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  • Writer's pictureK.C. Dreisbach, LMFT

Setting Goals

Becoming the BEST version of yourself

Today, I want to talk to you about becoming the person you want to be.

I've always loved New Year's, because it offers the opportunity for reflection, contemplation, and renewal. It's a chance to start clean, start over, and try again.

This week, I've been diving into this concept of "becoming" with many of my clients, and we've been working together on cultivating a clear roadmap of who they want to become and how to get there.

Now, I'm going to do it with you.

Grab a piece of paper and pen, and set aside just a few minutes to run through this exercise with me. Let's see if I can help you glean some insight into the person you want to become.

Your Vision

To begin, let's start with who you want to be. Who do you envision yourself becoming?

Most people will answer with something like:

"I want to be a healthy person."

"I want to be rich."

"I want to be happy."

"I just want to be at peace in my life."

"I want to be a good mom/dad/husband/wife/etc."

"I want to be a spiritual person."

"I want to feel normal."

"I want to be fit."

"I want to be more active."

"I want to be more involved in ABC...."

These are all examples of things I hear from the people I work with. Wishes and desires to become a better version of themselves.

What's your vision? What do you desire for yourself? What does the best version of you look and feel like?

Goal Setting

Once you know who you want to become, it's time to determine what that version of you does.

A common mistake many people do is that they create goals that are too vague and lack doable, actionable steps.

For example, if my vision is, "I want to be a healthier person," then I might create a goal (or a New Year's resolution) of "I'm going to lose weight" or "I'm going to exercise more."

Other examples of goals people might create are:

"I'm going to get a higher paying job"

"I'm going to get a side hustle"

"I'm going to go to church more"

"I'm going to play with my kids more"

"I'm going to go biking more"

All of these goals are too vague and lack actionable steps. Your goals should be focused on action, on something you can actively do.

Let's look at an example:

Vision: "I want to be a healthy person"

Vague Goal: "I'm going to exercise more"

Action-Focused Goal: "I'm going to go for a walk every day for 15 minutes."

Can you see the difference? An actionable goal is going to follow the formula for successful goal setting.

All good goals follow this simple formula: SMART

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Time-limited

Your goal should be specific (what action are you going to take), measurable (with what frequency will you do this action), achievable (is it realistic), relevant (does it align with the person you want to become), and time-limited (when do you want to achieve this goal by).

Goals that follow this formula are much more likely to be met because they focus on actionable steps you can take, are clearly defined, and reasonable given your current situation.


Creating Your Goal

Take your pen and paper and look at your vision. Now think to yourself, what does this future version of me DO? How does that person BEHAVE? How does that person ACT on a daily basis?

Taking our example from above, let's see how this might look.

Vision: "I want to be a healthier person."

What does this version of me do? A healthier version of me might focus on eating vegetables, lean proteins, and fruits each day. They don't snack on cookies or popcorn, but choose to eat apples and carrots. They go on a walk every day and take a hike each weekend. They drink 64 ounces of water each day.

Can you see how my vision of becoming a healthier person goes from being vague to very specific? I'm defining what actions this version of me takes every week, making it clear what achieving this vision might look like for me.

Now, I can create several SMART goals to guide me on the journey of becoming a better version of myself, and then pick one to begin taking steps toward becoming this person.

For example, given my reflection above, I might develop the following goal: I will go for a 15-minute walk 5 nights a week, and will reach this goal within 90 days.

This goal is SMART.

Specific: Going for a walk every night

Measurable: Going for a walk is behavioral. I can count how many nights I went for a walk in a week. Thus, I can measure it.

Achievable: I'm planning on only 5 nights a week versus every day. This makes the goal more achievable for me, and gives me some wiggle room for days that are just too crazy and jam-packed.

Relevant: Given my reflection, the goal I have picked aligns with becoming a healthier version of myself. It's relevant to becoming a healthier person.

Time-limited: I want to be going on a walk regularly within 3 months.

This is just one example of a goal I might set to align myself with the vision I have of becoming a "healthier person."

Your Turn!

Based off of your vision and reflection of how the better version of you would behave, what are some SMART goals you can create to achieve it?

List as many as you can come up with, and make sure they all follow the SMART goals formula. Once you have your list, pick one and begin DOING. Take the actions you have identified.

Once you have successfully met that goal, pick another one! Keep going until you have become the person you desire to be.

Becoming a better version of you is all about ACTION. It's about making a new choice and DOING something different than before. It's not easy, but it is DOABLE.

You CAN do this.

And if you decide you want some extra help, motivation, or someone to help hold you accountable, don't hesitate to reach out to me. I'm here to help you BECOME the best version of YOU.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Krystal Dreisbach is a licensed therapist, mindset coach, adjunct professor of counseling, and published author.  Her specialties include depression treatment, anxiety counseling, stress management support, and mindset coaching.  Learn more about Krystal and see how she can help you live a better life.

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