How to Set Goals That Stick

Recovery Warriors how to set goals that stick
In recovery, and indeed life, it can be helpful to set goals. But the goal focused and achievement driven mindset is also that which causes some of the problems of an eating disorder. However, it is important to consider where the goal is coming from. With so many conflicting and competing expectations about what we should do, who we should be, and how we should live it can be very difficult to know which goals are truly ours.Brene Brown, in her book The Power of Vulnerability, states that perfectionism is not about self-improvement but validation. Goals, achievement and learning should be about expansion of the self and exploration of one’s place in the world as part of committed action to a life of value.

If you want to not only achieve your goals but have their achievement improve your life for the better then they need to be important to you. This importance comes from being aligned with your values. For example, a goal may be (not in recovery – please take this as an example!) to run a marathon. Why? If it is because ‘other people do it’, then the value is social acceptance. If it is to ‘do something I did not think I could’, then the value may be achievement. When it’s to ‘be better than others’ – it’s competition. And to ‘use my body in a strong way’ would be a value of health.

Goals should be motivating and inspiring, rather than punitive or difficult. ‘Gift goals’ Tara Mohr calls them, in that they bring benefits to an individual’s life, rather than constrict it into an externally imposed framework that may or may not be suitable for you as an individual.

Next time you set a goal or make aims for yourself, ask the following:

Why is this important to me?

If I achieved this goal right how would I and my life be different? How would I behave?

What can I do right now to live in alignment with this value?

By living in alignment with the value you are automatically taking a step towards the goal. Once goals, values, beliefs and actions are all combined the effect will be unstoppable. Just like you.

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