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Goal suggestions for Skodel's nine areas

Goal suggestions for Skodel's nine areas

Below is a list of goals for you to consider adding to your wellbeing plan. Further down the page, goals are explained and aligned to the different areas in Skodel’s wellbeing plan. If you want tips to create your own goals, click here.

  1. Focus on processes, not on outcomes
  2. Be comfortable saying no to people
  3. Stop comparing myself to others
  4. Compare myself to who I was yesterday
  5. Accept that I cannot impress everyone
  6. Make friends with people who want the best for me
  7. Say things that make me strong
  8. Follow my own expectations, not the expectations of others
  9. Accept imperfection
  10. Accept bad days
  11. Address problems early
  12. Accept compliments graciously
  13. Establish and maintain rituals with friends and family
  14. Be a really good listener
  15. Make friends with people I know
  16. Say hi to people I know
  17. Be more open to sharing vulnerabilities
  18. Call people by their name
  19. Forgive people
  20. Apologise
  21. Maintain connection with friends and family
  22. See the good in people
  23. Be more accepting of other people’s differences (opinions, habits, behaviours)
  24. Reflect on my feelings once a fortnight
  25. Before arguing, define what the argument is about and where the difference lies
  26. Confront what makes me anxious
  27. Limit the number of notifications on my phone
  28. Work really hard at one thing for a long time
  29. Plan my working day each morning
  30. Stay single task focused
  31. Exercise at least three times a week
  32. Reject temptation at least once a day
  33. Nominate days for ‘cheat meals’
  34. Stretch for 20 minutes three times a week
  35. Pick a particular achievement goal and work towards that e.g. 2 minutes for 800m
  36. Spend more time with positive people
  37. Spend time doing nothing
  38. Focus on the seven types of rest
  39. Turn off my phone after (insert reasonable time)
  40. Take breaks during the working day
  41. Explore nature
  42. Find meaning in the tasks I carry out
  43. Find joy in everything I do
  44. Believe I am a lucky person
  45. Enjoy the weather, whatever it is
  46. Be more curious
  47. Appreciate a dog, cat or other animal when I encounter them
  48. Be the person people turn to during tough times
  49. Support friends (and others) who are trying to achieve goals
  50. Be there for others
  51. Do one good deed each week for someone else
  52. Write positive and uplifting comments on social media
  53. Be willing to make mistakes
  54. Analyse the deeper meaning of movies, books and music
  55. Read books written by great writers
  56. Develop my writing skills
  57. Believe that the person I am speaking to has something important to teach me
  58. Listen to people who have a different opinion to mine
  59. When debating, strengthen the argument of the person I am debating with
  60. Spend more time in the land of uncertainty
  61. Challenge myself so I am not constantly in my comfort zone
  62. Distinguish between what is true and what I want to be true
  63. Do the things I say I will do

Looking after yourself

  • Focus on processes, not on outcomes - lots of anxiety is thinking about how future events will turn out. Will I pass the test, will they like me… these are questions we don’t know the answer to. Narrow your focus to what you can control.
  • Be comfortable saying no when it is what I want - we can become resentful if we spend too much time pleasing others.
  • Stop comparing myself to others - the comparisons we make are not fair to our achievements and strengths. We are often much more similar to those around us than we think yet undue criticism is placed on us because we are more aware of our inner flaws than we are of those around us.
  • Compare myself to who I was yesterday - a healthy form of comparison is to compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Identify areas of your life that you have made progress in.
  • Accept that I cannot impress everyone - not everyone is going to like what you do and there are times where we exert too much energy trying to prevent this from happening in our lives. It is particularly important to know that if you are going to pursue something lofty, people will judge you and some of these judgments won’t be kind.
  • Make friends with people who want the best for me - surrounding yourself with supportive friends is a good form of defence against threats to your wellbeing.
  • Say things that make me strong - language is important as we start to believe what we tell ourselves. If we constantly put ourselves down, we will believe it is true. Turn a “I am not good at” into a “I am working on”, “getting better at”… etc.
  • Follow my own expectations and dreams, not the expectations of others - fulfilling the expectations and dreams of others can weigh heavily on our shoulders. We can become bitter and resentful.
  • Accept imperfection - part of being human is to make mistakes, feel like we’ve let people down and be full of regrets. Perfection is beyond us and acceptance of that eliminates unnecessary stress related to trying to achieve it.
  • Accept bad days - it is unfair on ourselves to expect a life of non-stop joy and happiness. Life is challenging.
  • Address problems early - problems unaddressed can escalate. It is wise to deal with small problems as soon as you can or else they could grow to become much bigger challenges to overcome.
  • Accept compliments graciously - in an effort to be humble we can shy away from receiving a compliment. This can send a message that we aren’t worthy of a compliment. We should humbly accept compliments and feel worthy of them.

