Setting goals can positively impact your mental health. It gives us a sense of direction, hope for change, motivation, measures our steps to success, and keeps you accountable. Every year we are filled with visions of what we would like to accomplish in the next year. While some may be more ambitious than others, it can feel a little daunting to look at this list of dreams. One thing that is all too common- but not talked about enough- is how goals can end up feeling negative.
We are driven by validation, whether internal or external, and it can seem distressing when we just don’t get to the things we wanted to. We might even feel discouraged to set goals in the future. It might hinder our creative tendencies or we take short-cuts to complete them. It’s these challenges of setting goals that need to be addressed from the beginning steps.
There are a few simple tips to begin setting sustainable goals:
Another consideration is to not get too focused on New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, 23% of people forgot what their goals were in 2022. New Year’s Resolutions are a wide-spread concept. However, there is no one saying that you need to start your goal on January 1st. You can choose to set goals any day of the year. When you tie your goals to January 1st through December 31st, you are more likely to “fall off the wagon” when combined with the social pressure of completing New Year’s Resolutions. You have the power to change your life any day. Why wait until January 1st of the next year? Motivation should come from the internal desire to make a change, not just to complete it by December 31st.
It’s also okay to self-pace your goals. No one says you need to take drastic steps to keep up with others. You are allowed to take a break from your goals so you can come back even more focused. Giving yourself grace through life, including goal-setting, is key to sustaining your motivation. If you are discouraged and drag yourself to take action, you may end up taking smaller steps or stopping completely. It’s important to note that smaller steps are still great progress, but you need to have self-awareness of what your limits are. One of the best things you can practice is learning that it is okay to rest and come back stronger later. 2023 is the year of doing what you need to be successful.
Your continued support of Crossfire Ranch enables us to provide services for individuals and families who are experiencing challenging life issues. We are blessed to have you be a part of our loving community! All of our mentors, volunteers, and donors help us further our mission of supporting individuals through equine partnership. Thank you for all you do!