I often talk to my clients about the importance of progress. I emphasise that while therapy is a safe place to process and reflect, it is also a place to think about change. A place to set goals and targets, and place to work towards making things happen.
I am a big believer in the need for progress and regularly review the work that my clients and I are doing together. I take the time to look back at how far they have come, and I focus on where they want to be. We are constantly making progress, constantly evolving and thinking about where we are going in therapy. If clients start to feel stuck then It is our job as therapists to help them to work out why they feel that way. And to then help things to shift.
So think about that for a moment.
Where are you at in your life currently??
How do you feel in your life currently?
Think about the words that resonate the most with you right now? Which of these stood out to you the most? Which of them instantly spoke to you?
Then think about the main areas of your life.
- Your personal life – romantic relationships, friendships, family dynamics – where are they all at currently?
- Your professional life- career, sense of purpose, academic achievement, job satisfaction – where are these things at currently?
- Your health and wellbeing – fitness, lifestyle, eating, drinking , work life balance – where are these things currently?
- Financially – your bills, savings, expenditure, holidays, balance, future goals – where are these things all currently at?
Take some time to think about each of these areas and where you are at with them all. If you had to rate them on a scale of 1 – 10. With 10 being the most satisfied – how would each area score. Is there one area that need more attention right now? Is there one area that you feel you are thriving in at the moment? Take some time. Think about the words I listed above. When it comes to each of these key areas do any of these words feel right? Perhaps you have some more of your own to add.
They key now is thinking about where you want to be. Some areas for you may not need addressing or change, but others probably do. Think about those ones. Where would you like to see yourself professionally for example? Where do you imagine you will be in a years’ time in terms of your career? Where would you like to be?
Do this for each of the key areas. Goals are so important to set and work towards. But once we actually make a plan, we begin achieving them. A set of actions will help you to get closer towards that final place.
Take health and well being for example. The goal could be to feel fitter and healthier. To have more energy or to stop a destructive behaviour for example – such as smoking or drinking to excess. To reach these goals there must be a plan. A clear set of actions to get there – and in addition to that there must be a new way of being carved out. A different lifestyle. Alternative ways of being that feel more fulfilling all round.
Progress is made when we set our minds to something. After all, if we believe then we can achieve.
But to get to that place we need to be able to identify the areas that we would like to work on. We need to be able to see the parts of our life that we don’t feel very happy or satisfied with. We then need to address those areas but outlining certain steps that we can take to work towards our end goal.
Change isn’t easy at all. At first it can be quite scary and at times overwhelming. Often as the process of change happens, people can feel confused, scared and sometimes as though they simply can’t do something.
However, once they commit to the process, once they follow the steps that they have outlined themselves – in turn they then begin to feel better about who they are and how their life is. There is a sense of empowerment that takes place. A feeling of achievement and fulfilment. In the end change can be a very beautiful thing.