My top tip would be if you really want to achieve something in life, or you want to change something that would make you happy, just think positive and look at the bigger picture and imagine the results in the end.
Setting yourself goals, however small or big, can be a good way of keeping yourself focused without becoming overwhelmed. Having a goal to work towards can help you look forward and focus on the future. Seeing what you have done along the way is an important part of looking after yourself. It means you know that you are managing, and that you are on the way to where you want to be.
Don’t be hard on yourself. If you’ve not done everything you’ve planned to do, maybe you need to give yourself more time and be kinder to yourself. There’s always another day and another chance to take another step forward. As somebody wise once said, ‘what’s for you won’t go by you’.
A few tips to try:
- The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) has a short guide on five ways to better mental health: connect, be active, take notice, learn, give. This might inspire you as a sort of ‘mental health to-do list’. Can you set yourself a goal to do one or more of these suggestions in the next month and stick to it? Make your goals realistic, specific and short-term. Dreaming of a faraway future is not necessarily a bad thing, but to see the benefit of setting goals, you need to start small. What can you do this week or this month? If you do have a long-term goal, try breaking it down into smaller chunks so it feels more manageable
- Why not write down some of these goals to help you focus and organise your time? Once you tick something off the list, remind yourself that you’ve done a good job
- Remember, your goals could include something new or different that you want to do at home, with your child or for yourself. Goals don’t need to mean added pressure, but they can give you some extra motivation
Goals can be broken down into smaller, manageable tasks making them easier to achieve, and your progress more obvious. Downloading the goal setting miracle question is a good way of seeing how having goals can really help.
Here’s an exercise for you to try. Think of something you’d like to achieve and break it down into small tasks.
Plan to complete each task by asking yourself the following questions:
- What is my task?
- When will I do this? (this is useful for achieving your overall goal)
- What might stop me doing this?
- How can I overcome this?
Afterwards, think about how well each task went:
- What went well?
- What didn’t go so well?
- What have you learned from this?
- The NHS has some easy time-management tips which could help you to keep on top of things
- Getting a job and going out to work can be a challenge if you are struggling. But it could also help to boost your mental wellbeing because it can allow you to meet goals, build your confidence and connect with other people. The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) has a helpful guide on how to be mentally healthy at work
- Education can be a positive way to take your next steps in life and open up new opportunities. It can also bring additional stress and might feel like one more responsibility to juggle, so you could look at the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) guide on looking after your mental health while studying