Goal Setting Tips
Here are some useful things to remember when you are setting goals.
- Share your Goal
It’s often helpful to share your goal with a friend or trusted adult. When you’ve done the goal, check-in with that person.
- Check it off
After you’ve completed your goal, remember to check it off.
- Congratulate yourself
Congratulate yourself for having carried out the goal — it’s important to recognize what you’ve accomplished. When people are depressed, they have trouble recognizing their own accomplishments. Instead, they see that they’ve done as ridiculously easy or unimportant: but the fact is that carrying out any goal when you’re depressed is very difficult and takes a lot of determination. Don’t ignore small victories or think they don’t count. They do count, especially during depression.
- Give yourself credit
If you didn’t complete your goal, give yourself credit for trying and for what you have learned. What got in the way? What can you do to make the goal easier? You might find yourself starting to get into self-blame. But that’s not very helpful and it’s not fair — there are different reasons why you might not complete a goal. Sometimes it’s because the goal is set too high. Sometimes it’s because you need more help to carry out the goal: for example, maybe you need to arrange for a friend to swim with you. Sometimes it’s because there was an unexpected obstacle: maybe there was a family crisis the night you planned to study. Whatever the reason for not completing a goal, reset the goal for next week or change the goal so that it’s more likely to happen.
- Focus your effort
It's not usually a good idea to work on more than three goals: that gets confusing and it's hard to focus your effort.
After awhile you get used to doing these goals and they become habits. Then they're not like goals at all, just things you are used to doing.