Connection (friends, family, relationship)

  • Establish and maintain rituals with friends and family - Friday night is movie night, on Sunday we walk together… rituals provide routine and give us something to look forward to with those closest to us
  • Be a really good listener - when speaking with friends and family avoid scrolling through the phone, reading messages and sending messages. Stop, talk, ask questions, listen and be present in the moment.
  • Make friends with people I know - parents, teachers, friends, everyone! One of the ways of reducing your stress levels is to set out to have as many positive friendships as you can.
  • Say hi to people I know - we all remember those people that go out of their way to say hi to us, remember us and ask us how we are doing.
  • Be more open to sharing vulnerabilities - vulnerabilities are the bedrock of strong friendships… we connect with those who we do not see as perfect because imperfection is more relatable.
  • Call people by their name - most people feel liked and reassured when someone calls them by their name. Aim to use their name at least twice in a conversation, once when you meet them and once when you say goodbye.
  • Forgive people - good friends aren't easy to come by and they shouldn’t be treated as expendable. When you forgive someone the person who benefits most is you.
  • Apologise - making an apology can fix a friendship. If you feel you have hurt or upset someone even if you didn’t mean to do it, apologise. An apology starts with “I” and does not include the word “but”. Even if your apology doesn’t fix the friendship you will feel better.
  • Maintain connection with friends and family - we should make time to reach out to old connections and check in with them. Find out how their life is going. Make sure friends don’t drift away with such ease.
  • See the good in people - the annoying traits in people can seem to stick out at times, which makes us want to avoid them. To correct this, identify the good in others and how they can add more joy to your life.

Calmness

  • Be more accepting of other people’s differences (opinions, habits, behaviours) - work hard to understand the differences of others rather than letting them frustrate you. Understanding brings peace and calmness.
  • Reflect on my feelings once a fortnight - feelings are signposts to help us understand ourselves. Recognising this allows us to remain emotionally balanced. We can use each feeling, pleasant or unpleasant, as a force for good rather than letting them take control of us and disrupt our calmness.
  • Before arguing, define what the argument is about and where the difference lies - many of our most heated arguments take place without an understanding of what the difference in opinion is. By being clear on this, arguments can most likely be avoided or turned into civil discussions.
  • Confront what makes me anxious - this may seem counterintuitive if we wish to lead a calmer and more emotionally balanced life. However, exposure to and confrontation with what makes us uncomfortable will help it subside. Avoidance, on the other hand, will either not help it subside or actually make it grow.
  • View life as a movie - look at life as full of weird, wacky and interesting characters, some who might annoy you but are there to provide entertainment. Life would be boring if we all got along and shared the same opinions, beliefs and habits.

Focus

  • Limit the number of notifications on my phone - we check our phones 150 times a day and each time it takes us 23 minutes on average to regain our concentration.
  • Work really hard at one thing for a long time - it’s fun to explore new things, but you will surprise yourself if you see just how good you can get at one thing if you keep working at it for a long time.
  • Plan my working day each morning - there is an old saying, if I had 9 hours to cut down a tree, I would spend the first 6 hours sharpening my axe. It is important to make plans and follow through with them.
  • Stay single task focused - multi-tasking doesn’t work… pick a task and finish it to the best of your ability.

Looking after your body

  • Exercise at least three times a week - get a friend, start small and build from there.
  • Reject temptation at least once a day - willpower is like a muscle, it gets stronger the more you train it.
  • Nominate days for ‘cheat meals’ - we don’t want to eat too much junk, but we don’t want to avoid it altogether. Dedicate days where cheat meals are accepted.
  • Stretch for 20 minutes three times a week - your future body will thank you for it.
  • Pick a particular achievement goal and work towards that e.g. 2 minutes for 800m - it is good to have a lofty ambition to guide the smaller decisions you make in life. We orientate ourselves around these top level achievement goals.
  • I will spread less butter on my toast at 7am tomorrow morning - small behaviour changes plant seeds that grow naturally.

