Setting and trying to accomplish goals can be daunting, let alone seem unrealistic for PTSD survivors.
Mainly because we tend to overthink (about everything) and end up getting over-stimulated. However, just because we are PTSD survivors doesn’t mean that we can’t successfully set goals. Better yet, achieve them. Not to mention, probably better than those who don’t have PTSD or CPTSD. Why? Because PTSD brains have been rewired to think of every angle. Including, every angle. Pretty awesome right?! Most people go to college for 12 years to obtain a PHD so they can learn how to think like we do!
Here are 7 tried, true, and easy steps for PTSD survivors to take. By the same token, making your dreams a reality. If you haven’t come up with a new year’s resolution or list of goals that’s totally okay. In fact, you can use these ideas to assist in coming up with a goal or two.
PTSD Survivors Selecting a Goal to Focus On
Brain storming dreams and changes most important to you is the first place to begin. Most importantly, this applies to all aspects of your life. For example, think about what you desire spiritually, professionally, and physically. Then, ponder the different roles you have. Like, being a Mother or Father, a Spouse, and yes, PTSD survivors. Additionally, education, creative abilities, connecting with others, community service, and the list goes on. Don’t worry, you won’t make 100 new goals for the year. Simply, use these topics to narrow down everything so that you can accomplish goals.
Think of each topic as a category. Using a separate sheet of paper for each category, describe what you would like to change or improve. These topics will become your master list of goals to work from throughout the year. Or even over a few years. In fact, after you make your master list, prioritize each goal from most significant to least urgent. After you have prioritized your list turn them into what’s known as “SMART” goals.
Survivors Accomplishing Goals the SMART Way
Specific–Goals need to be as specific as possible. Goals should incclude who, what, where, when, why and how. Instead of saying, “I want to gain more control over my PTSD symptoms,” try for a specific goal such as I will cut the severity and frequency of my PTSD symptoms in half by Summer.”
Measurable — Goals must be measurable. This way, you will be aware of your progress. For instance, “I’m going to enrich my marriage with three unbridled acts of love each week” is much more measurable than, “I’m going to enrich my marriage.”
Attainable — If you want to accomplish goals, they must be realistic. And, each goal should be something that you believe you can accomplish.
Relevant — Goals should be relevant to you and your current life situation. Does it fit with your personality? Is this something you should be doing now or later? Would doing this add to your life in a positive way?
Time-bound — Setting a deadline to accomplish goals. This is crucial to successfully turning your dreams into a reality. Additionally, setting milestones along the your time-line allows you to keep your goals measurable. Having time-bound goals helps you monitor and assess your progress. Instead of stating, “I want to learn new grounding techniques,” try saying “I will learn 5 new grounding techniques in 90 days.”
How to Accomplish Goals as PTSD Survivors
Follow these steps to accomplish goals you are setting for yourself.
- Start with just one goal. If you set more than one, you most likely will fall off track. Significantly, if you set several to tackle from the get go.
- Create your activity plan that will lead you to accomplish goals. Think of this plan of action as your GPS map. Essentially, giving you step-by-step directions to your destination. Break down what’s needed to reach your goal. Then break down each thing necessary even further. For example, let’s say your goal is to create a stronger bond with your children. Research what activities and behaviors are needed pertaining to your child’s age. Then, schedule these activities on your calendar. And, implement new behaviors each month. Like, reading a bedtime story with your kiddo before bed. Or, taking them to the park and being “in the moment” – no phones or devices. Just your undivided attention.
- Set your deadline and mark it on your calendar. Be honest with yourself about how long it may actually take you to accomplish goals. Depending on your goal of course.
- Create a monthly list of tasks that will bring you closer achieving your goal. (This goes along with breaking down your goals. But, writing them down and scheduling each task in your calendar does wonderful things for a PTSD survivors brain. Visually seeing tasks getting crossed off your list will motivate you to keep working hard.
- Determine milestones ahead of time. For instance, if your goal is to save $5,000 a milestone could be reaching $1,000. The next milestone could then be $2,000 and so on. Doing so helps you measure your progress and how close you are. Additionally, if any adjustments are needed to accomplish goals.
- Lastly, keep your goal on the front of your mind. One way to do this is to create a dream board. Another way is to type up your goal in large letters, print it out, and display it somewhere you will see it each morning and night.
Share Your Goal with Us – Fellow PTSD Survivors
Post on our Facebook page or leave a comment here listing your goal. It’s nice to share and connect with other PTSD survivors. In the same fashion, the support system will lead you to accomplish goals!
If you find yourself stressing out, watch this brief video on what can be used in a PTSD stress survival kit. Everyone will benefit from this. Including the unsung heroes – the spouses supporting their partner with PTSD.
I invite you to read a couple of other valuable articles that you will benefit from. Most importantly, help through your journey of PTSD survivors recovery.
If you found any of this information helpful, please share this on your Facebook and Pinterest pages, or simply forward this article to a friend who would also appreciate setting goals. Over all, I am thankful that you found our website and we’re here if you have any questions or need genuine unbridled support.