Can you believe it? 9 days until Spring! I’m very excited! I’ve also created the next ‘Mental Health Spring Cleaning’ project! This time of year is perfect for setting new goals for ourselves and believe me, there’s A LOT that I want to work on. Right there however is my first note of caution. It’s tempting to write the ‘Magna Carta’ of goal setting but while ambition is healthy, anything in excess is not! I’m referring to setting too many goals at once, expecting to complete them in an unrealistic time frame and making them too large. We want to be realistic when it comes to these three things.
1. Choose a few of your most urgent goals and make them a priority. Keep your short-term list under 5 elements!
2. Give yourself enough time to complete them and allow room for leeway so as not to add anxiety and unhealthy pressure. If you have an extremely challenging goal perhaps leave the completion date open ended but list a continuity of steps that can act as a checklist.
3. If your goals are complex, break them down into bite-sized portions because we definitely don’t want to be overwhelmed! If your goals are large, consider only setting 1-3 depending on the complexity.
4. Remind yourself that you’re allowed to make mistakes. Nothing changes overnight and it’s best to view ‘errors’ as learning opportunities. Avoid use of the word ‘failure’!
5. Keep track of your progress and celebrate the little victories along your journey.
6. If you want some added motivation, consider planning rewards for yourself.
7. Do this ‘Mental Health Spring Cleaning’ project with a friend or friends because the mutual support and encouragement can go a long way!
The Art Project
If you’re wondering why I so often include artwork in self-improvement exercises, I have a few good reasons. Still, feel free not to incorporate art if it’s not your thing. I personally like doing it because taking the time to personalize the activity adds a sense of control, responsibility and being part of the process from start to finish. The levity, for lack of a better word, also fosters a more positive outlook in my opinion especially when the subject matter is difficult or troubling. The tactile nature is both theraputic and rewarding which is another element I appreciate. Lastly, I like putting exercises like this in a place where I see them often, so looking at something colourful rather than a list is both more appealing and less intimidating.
I created Goal Bubbles for this exercise. Why bubbles? I don’t know – they’re fun! Feel free to use whatever you want! You could make another tree, a mandala or hey, make a simple list…As I always say, do what’s best for you.
Here are the first goals I’ve added: I have 6, I know…my bad!
If you’d like to catch up on the ‘Mental Health Spring Cleaning’ exercises, here are Part 1 & Part 2.
Good luck with your goal setting, and I hope you can have some fun with it!