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  • Gary

Conquer Your Problems (Using "SMART" Goals)

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"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

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My art and profession is facilitating change in people's lives.

People come to see me because they are having trouble making a change. My clients are not stupid, lazy, or weak, although they often judge themselves that way just because they are having trouble making a change.


Oftentimes they have goals like, "feel better" or "have better relationships." These are great goals, but they aren't very precise, are they? 😒


I think we all experience this. Sometimes when we feel bad all we know is just that we want it to stop. So we call "feel better" our goal. But the vagueness of that goal is one of the biggest reasons why we have trouble achieving it.


Blame it on the brain. "You can't solve a problem with the same mind that created it." When we are deep inside our own living hell, it's hard to think straight. That's ok. You're human. It's normal to not know right away what the next step is towards achieving your goal.

We think about the joy of reaching the mountain top when we need to be thinking about the next right step to get there..

That's where a counselor can help. They help you organize your thoughts, emotions, situation, and resources so that you can identify your next right step.


This is how I work with my clients. After each session they receive what I call "Action Items" for them to work on between sessions. These Action Items are the next steps towards their goal.


A counselor you connect with can bring immeasurable growth and healing. I wouldn't be where I am today without the help of many counselors. I also know that people can help themselves a great deal without a counselor.


One way you can improve your progress in your goals without a counselor is to set your goals according to the "SMART" format.

S=Specific
M=Measurable
A=Achievable
R=Relevant
T=Time-bound

Here are links to an article and video on how to set SMART goals:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-SvuFIQjK8

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm


I think what SMART goals essentially do is break down your big, abstract goal into a clearly defined, bite sized action step. It slows things down so that we can put one foot in front of the other instead of standing frozen and dreaming about relaxing at the beach.



Change requires ACTION, my friends. But fear not! Your next breath and next small step are enough to move you towards your goal. Eventually, with enough practice, SMART goal setting becomes second nature.


I encourage you now to ask yourself what goal you have in your life right now. Feel your goal, yearn for it, imagine it, and use that energy to drive your next step!



If you are looking for more support in achieving your goals, contact me for details on how I can help! I offer a free 30 minute consultation to jumpstart your journey. Will you take the next right step?


And check this out! Men's Goal Group



Gary Howard, MA, LPC
260-445-8249
contact@wildwaysintegration.com
1650 38th St.
Suite 100E
Boulder, CO 80301

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