How Does Proper Goal Setting Aid In The Grieving Process?

By: Tom Gallagher
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Setting proper goals is an important step in all aspects of life. They help keep us focused and organized when it comes to tackling any obstacle life throws our way. This is why setting goals is an incredibly important part of overcoming grief. Indeed, goals are a fundamental aspect of the entire grieving process. Understanding how these goals can help you navigate these uncharted waters will help you come to terms with your grief and, ultimately, help you get back to normal. Grief is a powerful emotion and requires attention and dedication if you wish to push through. With this in mind, we have endeavoured to set out a road map to help make the process a little less daunting. We are here to help and take your concerns very seriously. If you or someone you know is experiencing any symptoms of compounded grief, it is important to seek out help as you should never have to walk that path alone.

 

Choosing Your Goals

When it comes to setting goals, your first step is choosing the right ones. One factor to keep in mind is that you will want to ensure that they are attainable in the first place. Nothing can be more frustrating than setting out on an epic task only to fall short due to any number of reasons. Setting daily goals is also a perfect way to start. Small, easily reached goals that you set for yourself either the night before or that morning, helps give you a renewed sense of purpose. Focusing on the little tasks, one by one, also helps keep your mind off those things that are troubling you. We don’t suggest that you put them out of your mind altogether, but sometimes a little distraction can be a good thing, especially if your emotions are overwhelming to the the point of being potentially debilitating. Furthermore, achieving these goal will lend a sense of accomplishment that is intended to drive out those pesky, negative emotions and help you see things more clearly. On top of daily tasks, weekly or even monthly goals are also encouraged. Again, you want them to be attainable, but you also want to make them challenging. Too simple and your goals are achieved too quickly, with very little positive emotion to properly counteract the negative ones. These tasks can range from the mundane to advanced and should force you to step out of your regular comfort zone. Activities that you’ve been putting off for a long time or always wanted to attempt are perfect choices here. 

 

Positive Benefits

As previously mentioned, the effects of setting and reaching your goals can be incredibly positive if undertaken properly. Laying out a plan of attack and achieving your goals will bring a sense of well-being and lift you mood. Even if this lift isn’t altogether noticeable, if you keep at it you will eventually end up feeling much better about yourself. Additionally, undertaking these tasks helps to kick us into action instead of remaining sedentary, as one is usually wont to do when confronted with loss. Finding new achievements to be proud of will help you focus on more positive aspects of life and ease the pain that you may currently be eeling. 

 

Studies have shown time and time again that setting, maintaining, and achieving your set goals will have an overwhelmingly positive effect on all aspects of your life. If your goals involve more activity than usual, such as getting in shape to reach a new personal best for a 5k run for example, the extra kick of endorphins you receive will absolutely help you come to terms with whatever’s troubling you much sooner than you would if remaining at rest. On top of all this, having a defined path to follow can also help you feel more grounded in the long run. Without a proper sense of direction, which is known to be tricky during times of extreme grief, you will feel more uneasy and depressed. Paving new ground or reestablishing your purpose ensures that these feelings with pass without too much bother. 

 

Maintain A Checklist

When it comes to maintaining your goals, it is best to write them down. This way you can refer back to your list for a refresher if needed. You also don’t have to worry about forgetting something important. Grief can affect memory in ways that we sometimes don’t understand. Realizing that you missed a goal because you forgot about it or even the stress of trying to remember that one, last goal that has escaped your memory can be detrimental to the healing process. You also don’t want to waste time merely remembering what goals you set instead of actually accomplishing them. This is why writing your goals down and updating them at regular intervals is paramount. Writing also has the added benefit of helping to solidify thoughts in our memory, which helps ensure you won’t forget them in the first place. Taking the time every day to look over your list, with a weekly aim of updating and maintaining it, will help ensure that you are best able to overcome your grief.

 

When it comes down to it, the practice of setting and achieving goals is extremely important when it comes to shaking off grief and depression. We highly recommend you adopt this practice, but do stress that the guidelines laid out here are just that. You should use them to adopt a practice that works best for you, as everyone is unique and we all respond differently when coping with a loss. If you require any further information or need anything else at all, please reach out to us at Thomas Gallagher. We will be happy to provide any further advice or answer any questions you may have.

 

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