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Realistic goal setting

Realistic goal setting
August 22, 2020

We will be looking at how the way we set goals and either negatively or positively affect our mental health, as well as give some insight on how to go about setting realistic goals and expectations for oneself.

What does it mean to have realistic goals and expectations?

A realistic goal would be something that is achievable. Goals must also be set by the individual for the individual. We cannot achieve what others do not want. Expectations that are realistic are ones that you can meet and be satisfied within a good amount of time.  You can set up having realistic goals by following the SMART goal guidelines. 

What does SMART mean?

SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. it’s important to establish a way to measure your progress toward achieving your goal. When setting your goal, ask yourself if there is anything outside of your realm of influence that could stand in the way. Set goals that you are able and willing to work toward. Give yourself a time frame for accomplishing your goal. Without a time frame tied to your goal, there isn’t a sense of urgency and you’ll be less motivated to make it happen.

How does setting realistic goals and expectations help 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. These little wins are very important for those living with mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety, which only are heavily involved with those that have PTSD.

What are examples of unrealistic expectations and goals and how that affects mental health?

So you make unrealistic goals, like losing 100 lbs in one week 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. With that you just end up not completing your goal and you feel worse than you did previously.

 Why have realistic expectations and goals?

Setting realistic, objective expectations can set you free of a lot of unnecessary feelings and allow you to fulfill what you truly value most. Just remember to be realistic. There will be an improvement in your mental health as well as help you better your life and lower your stress levels.


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