my clients often, your job here on earth is to help others and contribute to the world. Develop your growth mindset and ask yourself these five questions each day:
- What did you learn from today’s performance?
- What steps did you take to make today successful?
- What are some different strategies you could have used?
- How did you keep going when things got tough?
- What can you learn from your setbacks today?
About the author: JR is a CA Addiction Treatment Counselor Level 2 (CATC II), Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Alumni Coordinator, Veterans Support Group Counselor, and USMC Veteran Sgt. He spends his days helping others make positive changes and set goals on their road to recovery.