The start of a new year can bring out hope, excitement, and a resolve for personal growth. Often people will enter the year with goals or resolutions. Wellness goals are some of the more popular types of goals. You may want to begin a new fitness plan, lose weight, try to eat better, or work towards mental wellness. Setting goals can inspire you to focus on your future aspirations and work towards that. An important but often overlooked aspect of wellness has to do with setting appropriate, manageable, and attainable goals.
If you are considering coming to counseling, I would encourage you to think about one or two goals for your mental health that you are hoping to achieve from the counseling process. A common goal in the counseling realm is called “emotion regulation”. This is an all encompassing term for being able to control our reactions to situations around us, to display emotions appropriately, and to effectively handle the many stressors of life. This is a lofty goal, but it is attainable through investigation of current coping patterns and relationship dynamics, psycho-education surrounding the brain and body’s response to stressors, and practice! Counseling provides a supportive and safe environment to explore these complex and vulnerable topics. The first step in attaining any goal in the counseling realm is to show up. The change process takes time, patience, and hard work. But the end result is a big step towards overall wellness.
When setting goals, a few good questions to ask yourself are the following. 1. How much time and effort can I reasonably devote to this goal right now? 2. What is my level of commitment to this specific goal? 3. How can I divide this goal into smaller, more manageable pieces? The old saying “You eat an elephant one bite at a time” bears truth here. Improving mental wellness can be daunting, but if you break it into smaller goals, the sense of accomplishment you get when you achieve each goal will propel you to keep moving forward.
As you are considering what your 2021 goals are, consider adding a mental health goal to that list. I promise the outcome will have a “trickle down” effect and will positively impact other areas of your life. I will leave you with this quote by author Og Mandino “The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting and achieving goals”.
May you find success and fulfillment throughout your year and keep striving for personal growth.
Deborah Stowie | Intern