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Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery:
Goal Setting
Presented by: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes
Executive Director, AllCEUs
Host: Counselor Toolbox & Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery

CEUs can be earned for this podcast at:

Goal Setting
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC
Executive Director, AllCEUs
Host, Counselor Toolbox
President, Recovery and Resilience International

~    Identify the purpose of setting goals
~    Learn about SMART goals and how to set them
~    Explore ways to help clients identify their goals
~    Identify the 6 most common pitfalls in goal setting, and how to prevent them

Why Do I Care
~    Goal setting is an integral part of behavior change
~    Goal setting is something everyone does every day
~    Ineffective goals can have a negative impact on self esteem
~    Ineffective goals can make people mistakenly think they are helpless to change anything.
~    Identifying pitfalls in goal setting
~    Prepare an authentic Italian meal.
~    Learn what an authentic Italian meal consists of
~    Decide what is going to be in YOUR meal
~    Learn about how to prepare that meal
~    Identify what ingredients you need for that meal (and get what you don’t have)
~    Do you do everything at the same time? (Hint: No, the sauce is made first so the seasonings can blend)
~    Specific
~    Measurable
~    Achievable
~    Realistic
~    Time Limited

~    Think about the last goal you set that was successful…
~    Think about the last goal you set that was unsuccessful.
~    What is the difference between the two?
~    SMART?
~    Motivation?

Goals‚ÄĒThe Beginning
~¬†¬† ¬†Goals (WHY)√ĺ
~    Goals are the overarching reason a person begins to do something.
~¬†¬† ¬†Often goals are broad and abstract. ‚ÄúI want to be healthier.‚Ä̬† ‚ÄúI want to be happy.‚ÄĚ
~    Goals need to be broken down into manageable, meaningful, observable objectives.
~    Phrase goals as adding a positive instead of removing a negative.
Start With Problem Definition
~    How is the problem evidenced in the client?
~    How is the problem affecting the client’s overall functioning?
~    What is the client’s perception of the problem?
~    What are the client’s strengths?
Goal Development
~    What is the broad goal for resolution of the problem?
~    What is the absence of the problem?
~    How will your best friend know when you have achieved your goal?

Miracle Question
~    One way to elicit goals is through the miracle question:
~    If you woke up tomorrow and you were _____ (i.e. your problem was resolved/goal was achieved) what would be different?
~    This gives you insight into the symptoms/definition of the problem and motivations for change.
~    Overall Goal for Treatment
~    What is the problem?
~    Example: Depression
~    How will you know when the problem is resolved?
~    Emotionally, I won’t feel as hopeless and helpless.  I wont dread getting out of bed.
~    Mentally, I won’t be so foggy headed and will be able to concentrate
~    Physically, I will have more energy and lose some weight
~    Socially, I will enjoy spending time with friends

~    Subgoals
~    Main Issue
~    Learn about the overall problem (Depression)
~    Learn about your symptoms/causes/triggers of the problem
~    Identify ways to address your specific symptoms/causes/triggers
~    I won’t dread getting out of bed each day
~¬†¬† ¬†Reframed‚Äď I will be happy to wake up and face the day
~    Identify causes of dread for you and interventions
~    I will have more energy
~    Learn about causes of fatigue and low energy
~    Identify potential causes of your fatigue and low energy

~    State the problem: I am depressed (This is the overall problem).
~    SYMPTOMS of the problem:
~    Fatigue (Problem 1)
~    The following BEHAVIORS/FEELINGS/THOUGHTS are causing or triggering my problem
~    Problem 1a: Not sleeping well and not getting out of bed
~    Problem 1b: Not eating well
~    Problem 1c: Feeling anxious or angry a lot because I am surrounded by negative people
~    Overeating
~    The following BEHAVIORS/FEELINGS/THOUGHTS are causing or triggering my problem
~    Problem 2a: Eating out of boredom or stress
~    Problem 2b: Eating because my stomach hurts and I want to feel better
~    Problem 2c: Eating out of habit
~    The ultimate goal is  to be happy
~    I will know when I have achieved this goal because:
~    Emotionally I will feel…happy, content
~    Mentally I will be…able to concentrate, more creative and more productive
~    Physically I will…have energy, not feel so achy, be in better shape because I will have the energy to take care of myself
~    My relationships will…improve because I will be able to enjoy spending time with people and they will not be angry with me all the time anymore.

