Goal Setting
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC
Executive Director, AllCEUs
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox, Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery

Objectives
~ Identify the purpose of setting goals
~ Learn about SMART goals and how to set them
~ Explore ways to identify their goals
~ Identify the 7 most common pitfalls in goal setting, and how to prevent them
~ Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Why Do I Care
~ Goal setting is an integral part of behavior change
~ Goal setting is something everyone does every day
~ Ineffective goals can have a negative impact on self esteem
~ Ineffective goals can make people mistakenly think they are helpless to change anything.
Activity
~ Identifying pitfalls in goal setting
~ Prepare an authentic Italian meal.
~ Learn what an authentic Italian meal consists of
~ Decide what is going to be in YOUR meal
~ Learn about how to prepare that meal
~ Identify what ingredients you need for that meal (and get what you don’t have)
~ Do you do everything at the same time? (Hint: No, the sauce is made first so the seasonings can blend)
SMART Goals
~ Specific
~ Measurable
~ Achievable
~ Realistic
~ Time Limited

~ Think about the last goal you set that was successful…
~ Think about the last goal you set that was unsuccessful.
~ What is the difference between the two?
~ SMART?
~ Motivation?

Goals—The Beginning
~ Goals (WHY)þ
~ Goals are the overarching reason a person begins to do something.
~ Often goals are broad and abstract. “I want to be healthier.” “I want to be happy.”
~ Goals need to be broken down into manageable, meaningful, observable objectives.
~ Phrase goals as adding a positive instead of removing a negative.
Start With Problem Definition
~ How is the problem evidenced in the client?
~ How is the problem affecting the client’s overall functioning?
~ What is the client’s perception of the problem?
~ What are the client’s strengths?
Goal Development
~ What is the broad goal for resolution of the problem?
~ What is the absence of the problem?
~ How will your best friend know when you have achieved your goal?

Miracle Question
~ One way to elicit goals is through the miracle question:
~ If you woke up tomorrow and you were _____ (i.e. your problem was resolved/goal was achieved) what would be different?
~ This gives you insight into the symptoms/definition of the problem and motivations for change.
Specific
~ Overall Goal for Treatment
~ What is the problem?
~ Example: Depression
~ How will you know when the problem is resolved?
~ Emotionally, I won’t feel as hopeless and helpless. I wont dread getting out of bed.
~ Mentally, I won’t be so foggy headed and will be able to concentrate
~ Physically, I will have more energy and lose some weight
~ Socially, I will enjoy spending time with friends

Specific
~ Subgoals
~ Main Issue
~ Learn about the overall problem (Depression)
~ Learn about your symptoms/causes/triggers of the problem
~ Identify ways to address your specific symptoms/causes/triggers
~ I won’t dread getting out of bed each day
~ Reframed– I will be happy to wake up and face the day
~ Identify causes of dread for you and interventions
~ I will have more energy
~ Learn about causes of fatigue and low energy
~ Identify potential causes of your fatigue and low energy

Example
~ State the problem: I am depressed (This is the overall problem).
~ SYMPTOMS of the problem:
~ Fatigue (Problem 1)
~ The following BEHAVIORS/FEELINGS/THOUGHTS are causing or triggering my problem
~ Problem 1a: Not sleeping well and not getting out of bed
~ Problem 1b: Not eating well
~ Problem 1c: Feeling anxious or angry a lot because I am surrounded by negative people
~ Overeating
~ The following BEHAVIORS/FEELINGS/THOUGHTS are causing or triggering my problem
~ Problem 2a: Eating out of boredom or stress
~ Problem 2b: Eating because my stomach hurts and I want to feel better
~ Problem 2c: Eating out of habit
Example
~ The ultimate goal is to be happy
~ I will know when I have achieved this goal because, at least 5 out of every 7 days:
~ Emotionally I will feel…happy, content
~ Mentally I will be…able to concentrate, more creative and more productive
~ Physically I will…have energy, not feel so achy, be in better shape because I will have the energy to take care of myself
~ My relationships will…improve because I will be able to enjoy spending time with people and they will not be angry with me all the time anymore.

