Hey, I’m back already! I must have the blog bug 😉 Its been a lovely summer’s day today, and I’ve been out and about you’ll be pleased to hear (less of the cooped up battery-hen cabin fever). On a beautiful day like today, being out and enjoying the sunshine is really the best thing. We went to feed the ducks, something I love doing (as well as trying to hand feed pigeons – believe me, it’s possible ;)) and had a good mooch around town. I bought a few things, but not too much, mainly pamper treats, which I’m sure is something i’ll posting about soon..
So bringing me back to things I like to do on a Sunday, something that I have been doing every week in nearly the past year ever since I finish my CBT, is reviewing how I think the week has gone and planning ahead goals and things I want to focus on for the week ahead. I do this every Sunday evening without fail and doing this really helps me to focus on how I’ve been feeling during the week, and spotting any signs of anything that I might perhaps need to try and amend, adjust or (re-)focus on. For example, if I had been finding it hard to sleep, I would make sure that in the next week I would really focus on winding down before bed, spending some more time just slowing down and pampering myself, and then getting an early night (usually that isn’t a problem for me anyway, I’m no way near a night owl). So doing this can help with goal setting, which i’ll come onto momentarily..
So I write about things I have done that have gone really well and things that perhaps haven’t gone so well, and more importantly in both cases, WHY. It’s all well and good saying what things we have accomplished, or what things we might have failed to do for whatever reason, but without including the WHY as well, we have real no conscious recollection of what things we actually did specifically to succeed, or what things might have prevented us from not doing as well as we potentially could have done. Thinking about this as near as you can to the time really helps to keep things in perspective, and to not let yourself dwell on things, or make ‘mountains out of mole hills’, as tends to be my nature. For example, that happened because of specifically x, y , or z, not because of your mind wondering about other issues that weren’t really there. For example, you could say that I achieved going out some place by myself but I didn’t overthink it beforehand and just DID it. This is just one example.
I’m pleased to say that as time is going on, I have dramatically more things in the ‘went well’ column, than the ‘not so well’ column (or smiler face and not so smiley face columns, as I tend to categorise them) . These days, I often struggle to find things which didn’t go well, so that’s a big achievement me in a year (and that may sound like blowing my own trumpet, but believe me, its a good habit to have). It’s also a visual confidence booster and a weekly reminder of the things you have done and accomplished, so really, I’d say its a useful exercise for anyone to do, whether they have mental health issues or not.
The second main thing I do is set goals for the week ahead, just maybe three or four things that I want to focus on and achieve by the end of the week. For example, you could call that friend you’ve been meaning to call. Or, you could fit in that yoga session you’ve been meaning to do but keep putting off (I’m guilty of that for re!). If you break things down into smaller, manageable goals, they are much more achievable. You may have heard of making SMART goals before? Basically this involves making goals realistic and specific, to a given time, meaning you are more likely to do them, know when you are doing them and then you are more likely to achieve them.
So, what are my goals for this week? Well, sometimes it helps you to tell other people, as in that sense it gives a sense of accountability – someone can ask if you did what you said your were going to. But often goals are very personal and you don’t necessarily need to share them, and that’s okay too. For now, I’m going to keep mine private, but I might share some in time 🙂
I hope this post has inspired you to think about what things you have achieved this week and what you could potentially achieve in the next. After all, we can do anything if we believe we can and put our minds to it, and these ideas might just help give you a bit of a focus and a plan towards setting some goals you might not have thought about making. And you may not have even thought about setting goals before. But who know’s just what you might achieve in the making?! 🙂