January 5, 2017

The Importance of Personal Goals on Your Healing Journey

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy,

not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

-Socrates-

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, there are many obstacles on your healing journey. One way to overcome those is to set goals. “Setting goals” is one of those phrases that we throw around all the time (especially at the beginning of the year), but most of us don’t know concrete ways to actually put them into action and be successful.

Here are the five steps to setting successful personal goals:

1. Be realistic.

As you set your goal, start big and work backwards from there. If your ultimate goal is to be a body builder and you don’t currently work out, then your goal should be to work out one day a week.

2. Set yourself up to succeed.

A good rule of thumb is to be 90% sure you can accomplish your initial goal. Once you’ve accomplished that then you can set another goal that is a little bigger. Give yourself a streak of success and it will, mentally, make accomplishing your goals easier.

3. Visualize it.

Think it through, seeing yourself succeeding in your goal. But don’t stop there. It can also help to visualize things that might derail you and the positive ways you’ll deal with those setbacks. That way when they come up in real life you’ve already decided how to handle them.

 4. Write it down.

After visualizing your success, write it down. Write it in present tense, as if it’s already true, as specifically as you can. For example, “I am a body builder. I go to the gym every day. I eat well and take care of my body.”

5. Don’t berate yourself when you fail.

Because there will be failures. We all experience them. Don’t give up on all of your progress because of one setback and don’t be too hard on yourself. Change is hard and you’re doing your best as you grow into your new self.