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  • How Counselling Can Help You Reach Your Goals in the New Year

    If you struggle to set goals, let alone reach them, you are definitely not alone. In fact, it is thought that roughly 92% of the population has found it hard to achieve goals. This constant cycle of trying to set beneficial life or health goals, but never quite reaching them, can ultimately lead to low mood and maintaining unhelpful patterns of behaviour.

    Reaching goals is empowering and helps us feel we are in charge of our life. When we don’t sustain our new pattern of behaviour, we can feel powerless and even hopeless about our ability to improve our lives.

    How Counselling Can Help

    Just as following a recipe will increase the likelihood you will end up with something edible, there is a formula that can be followed to set and achieve goals. This formula is often used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to help individuals idenitify and reach their goals.

    Goal setting has actually been shown to be a useful tool for those suffering from depression according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE. The study found that individuals suffering from depression had more trouble setting goals and were far less likely to believe they could reach them. The participants also tended to set avoidance goals rather than approach goals.

    An avoidance goal is one you set to avoid a negative outcome. “I want to lose weight so I don’t develop type 2 diabetes.” An approach goal, on the other hand, is one that you set to ensure a positive outcome. “I want to lose weight to have more energy!”

    The study showed that counselling can help people with depression set and achieve realistic and achievable goals as well as help them stay on track mentally in pursuit of that goal.

    The goal-setting formula used by most CBT therapists is as follows:

    • Identify your goal.
    • Choose a starting point.
    • Identify the steps required to achieve the goal.
    • Take that first step and get started.

    A therapist can help you with each one of these steps. From ensuring you select realistic approach goals, to helping you identify where you are in relation to your goal, breaking down the goal into actionable steps, and supporting you to take your first step, a psychologist will be in your corner, helping you along the way.

    Make 2021 the year you reach the goals that will help you live your best life. If you’d like some help getting there, please get in touch with us. We’d be more than happy to discuss how we may be able to help.


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