The study of 18 years conducted in the American Psychological Association (APA) in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology found that those who had a good time following through with goals, or became better at sticking to their goals as time went on, were healthier than those who weren’t. A positive outlook on the goals is also beneficial and, most importantly , being in controlover these goals was not.
“Perseverance can create a sense determination that may build resilience to, or reduce the severity of depression and generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder” stated lead researcher Nur Zinal Hani, MS at Pennsylvania State University. “Looking at the positive aspects of unfortunate circumstances can have similar effects because people believe that life is relevant, understandable and easy to manage.”
“Our research suggests that people can enhance their mental health by achieving or maintaining the levels of tenacity, determination, and optimism,” Zainal said in the press release. “Aspiring toward career and personal goals can help people feel that their lives are meaningful. However being disengaged from pursuing these goals or having an unmotivated attitude could result in the highest mental health cost.”
“Clinicians can assist clients recognize the destructive cycle created by abandoning goals for personal and professional development,” said Zainal. “Giving up can provide an emotional boost for a short time, but could increase the chance of disappointment when regret and discontent begin to take hold. Enhancing the patient’s optimism and resilience by agreeing to specific actions to ensure dreams are brought to fruition, regardless of difficulties, can result in positive emotions and a sense of direction.”
It’s not always feasible Certain kinds of privilege could be an issue or life simply isn’t always easy -however, being able to overcome setbacks was linked with a decreased risk of experiencing these mental health problems. If defining your goals for the future can be difficult, especially when you’ve been struggling with anxiety or depression for some time there are tools that could help. The process of learning how to determine your goals and then tracking the steps to reach these goals, and staying on track with your goals are abilities that anyone can master according Zen Habits. Set goals that you want to achieve that are important to you, and create the steps that will assist you in achieving them. By breaking them down into more pieces will make the process appear easier to manage — and will give you a solid base in case you ever have to make a change.
You don’t have to have your entire life all figured out at this point. Try new things, explore your options and establish some reasonable goals to begin. Engaging with a counselor can help you gain clarity in regards to what you wish to experienceand also the best way to overcome any obstacles that stand between you and your goals. If you are committed to the achievement of small, achievable targets in the short term, your long-term desires will become more apparent to you. If you’re able to practice you’ll be able to put a plan in place to help make these dreams a reality in the future.