As we begin a new year, it’s common in our culture to think about setting goals for the year ahead. Before the ball even drops to ring in the New Year, people start talking about their goals. While it’s great to look forward with intention, setting goals can feel overwhelming for some. But thinking about goal setting in a different way can help.
When setting your goals for the year, think about what you hope to accomplish. When we get to the end of 2022, what do you want to look back and see that you’ve done? How do you want to grow?
It’s like the question that often gets asked at interviews, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Instead, you’re thinking more about the short-term. Start with what you want the big picture to look like and then work backwards from there. Break your larger goal up into smaller baby steps.
One way to do this is to visualize the year ahead like it’s a road map. Close your eyes and imagine that you’re unrolling a giant map out in front of you. Where you’re standing is where you are in your life today. The end of the map is your destination or your big picture goal. The space in between is what it’s going to take for you to get where you want to go. These are all the side streets and pit stops along the way. They’re the baby steps that you have to accomplish to meet your goal.
Last January, before I decided to open a counseling practice, I was thinking about my goals for 2021. I knew that I wanted to help people, but I wasn’t quite sure what that would look like. I drew a road map, and the destination was helping others. The roads that led to my goal were things like renewing my counseling license, writing a blog, and helping moms see that they aren’t alone. Making myself stop and write these things down helped me get a better understanding of what my goal really meant. The road map was a visual reminder of the steps it would take for me to make it a reality.
As we enter 2022, I encourage you to do the same. Think about where you hope to go in 2022 and how you will get there. What does your road map look like?
About the author
Patrice Payment, LPC practices from a person-centered perspective, valuing each client’s ability to discover solutions to their struggles while serving as their guide. She focuses on cognitive behavioral techniques when appropriate to help clients understand how their thoughts are connected to their behavior. She earned her Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling from Georgia State University in 2006 and is a Licensed Professional Counselor located in the same complex as Dr. Sambunaris. To learn more or contact her, visit www.momlifewithp.com.