Every year, many of us set out to accomplish goals we desire to achieve. With many common goals, including weight loss, healthy eating, and exercising daily, mental health goals can often be lacking on people’s lists. This guide for personal goal setting, including those related to mental health, can help you make a comprehensive and positive life change no matter the time of year.
What Are Your Health Goals?
Think about what you want to achieve in the coming year and what’s really holding you back. What limited your happiness the previous year?
- Do you want to eat a healthy diet to help improve your energy levels?
- Do you want to open up more to reduce some of your mental stress?
- Do you want to lose weight?
- Could changing your mindset towards a positive, uplifting one empower your future?
- Is going back to school in your plan for the year?
There’s no limit to what your goals could be, but don’t overlook the importance of mental and physical health.
Establishing Health Goals
Many people say they want to be healthier in the coming year. What does that mean for you? Write a list of what that specifically means for you. It may have to do with:
- Physical fitness
- Energy levels
If you have health goals like these, outline what you need to achieve to accomplish them. For example, to lose weight, you may know you need to exercise and eat a better diet. If stopping your addiction to alcohol or drugs is a top priority for you, that may mean getting help or moving into a detox program.
Important Mental Health Goals
A key area to focus on is your mental health. If you improve your mental health, you could empower yourself to change many of the other concerns you have, including physical health, relationships and success at work or school.
Because mental health goals can be so important to your overall well-being, put some real focus into what these are. You may wish to establish mental health goals around:
- Reducing anxiety
- Tackling depression
- Treating your trauma
- Improving emotional health
- Controlling your self-defeating mindset
- Improving relationships
- Managing grief
It’s not easy to establish mental health goals. It requires a long, hard look into what’s really causing your struggles. Make a list of the biggest mental health roadblocks you’re facing.
Consider what you may need to do to overcome them. You may need to seek help from a licensed therapist. You may need to finally establish boundaries to protect your emotional well-being.
Before focusing on how to create manageable goals, outline a few life landmarks or changes you want to make in your day-to-day life. Your 2020 health goals can help support the achievement of these goals. What things do you want to accomplish this year?
- Travel outside of the country
- Propose to someone you love
- Get a new job
- Buy a home
- Start a business
Make sure your accomplishments for the year are possible and that you can put enough time and attention into making them happen. Some people may find that having these goals gives them purpose in improving physical and mental health.
How to Set Manageable Goals
Writing down goals isn’t enough. Create a plan that addresses how you will achieve these goals. Consider a few simple tips to get started.
#1: Create Goals That Are Actionable ad Manageable
Stating you want to lose weight isn’t effective because it’s not actionable or measurable. Instead, state what you’re going to do to lose weight.
Your goal here may read, for example, “I will lose 10 pounds a month for the next three months.” Then, outline how you plan to do that. “I’ll follow a low-calorie diet with more vegetables and fewer carbs.” You can (and should) break this down even further.
This ensures you know where you’re starting, what you’re going to achieve, and how you will measure it. At any stage, you know what to expect.
#2: Break Down Tasks Into Smaller Pieces
Take big goals and make them smaller by creating a step-by-step plan. If you want to learn how to improve mental health, for example, you need to do more than just say that.
Instead, create steps showing how you’ll accomplish the goal. For mental health, you may want to say, “This week, I will make a call to a therapist to schedule an appointment. Next week, I’ll make a list of what I feel are my emotional problems.” With mental health tasks, it’s important to work with your therapist to create these steps.
#3: Create a List of Achievements You Want to Reach
Most goals are big but full of smaller achievements throughout the process. You should not only write down what those achievements are but also acknowledge the hard work that goes into each one. A good example of this is getting a new job.
Instead of making that a singular goal, break it down into steps (achievements) to help you get there. You may say, “I will update my resume and get it online.” Another achievement would be getting to an interview. Even if you don’t get that job, you got through your first interview.
Creating this type of achievement process ensures you can continue to see the good things to come. You’re more likely to continue to work toward the ultimate goal if you’re seeing success and recognizing it along the way. Just checking things off a list keeps you motivated.
#4: Outline Your Why
Let’s say you want to improve emotional health. It’s important to you because you want more confidence, less frustration and fewer tears each week. If that’s your goal, write down specifically why it matters to you.
In this case, you may say something like, “I want to achieve more emotional balance so I can be the best version of myself.” You may want to be confident, authentic or just less moody.
Stating your why clearly keeps you on track. A component should be about how the change will help you personally. You can also include things like being a better parent or friend if that’s important to you.
#5: Give Yourself a Reward
A component of your goals must be some way to pat yourself on the back, acknowledging what you’ve accomplished. Some people may want to buy themselves something special. Others may be more focused on treating themselves to a day out.
Whatever it is, add that to your goals as well. You may say, “I’m going to buy a home in the next six months.” That takes a lot of work along the way.
When you finally walk into your home, you deserve something to reward you for that work. Of course, the home itself is a reward, but so is a nice piece of art or a fun appliance that you want.
Ensure Your Goals Are Reasonable
One survey found that 80% of people fail at their New Year’s goals by February. A key reason is that they’ve created unreasonable, unattainable goals. As you work to create your own, ensure they are truly possible.
Can break them down into more than one step? Can you measure the success of your goal? Do you have the tools to make these goals a reality?
It’s also important to consider what happens if you don’t complete this goal. Is it going to be injurious to you or someone else? Ensure your goal is something that’s going to improve your life but isn’t the end-all-be-all of your life.
It’s also important to be retrospective. Even if you don’t hit that target (or you miss a few steps along the way), realize where you are now and how far you’ve come. Appreciate any progress you make on this journey.
FHE Health Offers Mental Health Improvement Support
When it comes to improving mental health, allow the team at FHE Health to provide you with the guidance and support you need. Schedule a consultation with our compassionate team by calling (844) 299-0618 to reach a mental health professional.