Why Just Having Goals Isn’t Enough

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Why Just Having Goals Isn’t Enough

[Article via Psychology Today. Click above for full post]

The hardest question in life is asking ourselves what we want. I often say that if we don’t know what we want or where we’re going, we’re walking aimlessly. We’re walking with no direction. Just try thinking about this for yourself right now: What do I want? What do I want out of my career? What do I want out of my relationship? What do I want out of my social life? What do I want out of my sobriety? What do I want out of my marriage?

I hear you though, you’re saying, “What if I don’t know where I want to go?” You’re right – we may not always know exactly where we want to go, but we can start walking in the right direction. We may not know that we want to travel from Los Angeles to New York, but we know we want to go east. Soon enough we realize that as we move further east, we learn what our endpoint is. We may take one step back or go a little too far north, but in the end, we’re always guided back to our direction. Similarly, we may not know what kind of job we want, but we can pick an industry we want to try out. We may not know exactly how much weight we need to lose, but we know we need to start losing weight.

It can be difficult to make specific, tangible goals, but if we can clarify where we’re more generally going, we can create more direction. Values are a way of doing this. To be clear, values are fundamentally different than goals. Goals signify “what” you’re doing; values signify “why” you’re doing it. Goals can be achieved, whereas, values are more like compass directions that point you in the direction you want to head in. For example, we may have a goal to reduce our substance use and place that under the value of healthy relationships and physical health.

There are many areas of our life we can find value in. Here are a few to think about:

  1. Family relations
  2. Marriage/couple/intimate relations
  3. Parenting
  4. Friendships/Social relationships
  5. Employment
  6. Education/Training/Personal Growth
  7. Recreation
  8. Spirituality
  9. Citizenship/Community
  10. Physical well-being

Go through these different areas and write down what you might value. Start with the area that is most important to you right now. How important is this value to you on a scale of 1-10? How closely does your behavior align to this value?…

[Rest of article is posted on Psychology Today. See below for link.]

Original article posted on Psychology Today. Read the rest of the post here at Psychology Today!

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Rubin Khoddam, Clinical Psychology PhD student at University of Southern California, founder of Psych Connection.

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Categories: Addiction Connection, Blogs by Rubin, Therapy

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