Hope underlies the confidence you have in your abilities and the trust in what you deserve. It keeps catastrophic and pessimistic thoughts at bay, enabling you to believe things will turn out for the best. Hope prevents you from thinking that the worst will happen and shines a light on your darkest days.
Before you set a new goal and create a plan to get there, you must first pave a path to hope.
Be Prepared for Setbacks
Be prepared for the possibility of life not following your plan just because you do. A quote from Eckhart Tolle reads, “Whatever the present moment contains, always accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it”. So, whenever you make a plan, make a plan B and C. Employ hope at any time necessary so that you can move forward no matter what.
Understand that everyone experiences difficulties and setbacks. Using these as motivation and lessons separates those who keep going and succeed from those who do not.
Accept your Losses
Hope is a powerful motivator, simply because we cannot get very far without it. Life is a continuous series of ups and downs, but there wouldn’t be much reason or force to get back up each time if we didn’t have hope.
The way goals work is no different. When working toward goals, you are likely to experience as many losses as you do wins. But as long as you have hope, you can accept this truth and move forward from your setbacks.
Make a Plan
To reach a goal, you must always make and follow a plan. Nobody gets to set a GPS in their care and just hope that they get there. Whatever your goal or destination, developing and taking actionable steps is necessary to get there. This is why our clients work on a post-treatment plan throughout their stay until they leave our programs at SCHC and GSWC. Especially for those with addiction and mental health issues, what they do once they leave the short-term, protective bubble of treatment is crucial to their well-being.
Plan with Purpose
Everyone struggles to bring their ideas to fruition or see them through to completion – including you. Yet you have the resources and courage to cultivate hope and push for the change you desire.
You may have learned how to support yourself through life’s ups and downs. However, goal setting presents a challenge by taking this concept one step further. Not only do you need to be able to support yourself, but you need to create a plan that supports you.
You need a system that encourages consistency, which means writing down your steps strategically and with purpose. Be aware of your setbacks and positive attributes but follow a system that holds you accountable for using both to your advantage.
Be Where You Are
You’ve heard somewhere before that you are your biggest critic. Be mindful of how self-critical thoughts and judgments try to seep their way into your process. Remember what Tolle said – work with the present moment and not against it.
Whenever you catch yourself thinking that you should be somewhere other than where you are, remember that your goals and hopes are bigger than your uncertainty.