Expert tips on achieving your goals
Goals. Goals. Goals. We love to shoot for them. Sometimes we hit them out of the park, sometimes we barely even get started. Creating, achieving and sticking with goals for the long haul is tough, especially when life gets in the way of our plans. So how can you make it easier to achieve your goals? We asked top mental health experts what really works for their clients – and for them. Read on to get inspired.
Find your “why”
“Be intentional about the goal you are setting and get very clear on the why behind your goal. When the why is crystal clear, write that down next to your goal – it will be the fuel you need when the how gets tough. For achieving your goals, particularly health-related goals, I recommend focusing on adding rather than subtracting. It can be tempting to focus on what you want to stop doing or remove from your life, but stopping something tends to be much harder than inserting something new. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, instead of focusing on foods or kilojoules you want to eliminate, focus on introducing more vegetables into your day. If you want to drink less alcohol, start by increasing your daily water intake.” —Carolyn Rubenstein, PhD, licensed clinical psychologist @carolynrubensteinphd
“It’s important to be patient because achieving goals doesn’t happen overnight. When people don’t see results right away, or perhaps they see results and plateau, they may get discouraged and want to give up. People can combat this by practising patience, remembering their purpose and motivation for setting a goal, and constantly reminding themselves [of] the importance of staying consistent. For some, this may mean having motivational mantras, having loved ones cheer them on, or writing out reminders on their calendar or planner. For me, it means seeking support from others (whether it’s through medical professionals or my husband) to help hold me accountable when I start to lose motivation. When I have regular appointments, I’m more likely to stay consistent, but on days I’m tired and unmotivated, my husband reminds and encourages me to stay focused.” —Vania Manipod, psychiatrist @freudandfashion