Measurable (Baseline)
~ Frequency (#/time)
~ Number of times per day or week
~ i.e. Number of laughing episodes/day
~ i.e. Number of times I wanted to stress eat but chose something else
~ i.e. Number of glasses of water consumed/day
~ Duration (How long)
~ How many hours today did you feel content or happy?
~ How long did you sleep
~ Intensity
~ How good was it? Likert (1-mild; 2-moderate; 3-intense; 4-exhilerating)

Measurable (Goals)
~ Frequency (#/time)
~ Number of times per day or week
~ i.e. Number of crying episodes/day
~ i.e. Number of eating episodes NOT due to hunger/day
~ i.e. Number of glasses of water consumed/day
~ i.e. Number of wake-ups/night
~ Duration (How long)
~ Crying
~ Eating
~ Sleeping (How long were you awake)
~ Intensity
~ How bad was it? Likert (1-mild; 2-moderate; 3-intense; 4-excruciating)
~ Number of calories per binge

Recommendation
~ When trying to change, aim to increase a positive behavior
~ Instead of crying  laugh
~ Instead of stress eating  crochet
~ Instead of measuring how sad you feel, measure how happy you feel
~ Positive behaviors serve roughly the same function and are incompatible with the behavior you are trying to eliminate.
~ Keep it simple! Only choose one or two things to measure.
Measurable
~ Main Issue: Depression
~ Record overall mood each day: Likert scale 1-can’t go on, 2-okay, 3-pretty good, 4-Awesome
~ Symptom: I dread getting out of bed each day (Cause of dread—Hated job)
~ Likert scale 1-can’t go on, 2-okay, 3-pretty good, 4-Awesome
~ Symptom: I am exhausted—(Cause of low energy– poor sleep)
~ Record hours slept; number of awakenings; quality of sleep

Activity: Observable and Measurable
~ Write each of the following “goals” on a piece of paper:
~ Lose weight
~ Get in shape
~ Feel better about myself
~ Be happier
~ Identify at least 2 ways for each goal that identifies goal achievement. “How will you know when you are/have _____”
~ How would you measure each of those?
Achievable, Realistic, Time-Limited
~ Rome was not built in a day
~ Built on prior strengths and individualized
~ Something you are motivated and able to change
~ Weekly goals; Daily goals; Hourly goals (Starting)

The Hook, A.K.A. The 5 Ws
~ Who is responsible for doing What, When, Where, Why and How
~ This is your action plan or map
~ Who
~ What are you responsible for doing, when and where
~ Why are you doing it
~ How is it helping you meet your ultimate goal

Example
~ Main Issue (8/1/2016-9/5/2016)
~ I will learn about the overall problem of depression by reading one chapter of XYZ Book and the handouts provided by Dr. Snipes each week for 5 weeks.
~ I will learn about my symptoms/causes/triggers of the problem by taking notes on what sounds like me as I read the book and handouts about depression. I will review my notes each week.
~ For each symptom I have, I will create an action plan to learn about its causes and interventions and develop a plan of action.
~ Each morning and evening, I will do a mindfulness scan and rate, on a scale from 1-4, my happiness and explain my response. I will review this log each Friday to identify patterns and trends.

Example
~ Symptom: Fatigue (8/1/2016-9/5/2016)
~ I will learn about the symptom of fatigue by reading one chapter handouts on docsnipes.com each week for 5 weeks.
~ I will learn about my causes/triggers of fatigue by taking notes on what sounds like me as I read the handouts. I will review my notes each week.
~ I will identify ways to address my fatigue causes/triggers by reviewing handouts on DocSnipes.com
~ Each morning and evening, I will rate, on a scale from 1-4 my fatigue and explain my response. I will review this log each Friday to identify patterns and trends.

Writing the Plan
~ Goals are:
~ Meaningful
~ Specific and Observable
~ Measurable
~ Realistic
~ Supported by sub-goals
~ Use the KSA progression
~ Address the reasons for NOT changing

Motivational Exercise
~ Decisional Balance

~ Completed on each unique behavior and repeated often
~ Can be useful in addressing “resistance”

Pitfalls
~ Failing to consider why currently do (or do not) engage in certain behaviors
~ Setting goals that are too big
~ Setting goals that are too hard
~ Setting too many goals
~ Setting goals without sufficient rewards
~ Setting goals that are too specific
~ Failing to individualize to the patient’s temperament
Activity
~ Pick one of the goals below.
~ Goals
~ Rebuild a car
~ Teach an anger management class
~ Cook a 5 course meal
~ Develop an action plan for accomplishing it.
Activity Scoring
~ Did you identify subgoals?
~ Were subgoals observable, measurable and realistic
~ Did you identify reasons someone would be motivated to put forth the effort to achieve this goal?
~ Did you make sure you had the knowledge, then practice the skills before you launched into the real thing?

Summary
~ Good goals are SMART
~ You can measure intensity or quality with an anchored Likert scale
~ Make sure the behaviors you are trying to change actually will help you achieve the goal you are setting
~ Goals should follow the KSA progression
~ Subgoals need to be small and reinforcement should be frequent
~ If motivation wanes revisit the decisional balance exercise

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