Goal Setting

We're getting close to the New Year! Because so many people look at the new year as a chance to set goals, we thought we would give you some great therapeutic strategies to help you! This week we will cover specific ways to help you set goals that will last longer than the first few weeks for the year, and next week we will look at roadblocks that keep people from achieving their goals. What do you want?

Figuring out what you actually want in your life is one of the main first steps to success in goal setting. Each day we will help you discover things you are wanting in life and ways to set goals around those desires. But first we need to look at the 8 main categories to evaluate, according to McKay and Fanning, that will help you set goals.

8 Areas to look at to get a clear picture of what you want:

1. Material Goals

2. Family and Friends Goals

3. Educational/ Intellectual/ Professional Goals

4. Health Goals

5. Leisure Goals

6. Spiritual Goals

7. Creative Goals

8. Emotional/ Psychological Growth

The next 4 days we will cover 4 key questions that will help you set your goals in each of these areas.

As you are looking at each of these areas, a great technique is to make mental movies in your head to visualize what your life would look like if you accomplished the goal. Get comfy and close your eyes. Then imagine and fantasize. Next, step into your fantasy and see how it looks. Pay attention to what you say, see, and hear.

Once you've made a mental movie, it's time to sit down and list the specific steps. Make sure to include a time frame that is reasonable. If it is a long range goal, you might need to list many steps with a time frame for each of them. Remember to set realistic goals based on the ways you answer the questions the next 4 days. It will help guide you in a direction that you feel is possible to obtain.

Keep reading this week for more concrete ways to figure out what you want and what goals you should set based on your desires!

** Information adapted from "Self Esteem" by Matthew McKay and Patrick Fanning

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.