Goals and Objectives
A big part of what I do in counseling is help my clients get from one place to another. No not physically moving from one locale to another, though that could be a goal, but emotionally and mentally. People want to have a new view of life, their circumstances and to make changes. Setting goals and objectives is one way to do that.
So here are a few thoughts on goals and objectives.
The first thing I like for clients to do is to set a goal. This goal needs to be lofty and grand. There is no place for humility when setting a goal. Though you need to remember goals should be attainable or at least within human reach. Wanting to be the king of the world may not be such a great idea and might not be something that you could accomplish. Be realistic with your goals.
So one of the questions I like to ask a client is where would like to be in five years or ten years.
Getting a picture in your mind of where you would like to be is a big part of this goal setting process. So do you want a better job, house, location or situation? Do you just want to get over the slump you are in right now? The answer to any of those questions is a good place to start.
The next part of the equation is to set objectives to reach the goal. What will you need to get where you want to be?
Objectives should be specific, measurable and if you can, you should have a time line for meeting the objectives.
- Be specific: If you want a better paying job what do you need to do to get there? Do you need more education, training or advice? Where can you go to meet those needs? What will it take to get there?
- How will you know when you will get there? You have to have some kind of measurement to know when you have met your goal. You received the certificate, finished the training or applied and got the promotion. All of these are measures that you are moving in a positive direction toward meeting your goal. Other measurements could be your feeling better; you have better coping skills or just having made it through the slump you were in.
- What is your time line for meeting the goal? If the school semester starts next month that is the time you need to set to get the education you need. You have to apply in advance and get the paperwork completed and turned in. All of this is part of the plan for achieving your goals.
Plan on setting your objectives with a date in mind. Plan your year in such a way that your goal is prominent in all of your plans. If your goal is to raise your own vegetables you need to be ready to cultivate your garden and plant your seeds in the spring so you can harvest in the summer and fall. Have a time line and stick to it.
My job as a counselor is to help my clients set goals for their lives and make positive steps to meet those goals. Sometimes this is a difficult thing to do. Once you have goals and objectives you are a long way toward having a balanced and healthy life.
Frank Walker registered Marriage and Family Therapist intern #59002