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.
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.”
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?
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…
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.