Do you find it hard to set goals? Or, when you do set goals, do you find it hard to keep them?
A quick search online suggests that the majority of people who set New Years’ Resolutions each year don’t manage to keep them for even a month – so if you struggle to keep the goals you set you are not alone!
One reason why we can find it hard to set and keep goals is that often the goals we set aren’t connected to our values. We can find ourselves setting goals just because we feel we should without a clear reason why.
This is where it can be helpful to think about the difference between goals and values:
Goals are usually simple, clearly defined and involve concrete targets, like, go for a walk each day. In contrast, values are not strictly achievable. Rather, values are something that you want to be or work towards, like, being a good mother or friend. Values help us make choices based on the direction in which we want our lives to go.
Knowing what your values are makes it much easier to set and keep your goals, as goals that are based on values give them a firm foundation and provide clear motivation.
So, the next time you go to set goals, stop and think about your values first and set some goals around those values. Working towards values-driven goals will ultimately help bring you closer to becoming the person you want to be. Furthermore, research suggests that living a values-driven life helps promote resilience and wellbeing.
Katelyn (M Clin Psych, BA (Hons – First Class), MAPS) has experience working at a leading university research clinic in the area of anxiety disorders, as a school counsellor and in private practice work for adult mental health in the the North Shore area of Sydney. Katelyn is committed to establishing a strong therapeutic relationship with her clients by providing them with a safe and secure space to share their story. As a mother of school aged children with a busy load herself, she is well positioned to understand the challenges faced in doing life, school and work.
Katelyn’s approach takes an evidence-based focus, while maintaining a flexible and collaborative manner, to ensure that treatment is in line with her clients’ needs. She uses a range of evidence-based interventions, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) and supportive counselling with the overall aim of helping people of all ages utilise their strengths to achieve their desired outcomes and enhance their quality of life.
Katelyn is the wife of an Anglican Minister and has a particular interest in supporting clergy wives and families cope with the challenges that ministry can present.