Values and Goals
Persistent symptoms can have a significant impact on our lives, stopping us from doing the things that are important to us. "Identifying values" is about focusing on what those things are. Although we may still have symptoms, by focusing on our values we can lessen their impact on our quality of life.
Values are not the same as goals. Whilst goals are something specific which can be achieved, values are broader than this, representing how you live your life.
The downloadable worksheets to the right can help you to begin to identify your own values.
Goals can be used as a way of defining how we move towards our values. When setting goals it is important to break them down and plan how you will meet them. A good way to structure this is to make goals SMART. SMART goals are:
- Measurable and meaningful
Goal: Do more exercise
This is not a SMART goal because it isn’t clear what type of exercise, how much you're going to do, or when you will have met the goal. We can make this into a SMART goal.
SMART Goal: Walk around the local park for 300 metres, three times a week for the next month
This goal is specific, because it is clear exactly what needs to be done and where; measurable, there is a clear distance to aim for; achievable, it is a reasonable distance; realistic, it won’t require much changing of routine; and timely, there is a clear aim of doing this over a month.
Remember that what is meaningful, achievable and realistic will be different for everyone. Choose something that is linked to your values rather than what someone else thinks you should do. If your goal is meaningful to you, then you are more likely to stick to it.
Make sure that whatever you choose is something that you will be able to do without drastically worsening your symptoms. It is much more helpful to choose something that you are always able to do than something that you find very difficult, are unable to do or it makes you feel worse to do it.
Be aware that you are likely to come across obstacles on your way. Don't let this put you off. It can be helpful to think about what obstacles you might come across in advance and how you could deal with these.
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Worksheet 2.2 - Values Funnel
Worksheet 2.3 - Goal Setting
Psychology Tools 'Values' Worksheet