As a therapist, it’s my job to help people achieve their goals. Many of the people I see come into the therapy room with visions for their lives, but they feel stuck or unable to get there. Their dreams seem impossible, so far out of reach that they’ll never be actualized.
My role is to inspire hope. When my clients are leaving our last therapy session together, one of my biggest desires is that they’ve walked away with a sense of self-efficacy, or the confidence that they have everything they need to get started on the road towards seeing their dreams become reality.
It’s a mantra I have to tell myself, too. There are moments when some of my bucket list items seem super unrealistic. When will I ever have the time, money, or resources to achieve them all?
And often we get stuck in that mental block, don’t we? That overwhelming idea that we will never do it, that there’s no way in hell we can ever get there. It’s fine and well to tell ourselves we can do anything, but if that nice little idea doesn’t start to turn into a concrete action step, it still feels like just that: an idea.
An idea that isn’t really worth a whole lot when the boots are on the ground and life is feeling a bit too complicated for dream catching.
What we need is to turn inspiration into actualization.
I realized that what snapped my clients and I out of a nightmare of daunting hopelessness over the impossibility of our dreams was to follow a process of actualizing our goals and the barriers in the way of getting to them.
Basically, I found that what we needed to do to wake up and get going on the road to achievement was to do this:
- Identify what the goals actually are.
- Name the obstacles that get in the way of reaching them.
- Operationalize the steps necessary to surmount the obstacles and achieve the goals.
- Plan out how to start tomorrow, and decide what can wait.
That seems incredibly simple and yet super difficult, doesn’t it? Those four neatly outlined steps are actually kind of hard to do when you start to try and follow them. I know because I’ve tried.
I tried it with myself and I tried it with my clients, too. And it seemed that for many of them, talking about goals and the barriers in the way to getting to them wasn’t entirely all that helpful. It can get really easy to get all caught up in our brains and in the hopeless muddle of negativity that tells us we can’t do something if we just rely on thinking about what the issues and aspirations are.
What they needed, and I what I needed as well, was a way to see their goals written out in a concrete way that made sense.
So I created a worksheet intended to help people outline their goals, the hurdles that needed to be jumped on the road to reaching them, and the operationalized steps to take towards ultimate achievement.
Honestly, I initially made the worksheet for my clients. There are tons of therapeutic goal-setting worksheets online, but when I perused the web to find one that fit the needs of the people I was seeing, I couldn’t find one that captured all the necessary components to proper goal formulation and actualization.
Out of a need to help my clients, I constructed a worksheet of my own. I had no intention of sharing it here on the blog, but since it’s worked so well in the therapy room I thought it might be of use to people who frequent this space.
So here it is: the worksheet that will practically assist in the accomplishment of “impossible” goals. I hope it helps you as much as it’s helped me and my clients!
If you do decide to download it, I’d love to hear what you think of it. Let me know if it helps you in any way by shooting me a message or writing in the comments!
A few questions for you:
- What are some goals you’re hoping to work on soon?
- What keeps you from reaching your goals?
- How do you surmount barriers to dream catching?
Have a great week, everyone!