Mental Health Happy Hour Support Group
August 2018 Topic: How core values can impact behavior & achieving goals
How many of you are really good at goal setting and prioritizing your core values?
Often times it's easier to go by our feelings, but that isn't a great strategy if you'd like to make big progress, or even steady progress. Going on what we feel all the time can keep us in a holding pattern. Many struggle with holding pattern that coasts on their successes, and maybe highlights some of the areas where they could improve, but ideally it's not that bad, so improvement doesn't have to be the priority if they are comfortable and doing good things, right? WRONG. This is a bad way to exist because it breeds complacency.
So how do we make better strategies in our goal setting and keep our values hierarchy at the forefront? If they aren’t written down, they aren’t real, so write them down in a place that you see every day. The values hierarchy is an ordered list that helps us make informed, conscious decisions according to what we personally value, which is directly linked to our goals, if we are really serious about achieving them. Here is a list of core values:
· Meaningful Work
Once our core values are in place, the goals can follow. In order to stay on top of the forward motion, we need to keep values AND goals at the forefront EVERY DAY. So, here is some great advice:
■ Plan each day, week and month in advance.
■ Plan each month at the beginning of the month.
■ Plan each week the weekend before.
■ Plan each day the evening before.
Below is a list of core values commonly used by leadership institutes and programs. This list is not exhaustive, but it will give you an idea of some common core values (also called personal values). My recommendation is to select less than five core values to focus on—if everything is a core value, then nothing is really a priority.
Core Values List: (Circle Your Top Core Values)
- Inner Harmony
- Meaningful Work
Setting Realistic Goals Benefits Your Mental Health
Having realistic goals benefits your mental health, but many people with depression or other mental illnesses struggle to set goals. Read on to learn about how to make and keep goals that benefit your mental health even if you're living with a mental illness.
Why Do Goals Benefit Your Mental Health?
Goals that benefit your mental health are motivational tools that help you pursue your dreams and give you reasons to stay productive. Sometimes goals are based on responsibilities. For instance, you might set daily or weekly goals to complete assignments for school or projects for work on time.
Realistic Goals Benefit Your Mental Health
The hardest thing about setting goals that benefit your mental health is knowing how to make them realistic. Sometimes, you might think about what others are capable of doing and expect the same (or more) from yourself. So you make unrealistic goals, like completing a 20-page essay in one night or running a marathon in two minutes. Then, when you do not meet your goals, you either stress yourself out even more or you just give up. As a result, setting unrealistic goals damages your motivation, and that damages your mental health. So it is important to remember what your abilities are to set reasonable expectations.
Tips on Goal-Setting that Benefits Your Mental Health
Focus on Short-term Goals on Tough Days
On the days when I am most depressed, my two main goals are to get out of bed and shower. Usually, if I can get out of bed, showering is no problem. After that, I am refreshed for the rest of the day and feel more confident that I can set and attain other goals. However, there are days when getting out of bed and showering are my limits.
Going to Work or School Can be a Goal
For many of those who struggle with both depression and anxiety, going to work can be a goal that benefits your mental health because it helps with the social aspect of life. If you are prone to avoiding people out of fear of what they think of you, work is a place where you are required to interact with others.
While it can feel uncomfortable at times, this is a good thing. It gives you an opportunity to put yourself out there and be more social than you thought you could be. In the end, it could help you build confidence and achieve your goals.
Goals Can Help You Avoid Isolation
Personally, I have not really struggled with going to school or work. But on my days off, getting out of the house can feel difficult. On those days, I make it a goal to at least text a friend so that I am not completely antisocial.
Six Steps to Reaching Your Goal
Step 1: Name It- Identify what your goal is. It must meet the four Goal-Naming Criteria listed below.
o Personal- Your goal must be important to you.
o Possible- You have the time, ability, and resources you need.
o Positive- Your goal is stated as a positive action, “ I will” rather than “I won’t.”
o Specific- Your goal is measurable so you will know when you have reached it.
Step 2: Picture Yourself- Picture yourself reaching your goal so you know what you are aiming for.
Step 3: Say, “I can”- Use positive self-talk and say, “I can” to boost your confidence.
Step 4: Think How To Do It- Think of what actions you can take to accomplish this goal.
Step 5: Go for it!
Step 6: Celebrate Your Success!