~    Frequency   (#/time)
~    Number of times per day or week
~    i.e. Number of crying episodes/day
~    i.e. Number of eating episodes NOT due to hunger/day
~    i.e. Number of glasses of water consumed/day
~    i.e. Number of wake-ups/night
~    Duration (How long)
~    Crying
~    Eating
~    Sleeping (How long were you awake)
~    Intensity
~    How bad was it?  Likert (1-mild; 2-moderate; 3-intense; 4-excruciating)
~    Number of calories per binge

~    Main Issue: Depression
~    Record overall mood each day: Likert scale 1-can’t go on, 2-okay, 3-pretty good, 4-Awesome
~¬†¬† ¬†Symptom: I dread getting out of bed each day (Cause of dread‚ÄĒHated job)
~    Likert scale 1-can’t go on, 2-okay, 3-pretty good, 4-Awesome
~¬†¬† ¬†Symptom: I am exhausted‚ÄĒ(Cause of low energy‚Äď poor sleep)
~    Record hours slept; number of awakenings; quality of sleep

Activity: Observable and Measurable
~¬†¬† ¬†Write each of the following ‚Äúgoals‚ÄĚ on a piece of paper:
~    Lose weight
~    Get in shape
~    Feel better about myself
~    Be happier
~¬†¬† ¬†Identify at least 2 ways for each goal that identifies goal achievement.¬† ‚ÄúHow will you know when you are/have _____‚ÄĚ
~    How would you measure each of those?
Achievable, Realistic, Time-Limited
~    Rome was not built in a day
~    Built on prior strengths and individualized
~    Something the client is motivated and able to change
~    Weekly goals;  Daily goals (IOP); Hourly goals (crisis)

The Hook, A.K.A. The 5 Ws
~    Who is responsible for doing What, When, Where, Why and How
~    This is your client's action plan or map
~¬†¬† ¬†Who (your client)√ĺ
~    What are they responsible for doing, when and where
~    Why are they doing it
~    How is it helping them meet their ultimate goal

~    Main Issue (8/1/2016-9/5/2016)
~    Sally will learn about the overall problem (Depression) by reading one chapter of XYZ Book and the handouts provided by Dr. Snipes each week for 5 weeks.
~    Sally will learn about her symptoms/causes/triggers of the problem by taking notes on what sounds like her as she reads the book and handouts about depression.  She will process those notes in counseling with Dr. Snipes each week.
~    Sally will identify ways to address her specific symptoms/causes/triggers by completing the My Symptoms and My Triggers worksheets provided by Dr. Snipes
~    Each morning and evening, Sally will rate, on a scale from 1-4 her happiness and explain her response.  These logs will be discussed with Dr. Snipes each session.

Writing the Plan
~    Individualized
~    Use positive language
~    Address the reasons for not changing

~    Goals are:
~    Meaningful
~    Observable
~    Measurable
~    Incremental
~    Realistic
~    Supported by sub-goals
~    Use the KSA progression
~    Steps toward the goal
~    S.M.A.R.T
~    Specific
~    Rome was not built in a day
~    Frequent reinforcement
~    Logical sub-goals
~    KSAs
~    Measurable (duration, frequency, intensity)
~    Attainable
~    Realistic
~    Time-limited

~    Failing to consider why currently do (or do not) engage in certain behaviors
~     Setting goals that are too big
~     Setting goals that are too hard
~     Setting too many goals
~     Setting goals without sufficient rewards
~     Setting goals that are too specific
~     Failing to individualize to the patient’s temperament
~    Break into groups
~    Each group gets a different goal
~    Groups need to create a plan to achieve the goal

~    Goals
~    Rebuild a car
~    Become a nurse, carpenter
~    Lose 20 pounds
~    Stop smoking
Activity Scoring
~    Did the group identify subgoals?
~    Were subgoals observable, measurable and realistic
~    Did they identify reasons someone would be motivated to put forth the effort to achieve this goal?
~    Did they make sure they had the knowledge, then practice the skills before they launched into the real thing?

~    Good goals are SMART
~    You can measure intensity or quality with an anchored Likert scale
~    Make sure the behaviors you are trying to change actually will help you achieve the goal you are setting
~    Goals should follow the KSA progression
~    Subgoals need to be small and reinforcement should be frequent
~    If motivation wanes revisit the decisional balance exercise


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