The written goal is a powerful first step to begin moving past the pain point or becoming “unstuck” after divorce. When you write a goal down, you engage both sides of the brain, create higher motivation for success, and keeps your mental eye on the prize.
Before describing the process of goal setting, here are some pitfalls to avoid before putting the plan to paper. Oftentimes, some will sabotage themselves if they aren’t aware of some of the following common mistakes.
There are six factors to keep in mind when writing a goal plan:
A well-written goal plan will include all of the following:
Let’s start with the goal statement. The goal statement should include WHAT you are going to do, HOW or WHY you are going to do it, and the date you will achieve it.
The goal statement will start with the word “To”, an action word to follow it, and should be in sentence form.
Here is an example of a goal statement that a client, I will call Marcie, devised so that she could begin to move forward after her divorce instead of staying stuck.
Goal Statement: To discover how and why I use anger to keep myself in “victim” mode and take responsibility to break the pattern so that I can become “unstuck” and move forward by _______________________(date).
Next, the obstacles need to be listed. The obstacles are what are in the way of achieving the goal. There may be many or as little as one depending on your goal. You can always add or subtract as you go along. Obstacles can include the following: limiting beliefs, lack of skill, information, motivation, fear, or others getting in the way. (FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real) Fear is one of the biggest obstacles along with limiting beliefs.
Obstacle(s): Understanding my role and responsibility for using anger to hinder my progress and move forward after divorce.
Lastly, there needs to be a list of action steps that will go under each obstacle. Some obstacles may only require one action step while others may require many. These action steps may change as you move forward and start working on achieving your goal. You may discover you need more action steps to overcome the obstacle or you may not need as many. The action steps are also dated to cut down on the procrastination tendency. Some action steps may be more of a challenge than others so the dates can be adjusted. Keep in mind that you want to create a transition as soon as possible so can move forward.