Talking Mental Health: Next steps

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It’s often relatively easy to start working on a goal. The most difficult part however is sticking with it when things get tough. How can we maintain our focus and motivation, and keep from feeling too overwhelmed?

One way is to focus on one thing at a time. Undertaking too many goals or changes can overtax your ability to manage. Try one change towards your goal. Once that is well underway you can consider the next step. You should also consider potential obstacles and plan for them.

Think about what works best for you and base your plan on that knowledge. Another idea is to commit to a change for an entire month and then reassess. This amount of time will give you valuable information that you can use to help you move forward.

If things are working well, keep moving ahead; if not, you may need to refine your goal or the steps you are taking to reach it. Sharing your goal with others also helps to keep you accountable. Change is hard and part of that is the fear of failure. In order to face those fears, it’s important to think about what you’re afraid of and assess how realistic those fears are. Ask friends, family or someone you respect for advice.

Never think you have to figure things out all on your own. Sometimes things don’t go according to plan and you end up feeling like you failed. Remember that there is a lot to be learned from failure.

It hones your focus and helps you prioritize aspects of your life; you get a clear sense what needs your attention and what is most important to you. Failure also reminds us that roadblocks are normal and every time you overcome them successfully, you learn valuable lessons.

Many successful people credit their perseverance in the face of failure for their future success. So how do you keep moving forward when you just want to give up? Try to remember that working toward a goal is just as important as the goal itself. Setbacks and missteps are a normal part of the process, and you can’t give up.

You just need to figure out what went wrong, revise your plan and start again. Don’t beat yourself up, stand strong and forgive yourself. We all make mistakes and we all fail. When you learn something that helps you move ahead, it isn’t really a failure at all.
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