Recovery, Self-Improvement

10 Ways to Set Realistic Goals

By Jennifer McDougall

Goal setting can sometimes feel tricky if you are not someone who sets goals regularly, or who has had little to no training or instruction on how to set the best possible goals for yourself. When someone asks you, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” What do you say? What comes to mind? If you do not have a clear vision on what you want in life, this question will not only be difficult to answer, but it can make you feel lost in life.

Keep in mind that you have the power within you to create your own journey. At any moment you can change the direction of your personal journey and you can do so effectively by setting logical and realistic goals for yourself. Even if you do not see immediate results or you find yourself having difficulty accomplishing your goals, it is important to keep in mind that even small accomplishments will pay off in the long run, and will help you get what you most want out of life.

Why Set Goals?

Setting short and long term goals make it possible for an individual to create a vision of where they want to be and visualize what they want to accomplish. Goal setting is an important process in being sure you accomplish the things you want to do in life. Doing so will stop you from feeling like you are not doing anything with your life. With each accomplishment you will be reminded of your inner strength to achieve your dreams, no matter how big or little.

10 Ways To Set Goals:

  1. Create a simple, organized, and specific list of short term and long term goals.
  2. Write in a journal and keep track of your daily accomplishments. Also, use it as a way to clear your mind and gather your thoughts.
  3. Create a weekly action plan with the top 6 items you want/need to accomplish within a 7 day period.
  4. Create a monthly action plan categorized by project type. Keep this list simple and logical. Think of the effort and amount of time each task will take you to accomplish. Choose 3-4 items for every project category.
  5. Share your personal goals with friends and family. Share your professional goals with your boss or manager so they can help give you the support and guidance you will need to succeed.
  6. Follow up on your weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Feel free to make changes and adjust your goals along the way. As life and situations change, so do our goals.
  7. Reward yourself with a gift or a break from work to have some fun when you accomplish any and every goal.
  8. Keep a to-do list nearby at work and at home to remind you of things you need and tasks you need to complete within a given time.
  9. Get outside and exercise. This will help clear your mind from any blockage. It is also a great form of therapy that will help you get creative with fresh ideas. You may find that you also come up with a way to better strategize or solve a complicated problem.
  10. Separate what is important and what is distracting.

Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Goals:

  • Career – Where would I like to be in my career in the next 3 years? What do I enjoy doing the most when I’m not at work? How can I incorporate that into my job and create a career that I will be happy with?
  • Money- How can I better manage my finances and save money? What can I cut from my monthly budget to feel more comfortable financially? Are the investments I’m making smart or am I being too risky and being poorly influenced?
  • Education- When was the last time I read a book? What class would I like to sign up for to continue my education? Which subject best interests me? Are there currently any online classes available to sign up for?
  • Family- How solid is my relationship with my family? Is there a particular relationship or bond that I would like to improve with a family member? When was the last time I called my mother/father/brother/sister/grandmother/grandfather? Do I make my family proud? Does my spouse feel loved? Am I giving my children the best possible care?
  • Creative/Artistic- What do I want to create? When did I last write a letter or a poem? Have I created or listened to a new playlist recently? Have I taken any photos recently? Where am I most creatively challenged? What form of art eases my mind, releases my tension, and brings me the most joy?
  • Behavior- What habit do I wish to give up the most? What is something that I do on a regular basis that makes me unhappy? Is there a habit I continue to do that is holding me back? Do I feel jealous of others? Would others consider me to be angry or happy? What do I do that I wouldn’t want someone else to know about?
  • Physical- Am I exercising at least 3 times a week? Do I feel healthy? When was the last time I received a physical from a professional physician? Am I emotionally stable, or does my mental health sometimes concern me? When I wake up in the morning do I feel refreshed or sluggish? Am I going to sleep at a decent hour? Do I feel challenged? Is something or someone in my life draining my energy?
  • Pleasure- Does my life bring me more joy than sadness? Am I happy with my career? Do my relationships bring me joy or heartache? Am I having fun with life or am I taking everything too seriously? What are my plans this weekend to have fun? What is something I’ve always dreamed of doing but I haven’t done? Am I exploring the places around me? Where would I like to vacation next?
  • Public Service- What can I do to be a service to those in need? Is there volunteer work available at night or on the weekend that I could sign up for? When was the last time I donated a pile of clothes or even a pair of shoes to a charity or someone less fortunate than myself? When was the last time I stopped talking about my own problems are started listening to a friend? Do I smile at strangers or do I look away?

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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