If you are struggling to set goals, let alone achieve them, you are definitely not alone. In fact, it is believed that around 92% of the population have a hard time sticking to goals. This constant cycle of trying to set useful life or health goals but never quite reaching them can ultimately lead to depression.
This is because achieving goals is empowering and makes us feel responsible for our lives. If we don’t achieve goals, we feel powerless and even hopeless that our lives can change for the better!
How advice can help
Just as you must follow a recipe for the proverbial “T” to get something edible, a formula for the “T” must be followed to establish achievable goals. This formula is widely used in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help individuals set and achieve goals that will help them change behaviors and improve their lives.
Indeed, goal setting has proven to be a useful tool for people with depression, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE. The study found that people with depression had more trouble setting goals and were far less likely to believe they could achieve them.
The study found that those who were depressed had greater difficulty setting goals, and were also less likely to believe that they would achieve those goals. Participants also tended to set avoidance goals rather than approach goals.
An avoidance goal is one that you set in order to avoid a negative outcome. “I want to lose weight so I don’t get type 2 diabetes.” A convergence goal, on the other hand, is one you set to ensure a positive outcome. “I want to lose weight in order to have more energy!”
The study shows that counseling can help people with depression set and achieve realistic and achievable goals, as well as help keep them mentally on track to achieve those goals.
The goal setting formula used by most CBT therapists is as follows:
- Identify your goal.
- Pick a starting point.
- Identify the steps required to achieve the goal.
- Take this first step and get started.
A therapist can help you with each of these steps. From making sure you choose realistic goals that are approach goals, to figuring out where you are in relation to your goal, breaking the goal down into smaller, actionable steps, and helping you get the first one done Aiming to have an advisor or coach in your corner to help you every step of the way.
Make 2021 the year you achieve the goals that will help you live your best life. If you need any help, please contact me. I am happy to discuss how I can help you.