'SMART' Goals: How to Make Lasting Change
Updated: Apr 21
April 19, 2023 - Written by Maggie Osinski, LCSW
“If at first you don’t succeed, try setting more realistic goals.”
Setting goals is an important part of the therapeutic process! Only when we have identified what we want to achieve, can we set out to achieve it.
So Where Do We Start?
Therapists and clients should collaborate to develop a plan of action that will serve as a guide for the therapeutic process. This is often called a “treatment plan” ... though I typically refer to it as a "framework for moving forward."
I want to emphasize that your plan of action should not be created by the therapist alone, and if this is happening then it’s a red flag for your therapeutic relationship dynamic (not going to sugar coat it!) 👏🏼🤷🏼♀️
Remember, these are YOUR goals, & the therapist is there to support you in achieving them ❕
What Can You Expect From Your Therapist?
Your therapist should help you to SMART-ify your goals. Let me explain...
Goals should be SMART and include specific, measurable, attainable, realistic/relevant, & timely action-oriented steps. Now, let's break this down:
SMART-ify Your Goals
#1. Be Specific
🔸Identify the specific goal you would like to achieve. Think about what, why, how, when, where you will begin to make 'small' changes, that will have a majorly positive outcome.
#2 - Measurable
🔸Find ways to identify objective tasks that you can use to measure and track your progress.
#3 - Attainable
🔸Make sure you are able to include action steps and identify resources that will support you in attaining your goal and objectives.
#4 - Realistic and Relevant
🔸You'll want to challenge yourself while being mindful of what objectives will be realistic for you to carry out. Objectives are most effective when they are relevant to your overall change goals.
#5 - Timely
🔸Give your goal and objectives a time-frame to keep you in check, and hold you accountable to moving toward your desired outcome.
Try It Out
Now that you have an idea of how to create a framework for your goals, try writing down a plan for yourself. Identify what you want to change, and then apply the SMART Goal framework to provide focus, intention, & markers for success. Give it a go! 💡You got this! 😁
Looking for someone to help you achieve your goals? Book a Therapy or Coaching Session with Maggie to get started on your healing path!