Why Setting Goals Is Important For Your Mental Health

So you’re probably wondering why setting goals is important for your mental health.

Well, hold on to your hats because I’m about to tell you exactly that.

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      First up are the psychologists who believe that setting goals are an integral part of overall wellbeing. The idea is that without knowing what direction one is headed in, it’s hard to feel fulfilled.

In a study by Deci and Ryan, it was found that “people whose basic psychological need for autonomy was satisfied were more likely to be intrinsically motivated to pursue a goal.” When the need for competence is also satisfied, people are even more motivated. The conclusion being “…goal setting may serve as a means by which these basic psychological needs can be met.”

      This seems to be something that Steven Covey, author of the ‘ 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, agrees with. He states that “the most effective way I know to begin with the end in mind is to develop a personal mission statement or philosophy or creed.”

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      Covey’s idea for setting goals isn’t just to have written ones, but what he instead recommends is that everyone should “write their own handbook.” This should detail the things that are important to you and how you will approach them.

      Second are the researchers who have studied goal-striving for many years and have found it beneficial in various ways.

      The third is the people who have experienced personal success after setting, working towards, and achieving goals. These are some of the most influential proponents for getting one’s life together and setting goals.

      The fourth group consists of those who benefit from having a purpose in life, another term used to describe goal-setting. Well, they set goals! And how does one find their purpose?

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      One other option for setting goals that have become increasingly popular in recent years is through daily journaling. Journaling helps people to track their progress in the things they are doing and allows them to find out what has worked well for them.

      Another point made by psychologists is that you should also know when you have failed to meet your goals and how to deal with this. The idea is that failing provides feedback on what needs working on in order for us to continue achieving our ultimate goal.

      An important part of knowing your weaknesses is to know how you react under pressure and under what conditions you perform the worst. Once this has been determined, it can be built upon and improved by working on those areas where we struggle most. This leads us nicely to the next point…

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      A major downside to not setting goals is that it’s impossible to improve upon your weaknesses because you don’t know what they are. You may go through life accepting mediocrity as the best you can do…

      So there you have it, psychologists everywhere agree that without knowing exactly where we’re headed in life, who knows where we’ll end up! Setting goals provides direction and leads to overall wellbeing.

      Finally, we have to consider the countless numbers of people who feel as though they lack direction in their lives, and when one doesn’t establish clear goals, it can be even harder to find purpose.

      Therefore, setting goals is one of the most important steps you can take towards improving your quality of life and mental well-being. I hope this article has been helpful.

Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD resources

Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD resources I use

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As you can imagine after a year navigating my new reality as a Neurodivergent, I need all the information I can get my hands on to prepare for what lies ahead.

Autism and ADHD is such a complex world and that is why I appreciate the reference to the word ‘spectrum’ by the medical and psychological fraternity when trying to group the symptoms and behaviors in a collective ‘box’. I frequent the resources listed below to better understand who I am and what strengths my superpowers have.

I marvel at the fact that society sometimes shuns us just because they do not understand us. So, thank you to all the professionals trying to assist us and giving us a voice.

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Spectrum News

Autism Speaks

Healthline

WebMD

Autism Society

People who I think know a lot about Autism:

Simon Baron-Cohen

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ADHD

American Psychiatric Association

Healthline

WebMD

ADDitude Mag

People who I think know a lot about ADHD:

Henrik Larsson

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I have to point out that I do not at all suggest that these are the best or most accurate sources, I just like the way they present it. So after reading and reading and searching and searching I stumbled onto the following article, I enjoyed it:

Is Autism the Next Stage of Human Evolution?

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Mapping social cues continued – Autism 101

Social Skills

Social Skills is probably one of the most difficult things for people on the spectrum to master. I really enjoyed this article. It gives Neurotypical people a glimpse of what we are going through just to begin our day in public. It is exhausting to say the least.

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I have been aware of my Autism for just over a year now, my diagnosis helped me to put a name to the feeling I had that I did not fit in. I really like schooling myself on the differences between Neurodivergent and Neurotypical people. You see, for us there is no Finishing School. There isn’t even a Starter School, we just have to figure it out on our own.

It is interesting to me that we are born with way less control over our lives than we think:

  • We did not choose our species.
  • We did not choose our race.
  • We did not choose our parents.
  • We did not choose our gender.
  • We did not choose our culture.
  • We did not choose our height, weight or looks.
  • We did not choose our IQ or talents or skills.
  • We did not choose our religion.
  • We did not choose our country, nation or town.
  • We did not choose our language.
  • We did not choose our Name.

Some of us, did not choose Autism.

So getting to understand the world and our place in it takes time, that’s why I believe society is set up in a way to fast track that awareness (supposedly). Well, set up for Normal people…

I see in this article they mention ‘basics’ of human interaction:

Impairment in social functioning is a central feature of ASD. Typical social skill deficits include: initiating interactions, responding to the initiations of others, maintaining eye contact, sharing enjoyment, reading the non-verbal cues of others, and taking another person’s perspective.

Indiana Resource Center for Autism
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Social Contract

Okay, so let’s take a look at how Normal People see interpersonal relationships and acceptable reciprocal behavior between each other:

Social contract, in political philosophy, an actual or hypothetical compact, or agreement, between the ruled and their rulers, defining the rights and duties of each. In primeval times, according to the theory, individuals were born into an anarchic state of nature, which was happy or unhappy according to the particular version. They then, by exercising natural reason, formed a society (and a government) by means of a contract among themselves.

Britannica

I am a very logical person and I reason very well, so to me in theory this is an amazing concept. Practically, society fails when it comes to us Neurodivergent folk, we just get left behind…

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Rage

I, however will not get left behind, in fact, I will not even travel with the group, I, my dear reader, go out in front like a scout and I will explore the unexplored and come back to tell those Normal people what I found…

Do not go gentle into that good night

Dylan Thomas – 1914-1953

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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Your Mental Health is more important than other people’s expectations of what they think you should do… – my Psychiatrist advising me on how to deal with my high-functioning Autistic Savant syndrome with co-morbid ADHD and OCPD

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Your Mental Health is more important than other people’s expectations of what they think you should do… –

my Psychiatrist advising me on how to deal with my high-functioning Autistic Savant syndrome with co-morbid ADHD and OCPD
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