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On an Unpredictable Sea of Life

Goals give us a framework for improving our circumstances as well as adjusting to changes in our lives.  With so much beyond our control, having goals and knowing how to work toward them gives us both a feeling of control but also a real element of control in an otherwise chaotic and unpredictable world.

Benefits of having goals:

  • helps regulate behavior
  • makes life meaningful
  • leads to improvement in circumstances/li>
  • builds self-confidence
  • necessary to adapt to change

Locke and Latham's Theory of Goal Setting:
Goal achievement is enhanced by these principles:

Clarity use SMART goal system (see below)

Challenge Goal should be within range of abilities and resources but be shortly out of reach.

Committment you have to make an inner committment to the goal.  Committment involves continually redirecting your mind toward the goal.

Feedback continually check your progress toward the goal.  Make a chart.  Have somebody to report to.

Complexity enough to make it interesting but not so much that you lose focus.  Projects can quickly turn into rosetta stones if you lose sight of your core objective.
SMART Goals Are:
Specific-can you draw a picture?  Who? What? Were?
Measurable- How will you know when you reach your goal?
Attainable-Is the goal realistic given the resources?
Relevant-What purpose does this goal serve?
Time bound-What's the deadline?
Set SMART goals in writing


Life domains

These are the areas in our lives where we have elements of control and which are constantly adapting to the other domains in our lives.  Goals that facilitate growth in more than one domain are more likely to result in success.  Problems occur when goals create conflict between different domains.

Developing an Action Plan

  • Define the problem
  • Brainstorm solutions.
  • Choose a goal
  • Define the goal-Use the  SMART acronym
  • List steps to achievement.
  • Develop a timeline for achieving steps
  • Schedule specific time periods to work on goal.
  • Check progress at regular intervals.
  • Adjust schedule and steps as needed.
  • When goal is achieved, evaluate for effectiveness, satisfaction

How Counseling Can Help

Counseling can serve several purposes in achieving goals.  Counseling can provide you with external support while you adjust to working on your goal.  Counseling can help you overcome any difficulties with sticking to a plan or meeting chosen goals. Counseling can help you learn to align your actions to meet goals.

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