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Mental Health Reasons to Set Five-Year Goals

By Chris Brown

One of the surest ways to experience the future of your dreams is to first write down those dreams. Without a detailed plan, one is susceptible to getting caught up in the momentum of the world around them and, ultimately, live a life that is not their own. Goal setting is particularly valuable for those with anxiety and depression who can quickly fall into a defeatist mindset without a clear-set path. Sitting down and writing out a list of five-year goals can have immediate benefits to you current and future mental health.

How Five-Year Plan Improves Your Mental Health Now

Goal setting provides a sense of purpose, progress, and control in life. The mental health benefits of such a purpose can induce a calmer, happier mindset alongside a stronger, more positive demeaner in the face of stressful situations. Strong mental health seeps into every aspect of your life, leading to better relationships, career decisions, and an overall happier existence.

The aim is to keep one's goals grand enough to inspire, but realistic enough to achieve. It also helps to lay out a clear pathway with detailed steps, so that measurable progress (and further inspiration) can be tracked along the way. While I personally have reached the point of setting five-year, one-year, one-month, and weekly goals but you don't have to be so obsessive to experience the benefits of goal setting. A five-year plan is a great first step because it is far enough ahead to help guide your momentum, but not so far that the goals seem entirely grandiose and out of reach. A well-structured five-year plan can help guide your daily activities and decisions.

Potential Five-Year Goal Categories

  • Health - From physical goals (like losing weight or gaining muscle) to mental health goals (like attending weekly therapy), health goals directly improve your life throughout the process of accomplishing them.
  • Financial - Taking control of your finances brings the freedom to expand your life through reduced anxiety, travel, large purchases, and improved living conditions. Additionally, a detailed plan with clear end-goals removes some of the day-to-day financial stresses, while helping to prevent future stress caused by further bad financial decisions.
  • Career - Careers can quickly follow their own paths, which divert from a person's intended future, if they aren't consistently and consciously refocused. Planned career goals are the surest way of visualizing and achieving one's dream career.
  • Relationship - Five-year relationship goals can be everything from building a deeper connection with a spouse to opening communications with an estranged family member. Just make sure to include a defined plan to do so (such as arranging weekly dates with your spouse).

Taking a quiet moment to reflect upon your future is the first step to achieving great things and inspiring your present state. Even if the goals seem out of reach, allowing them to guide your daily actions can improve your daily life experience. After all, the journey is often a destination in itself.      

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Birmingham, Ala.

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