Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.
Skip to main content

Setting SMART Goals: Easing the Pressure of Expectations

Entering a new year can give us all a much needed opportunity to reflect on our wants and needs, in order to set health, professional or interpersonal goals. This is because the sense of renewal that accompanies the idea of time restarting, can encourage a desire to evaluate our feelings of accomplishment. 

Although setting goals is a necessary part of growth, pressure to meet unrealistic expectations can sometimes overpower initial feelings of hope & inspiration. When this happens, we can become stuck in an unwanted cycle of disappointment. 

The SMART Goals acronym is a mental tool for evaluating our expectations, to prevent feelings of disappointment and to maintain motivation. The acronym stands for five qualities our goals should have, that increase the likelihood for future success: 

S - Specific 

M - Measurable 

A - Achievable

R - Relevant

T - Time Bound

SMART Goals can help you become closer to realizing your capabilities but at the end of the day it is important to approach goal setting with self-compassion, kindness, and flexibility. Every person has a different timeline that works well for them - and that’s okay. Regardless of whether or not you accomplish all of your goals, you should feel proud of yourself for everything you have already done to take care of yourself & your well-being.

Author
Siena Vaccara, LMHC Siena Vaccara received her master’s in Mental Health & Psychological Counseling from Columbia University. Siena believes in encouraging personal growth through education, cultural awareness, and building trusting relationships. She utilizes Feminist and Narrative treatment plans, as well as Cognitive Behavioral and Person-Centered techniques in session to incorporate an integrative psychotherapy approach that honors the unique needs of individuals. She understands the importance of the collaborative therapeutic space being non-judgemental, unbiased, open-minded, and strength-driven. Siena treats individuals with concerns ranging from personal transitions to family planning, identity, mood fluctuations, and stressful life events.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Intrusive Thoughts: What Are They? When Should I Seek Help?

Intrusive Thoughts are sudden, distressing thoughts that occur during stress, such as violent or inappropriate actions. Seeking help is advisable if these thoughts significantly impact daily life. Therapists can provide support to manage them effectively.

Reframing Anxious Thoughts: Catching Cognitive Distortions

Recognizing and addressing cognitive distortions is a crucial step in fostering emotional well-being. Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and practice, we can challenge and reframe negative thought patterns, leading to more balanced responses.

Dialectics In Therapy: The Coexistence of Opposite Truths

Navigating adversity involves embracing dialectics simultaneous coexistence of opposing thoughts or feelings. By integrating these opposites using "AND," individuals foster self-compassion and personal growth. This process, as guided by Carl Jung's insight