With the end of 2020 fast approaching, you might be considering creating mental health goals that involve planning and taking positive action. Paula Berry, Deputy Head of Clinical Operations at Claimont, provides some actionable tips for mental health goal setting below.
What Are Mental Health Goals?
Mental health goals are essentially the object of a person’s ambition and the efforts taken to benefit their mental health. Everyone around you is on a journey with their mental health and, although some suffer more than others, everyone’s journey is equally as important. A way in which we can aim to improve our mental health is by setting mental health smart goals.
Goal setting for mental health allows us to identify the challenges we have faced and tracks the success of our daily efforts over the short- and long-term. Taking small steps towards achieving our goals can help replenish confidence within oneself and reinstall a positive mindset that things are heading in the right direction.
A mental health goal could to you be anything, for example, you could be looking to decrease your current level of anxiety. Therefore, a relevant goal would be to feel more confident in your own skin over the next three months. But the question is, how do you set and achieve your mental health goal?
How to Set 2021 Mental Health Goals
When it comes to setting mental health goals, the goals should follow the SMART process. But what does this mean? SMART is an acronym that guides your goals to improve mental health by providing increased clarity, focus and motivation to achieve it. When setting a SMART mental health goal, ensure each goal follows this simple structure to increase your chances of success.
Benefits of Setting 2021 Mental Health Goals
Goal setting for mental health gives a structure to the plan of achieving your goals. It is key that you break down the goals into individual elements to focus on what you must overcome. What is the goal? Why should you do it? What are the benefits? Where do you start?
It is important to ask yourself questions in every stage of the SMART process to fully comprehend the strategy of the SMART mental health goal you are setting. When you use SMART goals you can develop focused, attainable and meaningful goals to improve mental health. This also helps develop a plan of action, boost motivation and gain the support needed to meet the mental health goals you have set yourself.
Setting mental health goals give you long-term vision and short-term motivation to achieve them.
Just think about your future, who do you want to be? It is a simple and effective strategy for putting your visualisations into reality. It is also a great way of proactively organising your time and resources to ensure you are doing the best you can to make the most of your life.
Examples of Mental Health Goals
Let’s put the theory into practice. As an example, Jim sets himself a mental health SMART goal to improve his life. This goal could be as follows:
So, what does Jim do next? It all depends on how he is feeling on the inside. This is where Jim would ask himself questions. For example, where does the anxiety derive from? What can I do to improve this? It could be that he is lacking confidence due to his physical appearance and he feels unloved.
Mental health goal setting for Jim, in this case, could be to begin eating healthily and regularly exercising to boost natural endorphins and the body’s ‘feel-good’ factor. Perhaps this method is not suitable for him… instead, he could buy some new clothes and get a haircut to improve his appearance and boost his confidence. Little steps forward can have a huge overall impact. It’s all about moving in the right direction and gaining positive forward momentum through mental health goal setting.
Starting to set and manage your own mental health goals can be tough. If you need help getting started, or need help beyond setting yourself goals, speak to Claimont today to see how we can help you. The first step is to simply talk to a member of our team, so we can consider the next suitable actions to improve your overall health and mental wellbeing.