How can goal setting improve wellbeing?
Everyone has heard how goal setting improves performance. But how many of us know the benefits that goal setting can have on our mental wellbeing?
Not only do goals influence our actions, but they also influence the way we perceive the world and ourselves. Setting goals allows us to put our hands on the wheel and steer ourselves in the right direction.
It gives us a sense of purpose in life and increases our motivation to get things done. Yourgoal can be as big as winning a premiership or small as ticking off tasks on your to-do list. Either way, you are taking control of your life and heading onto a journey to achieve your best possible self.
The most important, yet challenging part of achieving a long-term goal is the journey. Being able to face setbacks helps us build resilience. Resilience is our ability to bounce back from difficulties. This can make us mentally stronger to face any other obstacles that come in our way.
What does resilience do?
The benefits of resilience include decreasing the risk of depression and stress in high performing situations. It also helps increase our self-awareness. This can be the environment around us, and also how we are feeling in the present moment.
Throughout the journey of achieving a long-term goal, short-term goals can be set. These can track your progress and revaluate your goals if you face a speed bump along the way. This helps build your resilience and confidence to face any other challenges that come in your way
Another benefit of goal setting is the positive impact it has on our happiness. Through putting a plan in place to achieve a goal, you become structured and purposeful. This can lead to feelings of accomplishment.
By feeling accomplished, our confidence and belief to conquer anything we set ourselves to do will increase. This creates a domino effect where you knock down goal after goal, making you feel more in control of your journey than ever before.
Is goal setting always good for you?
While understanding that goals can have a positive impact on our lives, it is necessary to understand the negative impacts if used incorrectly. It has been found that setting unrealistic goals can lead to feeling frustrated and upset. This comes from not being able to meet the set goals you had set out for yourself.
For example, it is not realistic to say you are going to build a million-dollar company within a year. Or, that you are going to make an Australian sports team next year if you are an athlete training a few sessions per week.
Although these goals are great to strive towards in the future, they are not realistic within a time limit. As mentioned in last week’s blog post, setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time specific goals can help you understand the process you need to go through before achieving the outcome.
In relation to the unrealistic examples provided, instead of thinking of becoming a million-dollar business within a year, think about what you want to achieve next year that would contribute to that major goal? If you are wanting to get onto that Australian sports team in the future, what actions do you want to take to improve yourself, even if it is just by 1%?
Remember that any type of improvement is a step in the right direction and can positively impact your mental wellbeing. And if you do have to take that detour, remember – stop, revaluate your goals, grab the wheel and continue driving down the road of success.
For more information about performance psychology, goal setting, wellbeing and resilience or anything else mentioned, get in touch with our team today. Send us an email, give us a call on (02) 9929 8515, check out our LinkedIn and Twitter or find our Psych Up! resources here.