What are our lives without goals? All of us want to achieve something. We have goals for our career development, relationships, or things we want to have in our lives, in general. Achieving goals makes us more satisfied with our lives and delivers a sense of accomplishment.
However, not all goals that we set for ourselves are actually meaningful and reflect our inner desires and needs. Besides, accomplishing your goals can be difficult. Some goals might be unrealistic, some may depend on factors that you cannot control, and some may get increasingly more difficult every time you try to tackle them.
1. Things to know about setting goals
First of all, you should think of what things you’d really like to accomplish. Don’t think of what you should do or what other people would want for you. Try to distance yourself from everyone and everything you’ve done before and just focus on things that are actually meaningful to you.
When setting long-term goals, you can focus on one area of your life, such as work or relationships. Your goals may also focus on family life, creativity, or anything else. For instance, a great personal goal can be achieving a healthy work-life balance.
It’s also important to keep in mind that your goals can be not only extrinsic but also intrinsic. In other words, you don’t necessarily need to focus on things that you want to get or do. Improving your skills, learning something new, and improving relationships or health are all great intrinsic goals that can help your personal growth.
Intrinsic goals can not only ensure personal growth but also help you improve your overall mental well-being. Researchers found out that intrinsic goals improve people’s mental well-being even more than extrinsic goals that focus on, for instance, money.
Try to distance yourself from everyone and everything you’ve done before and just focus on things that are actually meaningful to you.
2. Things that may stop you from achieving your goals
If we put aside all the factors you cannot control, there will still be some factors left that may stop you from achieving your goals. For example, some of your core beliefs can be negative, making you avoid success.
Another common reason why people fail to achieve their goals is low self-esteem. Some people feel like they don’t deserve success because they’re not good enough. A sense of shame and self-esteem problems can have a significant negative impact on your interactions with others, creating problems in both your professional and personal life.
Besides, people often have negative thoughts that may stop them from leaving their comfort zone or taking on new responsibilities. In turn, negative thoughts may also get out of control and trigger the development of many mental health problems.
If you want to accomplish your goals, both short-term and long-term, you have to address emotional issues that may impact your communication, ability to focus, self-esteem, motivation, and other important factors. That’s where therapy can help.
Negative thoughts may also get out of control and trigger the development of many mental health problems.
3. How therapy can help
How therapy can help depends on a particular goal that you have and the obstacles that you want to overcome. Here are some of the most common goals that people set for therapy.
Becoming more productive
This is a rather obvious goal for those who want to succeed at work. If you want to accomplish more, you have to be productive, and therapy can help you fix problems that affect your productivity.
For instance, productivity often declines as a result of depression, anxiety, and many other disorders, as well as because of burnout and stress. A licensed therapist can help you understand what impacts your productivity and address the root causes.
Learning effective coping practices
Another great goal is learning how to cope with stress, anxiety, and other things that may interfere with your needs and wants. A licensed therapist can suggest effective coping practices that might work in your specific case.
Better understanding your emotions
Unfortunately, people don’t learn how their emotions work at school, so emotional problems often become a life-long struggle. Therapy allows you to understand better how your mind works, learn not to repress your desires and thoughts, and manage your emotions effectively so they won’t interfere with your goals.
Improving your communication
To achieve our professional and personal goals, we often need to communicate our needs and desires. Mental health issues may negatively affect your ability to communicate.
Self-esteem problems, anxiety, depression, and many other issues can make you feel like your needs are not important enough, cause discomfort during conversations, or lead to defensive or passive-aggressive behavior. Therapy can help you overcome such issues and improve your communication.
Therapy allows you to understand better how your mind works, learn not to repress your desires and thoughts, and manage your emotions effectively so they won’t interfere with your goals.
4. Types of therapy
There are different therapeutic modalities that therapists may use in different situations. There is no universal treatment in therapy that would be equally effective in each particular situation so if you start therapy, your therapist will develop a personal treatment plan.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is based on the idea that unwanted behavior and emotions stem from unhelpful thinking patterns. As a result, the goal of CBT is to identify unhelpful thoughts, challenge, and ultimately replace them.
Dialectical behavioral therapy
Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) has a lot in common with CBT. This modality is usually used when dealing with bipolar disorder and other problems that involve particularly strong emotions. Unlike CBT, DBT involves not only changing unhelpful thoughts but also finding a balance between change and acceptance.
This therapeutic modality is basically an evolved and improved version of psychoanalysis. Rooted in Sigmund Freud’s theory, psychodynamic therapy aims to bring unconscious processes into consciousness. While CBT targets specific problems, psychodynamic therapy is more comprehensive and usually takes more time.
Interpersonal therapy is usually used when dealing with relationship problems, and it can also be very helpful when a client wants to improve their communication skills. This type of therapy often involves various roleplay exercises aimed at helping clients learn to deal with different social scenarios.
Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) has a lot in common with CBT.
5. How to get started with therapy
All the types of therapy above are often called talk therapy because they are based on conversations between a client and therapist. For many years, therapy required clients to be present in the same room as their therapists, but online therapy platforms like Calmerry changed the situation.
With Calmerry, you can get connected with a licensed therapist from your state within an hour and receive the necessary help from virtually anywhere. There’s no need to leave the comfort of your home and commute to a therapist’s office.
You can send text messages whenever you want to share something with your therapist, and you can also schedule live video calls to imitate the traditional therapy setting. Don’t hesitate to try therapy to understand what holds you back on your path to your goals.
You can send text messages whenever you want to share something with your therapist, and you can also schedule live video calls to imitate the traditional therapy setting.