Addressing weaknesses is hard…for everyone. It takes courage to talk about social communication. I don’t have any friends. I don’t know what to say when people ask me questions. People don’t seem to understand my point. I hate humor.
As the year winds to an end, many of my sessions are filled with reflection and strength-based goal setting. It’s a celebration to look back on skills, that may have previously insurmountable, that clients are now using independently. Be your own biggest cheerleader. If you’re a parent, take time to brag about your kid – in front of your kid.
Next step, consider the tools allowed you/your child to move forward with their goals. Talk about them. Was it their ability to practice? visual mind? memory? courage? flexibility? Create a list. It’s these strengths that will pave the way to future success.
Now it’s time consider what you would like to work on in the future? Sometimes it’s helpful to break things into short-term goals and long-terms goals. Generally, it’s easier to feel and measure progress on short-term goals. For each person these goals will vary. They may sound something like, start conversations with new people, or, learn how to better read sarcasm. Reflect on strengths, and consider how they may help you achieve your goal. For example, those who are gifted with courage, usually are able to put themselves in more practice situations.
Last, it’s time to create a plan. How will you know when a goal is reached? Exactly how are you going to remember to work on it? Maintain motivation? Be specific, and don’t be afraid to create some incentives. Put that puppy (goal) in your cell phone! Pair it with daily reminders when you anticipate you’ll have time to dedicate toward your goal.
Steps to remember:
- Identify strengths
- Imagine new goals!
- Create a specific plan to achieve your goal
- Check-in, modify strategies, keep working!
Goals are not meant to be easy, but it’s essential that we instill in ourselves and our children that challenges are worth working toward. It is rare that goals are met quickly or without obstacles. If you are a parent, narrate your work toward your goals out loud. Demonstrate flexibility – and make a point to talk about how you will revise a plan and chug forward.
If you have questions about how social communication and strength-based goal setting can help you reach your social targets, please contact me.