The arrival of a new year goes hand-in-hand with setting goals or resolutions. Unfortunately, many of these are often abandoned within a couple of months. If done wisely, goal-setting can be a great opportunity to channel any stress into a positive motivator towards making much needed changes or rising to the challenge.
However, making the most of stress before it tips us into distress is dependent on us knowing where to draw the line between positive and negative stress. So, if in doubt, stop. Your life is worth more than whatever may be your current stressors.
Here are some ideas to help you set wise goals for the year ahead without jeopardising your wellbeing:
Be utterly realistic
This does not imply underachievement. It's far better to accomplish goals than set such high targets that you're bound to fail.
Make sure they are motivating
If you are not inspired by your goals, then don’t expect yourself to commit to them.
Utilise the sense of urgency
In setting your goals, use the impetus and drive that the positive stress is giving you.
Try to be as clear as you can about what you are seeking to achieve and set time limits.
Ensure they are measurable
Create goals that have definable end points so that it is clear when you have achieved them.
Write them down
This helps to clarify your intention, so find a way to record your goals in a way that works for you.
Rework as you go along
Reflect on goals achieved and goals yet to be achieved. Ditch any that no longer serve you.
Adopt a habit
Use this method of crafting and recording goals to refine your direction each day.
*This is an edited extract from A Practical Guide to Teacher Wellbeing by Elizabeth Holmes.