TIP of the WEEK: Setting Realistic Goals

As the new year approaches, many of us will be looking at what changes we want to make in our lives and creating plans to hopefully keep those changes in motion past the first few weeks of January. Here are some ideas for setting goals and keeping the momentum going for both yourself and your child:

1. Set realistic goals. Nothing ruins motivation like a goal that is so far reaching that success will not be experienced for some time. Make plans achievable and then keep adding to them. A goal for six months or even one month of appropriate behavior: no skin picking / zero episodes of aggression, may be too daunting for a child who has multiple episodes per week/day. Losing 50 pounds is an overwhelming goal but losing five pounds is more realistic so the goal is to lose five pounds 10 times. Start with something that can be achieved, reward the success, and then slowly add small increases of new expectations.

2. Allow for setbacks. Not achieving a goal does not mean that the goal is unattainable. Look closely at the circumstances, environment, and anything that could have caused the setback. Get right back on track and keep trying.

3. Be skeptical of perfection. If a goal is met 100% every time, then it may not have been the right goal to begin with. We want success, but a goal that can be reached every time without challenge is not teaching your child what it really means to work and  achieve.

Regardless of whether the goal is for you or your child, be sure it is attainable with many layers of opportunities for success.

Patrice Carroll
Manager of PWS Services

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