The Healthy Way to Set Goals, According to Psychology
We all set goals in our lives — from business plans to New Year’s resolutions; the trick, however, is in achieving them. Do you reach the goals that you set for yourself?
We live in an era where minimalism has overtaken popular philosophy, fashion, lifestyle, and more, but when it comes to goal-setting and achievements, take a different approach. Don’t hold yourself back out of modesty and humility and don’t be afraid of putting in the work needed.
Healthy attachments reflect good mental health. As a child, you develop many such connections, whether they are ties to friends and family or manifest as internal values. Healthy patterns of attachment are reflected by feelings of appreciation, full enjoyment, and a sense of ownership that is both proud and grateful.
In a sense, goals are healthy attachments to life. In fact, by creating them, you reflect your internal belief that they are attainable, within reach. By setting the goal, you are moving toward a happier, more fulfilling life for yourself. When you feel that you are unable to set goals or even conceive of them, it indicates a lack of confidence in your ability to make positive changes to your life. If you are afraid of letting yourself or others down, you are limiting your full potential.
Sometimes we are held back by our fear of being selfish and self-centered, but it’s not necessary to restrain your growth. Know that by improving yourself, you will also be helping and inspiring others. Strive for more than simply being comfortable with what you have.
Now that you’ve put aside any doubts about setting goals, you may be asking yourself, “how do I properly set goals?” A goal, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is simple: “the end toward which effort is directed”. It is what your motivation and ambitions are focused on. Dig deep and think about what motivates you and what you value. What are your highest priorities in your life? Set your goals to reflect them. If you value what you are working toward, you’ll be interested and invested in putting in the effort to make it happen. After all, goals are just floating, abstract concepts, only made tangible when they are reached.
After you’ve determined your priorities, create an action plan. What are the steps? Don’t fixate on the bigger idea and outcome as a whole, focus on breaking it down into small, actionable chunks. Though this may seem obvious, often, it is overlooked. Make a checklist and cross off your progress as you go. When you find yourself only fixating on the large outcome, you may notice that you aren’t progressing steadily.
Lastly, execute your plan and achieve your goals. It’s simple, but harder than it sounds. Know that the reward waits for you at the end and that the gratification that comes with setting and achieving your own goals will only prime you for bigger successes.
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