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Setting Goals that Improve Mental Health

Updated: Feb 19, 2023

We often set goals that stress us out. Even setting the task to complete five topics a day and at the end of the day left with the completion of two only can stress a person for the other day's task. But this should not be the case as we fix goals to channel our energy and make us feel excited to do our work. So, where the flaw comes from, and how to rectify that?

These are essential questions to be addressed to become more productive and progressive. Here are some ways by which you can make goals that don't decline your mental health

Fix a goal appropriate to you - "Decide what makes you happy!"

Fix a goal appropriate to you: Decide what makes you happy

What is one particular thing that genuinely makes you happy is a question you must ask yourself before fixing a goal. If something is being done without you feeling connected to it, then such activities/ goals are not good for mental health.

Search for SMART parameters

Now to achieve your goal break it down and search for the "SMART" parameters to make it happen:

  • S - Specific

Be focused on what you want at the end of goal completion.

  • M - Measurable

Your goal should be analyzed in a way that you are able to measure your progress after regular intervals.

  • A - Attainable

While setting the goal, keep in mind your abilities, capabilities, and capacities

  • R - Realistic

Your goal must be relevant and realistic in its attainability. Unrealistic goals only bring burnout and disappointment.

  • T - Timebound

You have fixed a goal that is achievable over a particular period

Analyse yourself

Analyze yourself

The essential point in setting a goal is what, why, how, when & which goal is required for you. Knowing yourself, how much you are already capable of achieving that goal, and how much you need to work on is crucial to know before formulating a goal.

Set both short-term and long-term goals

Short and long term goals

Differentiating a big goal into many small ones can help achieve that with ease. Take time and strategically divide the tasks required for that goal into short-term and long-term, considering time constraints. One must have smaller goals that lead to those big goals so that a person remains motivated.

Formulate a strategy

Formulate a strategy

There should be a balance between the tasks you wish to accomplish in the short and long term.

  1. They both must not contradict or cross each other.

  2. Don't make daily tasks for the things you haven't done earlier.

  3. Keep the difficulty of tasks according to your ability.

  4. Be committed to your strategy.

  5. Accept the failures too. If you want to complete making a wall in a day, but suddenly the weather gets bad, then you are not at fault. Be accepting and forgiving.

  6. Update your strategy if that doesn't work.

Consider hiring a coach

Consider hiring a coach

Sometimes goals can be overwhelming and unmanageable. So, it is a good idea to consult a coach or have a mentor to improve the management of your objective. That will help you with keeping a good state of mental health.This is also important for the feedback you need to have about your progress to be more strategic.

The effects of your goals should be happiness!

Effects of goals should be happiness

Observe what effects a goal will have in your present and future. Will pursuing a goal make you feel stressed in the short term but relaxed in the long term?

For example, if you play games to fulfill the goal of being happy or you are a good player in the short-term, then you might be satisfied at that moment only but, if you spend too much time on it and don't focus on work or your education, your happiness will disrupt in the long term. So, adjust your targets according to your situation.

Set goals for health

Set goals for health

Only focusing on a career or education may lead you to ignore health. And ignorance of health can deplete a person's mind too. Thus, goals such as regular exercising, drinking enough water, taking food on time, quitting addictions, etc. will ensure a boost in physical and mental health.

Financial goals are important too

Financial Goals are important too

Even when you know that the accomplishment of your goal will give you a large sum of money, the needs you get in between setting and achieving the goal are supposed to be fulfilled.Indeed, not having enough funds and savings for a time of need or during an emergency can be a big reason for stress. Thus, one must set financial goals, such as investment goals, saving goals, and anything suitable to you, to fulfill one's financial needs and avoid stress.

Be ready to abandon goals

Re Navigate the goals

Formulation of strategy at first is a good step, but updating it from time to time according to your progress report is significant.

So, if a goal feels outdated or irrelevant to your current and future needs, then be ready to discard it or stop pursuing it. The time and effort wasted on such an obsolete goal can lead to stress and resentment if the result is no longer valuable. You can renavigate the goals you want as per need anytime.

Plan to achieve the goals

Many people set goals but forget to create systematic plans and outline actions required for their achievement. While fixing your goal, give yourself time to break that into smaller segments and decide what task to do, when & how. Only pursuing goals un-directionally can be a source of stress. Without a plan, a person will pursue actions haphazardly which often leads to mistakes and mishappenings. This can cause obstacles in achieving goals, which can lead to a bad state of mental health. A proper plan helps to stay on track and be realistic about the pace.

If a person handles goals realistically and enthusiastically, both can be best friends.

Which one is the most difficult for you? (We can help you with all)

  • Setting a goal

  • Asking for help

  • Abandon a goal and restart again

  • Strategy making

You can vote for more than one answer.


Silly Opera is making it possible to create spaces where you can share your stories, have deep conversations about mental health, and these are open to all but based on an invite-only policy to ensure safety. We have listening circles, open-mic sessions, open discussions, ask-a-counselor and so much more including activities to encourage self-expression. For more information write to us and to join our community submit this form. See you there!

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