Energy levels and enough rest

  • Spend more time with positive people - sometimes we sleep well, eat well and exercise well yet we feel tired. It could be because there are negative people in our life zapping our energy. Surround yourself with positive people who give you the fuel you need to face life’s challenges with a positive attitude.
  • Spend time doing nothing - we become so used to being stressed that it can feel weird to sit down and relax. Get comfortable with the idea of not doing anything. You don’t have to be busy.
  • Focus on the seven types of rest - physical, mental, social, emotional, sensory, spiritual and creative rest. For more on that click here.
  • Turn off my phone after (insert reasonable time) - flashing lights and buzzing phones next to your bedside table don’t make for a good night’s sleep.
  • Take breaks during the working day - get up, go for a walk, stretch and take time to break up the day.
  • Explore nature - go to the beach, a forest, a park, look at the sunset… nature can remind us how insignificant our problems are in the grand scheme of life. Nature can fuel us.

Enthusiasm

  • Find meaning in the tasks I carry out - we don’t have to be performing in front of a big crowd or sending rockets to the moon for our efforts to be “meaningful”. Every little thing we do contributes to human existence, find the meaning in what you’re doing. Scrubbing the floor, making the bed, filing paper… all contribute to something bigger.
  • Find joy in everything I do - walk along a street and imagine yourself being an enthusiastic sports commentator, documenting your every step. The magic is in the small things.
  • Believe I am a lucky person - because you truly are lucky. It has taken 1.5 million years of survival from your ancestors for you to be here. Most of whom, to the best of our knowledge, cannot do what you are currently doing.
  • Enjoy the weather, whatever it is - rain, hail or shine…
  • Be more curious - where boredom and disinterest shut us down, curiosity awakens us. We look upwards and outwards. It piques our interest. We are alert and on a voyage of discovery. We connect positively with the world around us.
  • Appreciate a dog, cat or other animal when I encounter them - stare into a dog’s eyes and consider the circumstances, luck and contributions that had to happen for this moment to take place.

Helping others

  • Be the person people turn to during tough times - a good aim in life is to be that person that everyone turns to as a source of strength and positivity when things aren’t going well.
  • Support friends (and others) who are trying to achieve goals - it can be a lonely road for a friend pursuing a lofty goal. The messages of support and acts of kindness along the way keep people going and they aren’t easily forgotten by the person you helped.
  • Be there for others - sometimes helping another person, a friend or a family member involves the simple act of showing up.
  • Do one good deed each week for someone else - give food to someone who needs it, put down change for a busker, help someone with their homework, do the dishes, scrub the floors, cook a meal, surprise a friend...
  • Write positive and uplifting comments on social media - you never know who is reading what you share on social media. An uplifting message could turn someone’s life around.
  • Be the person that does things for others without expecting anything in return - this is a very honourable goal to have and one that may very well give you something in return for sticking by it.

Learning and work

  • Be a curious learner - think of someone you know who always seems to know interesting things - weird facts, strange occurrences, funny jokes, and whacky stories. Be one of these people. Look out for and learn things that are fun and interesting.
  • Be willing to make mistakes - geniuses make mistakes. In fact learning and pursuing a career often involves making a mistake, recognising what went wrong and figuring out a correction. If you get too scared to make mistakes, you will not do anything different or new and that would be, well, a mistake.
  • Analyse the deeper meaning of movies, books and music - there is a message being sent to us when we watch a movie, read a book or listen to a song. We experience emotions throughout it, we can cry, we can cringe, we can feel a connection with characters or lyrics while others do not feel what we feel… what is it that draws us to characters, makes us dislike others and makes us feel what we feel.
  • Read books written by great writers - books are portals to great minds.
  • Develop my writing skills - by spending more time writing we start to organise and articulate our thoughts. We start to discover more about ourselves. We are more likely to remember things we write.
  • Believe that the person I am speaking to has something important to teach me - because we can learn something new from each person we encounter in this world.
  • Listen to people who have a different opinion to mine - if we only converse with those who agree with us, we miss out on learning new things. Engage with those who have different opinions and work hard to understand the basis of their opinion.
  • When debating, strengthen the argument of the person I am debating with - challenges lead to growth. Building up the strength of the arguments you are debating challenges you to build upon your knowledge.
  • Spend more time in the land of uncertainty - we like to jump to solutions and answers because uncertainty is uncomfortable. When we do this we block out possibilities of new learnings. Get comfortable in the land of uncertainty as it is also where new solutions are found.
  • Challenge myself so I am not constantly in my comfort zone - we learn and grow when we step outside our comfort zone.
  • Distinguish between what is true and what I want to be true - our desires can get a hold of us and block out new information. Ideas that conflict with our beliefs are unpleasant but should be analysed with an open mind.
  • Work really hard at one thing for a long time - it’s fun to explore new things, but you will surprise yourself if you see just how good you can get at one thing if you keep working at it for a long time.
  • Do the things I say I will do-we are all drawn to reliable people. This will take you far in any career you choose to pursue.

A voice that is heard.

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