Derailed in goal attainment? Get your solutions here!

I am visualizing you writing goals: hunched over your desk, coffee rings on the stacks of papers that surround you, crumpled up pieces of lined paper litter your floor, your hair disheveled.  I see you smiling at a pristine piece of paper with some amazing goals sitting on your desk, illuminated by a beam of light from the window.  Get real.  I know you wrote your goals on your phone or computer.  Nobody uses paper but me! But you did write some goals, right?!

With any luck, you have some goals, you have some desired end results identified, and you have some way to measure progress (like writing a certain number of words a week for your novel, or exercising a certain number of days a week for your sanity).

You may wish to consider some things that may derail your goals, and get some coping skills ahead of time.

  • Life. Sometimes life just blows up goals. You are exercising 4x a week when you pull a hamstring. Or a random September snowstorm impacts you. Or someone else’s stress impacts you. Here is what to do:
    • Take a deep breath. (Maybe a few).
      • You can take a pause on your goals.
      • You can revise your means to attain your goals (exercise in a pool while your hamstring recovers)
      • You can revise your timelines
      • You can schedule in some “off” time from your goals, and schedule a time to resume your goals
  • You hate your goals. This sometimes happens. You have a goal, and then you discover you dislike the goal, or the process.
    • Breathe.
      • Decide if the goal is worth it. Do you want to persist?  Add rewards!
      • If the goal isn’t quite right, revise or replace
      • Keep some sort of direction! A life without goals is fairly chaotic.
  • You like the goal, but hate the work
    • I’ve been there! That office didn’t paint itself!  The goal was good (a nice office) but sometimes the work on the office wasn’t fun (painting the trim!).
      • Break things in to tiny tasks and reward, reward, reward.
      • Visualize the end goal and make an effort now
      • Remind yourself that you don’t always have to like a task, but sometimes you just have to do it (Ah, that would be me, lifting weights, cleaning toilets…)
      • Get support! Tell your friends, your family, your therapist!  Lots of people will support you in a good goal that is unpleasant!  We want you to succeed!


You can do this.  Without irony, I add, your therapist would be happy to discuss goals, goal setting, therapeutic goal setting, goal attainment, and positive reinforcement!

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