Values, Setting Goals, and Manifestation

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Values, Setting Goals, and Manifestation

January 06, 2021

It feels very apropos to talk about values, goal setting, and manifestation as we enter this fresh new year. Everyone seems to be taking a collective deep breath and a cautiously optimistic step forward right now.  Let’s honor that fresh start by identifying what values we are holding right now, setting some goals, and understanding how to manifest those into reality.

For this topic, we enlisted one of our therapists, John Millet, MS, LCPC, to provide his insights into why goal setting is beneficial to our mental health and sense of purpose in life. He lays out steps for setting goals and bringing them into fruition. In his practice, John uses value-centered goal-setting with his clients in a warm and engaging therapy environment.

“Identifying and working towards goals in our lives helps to promote focus, grow confidence and healthy self-esteem through a sense of accomplishment and progress, and helps to reconnect us with what we value most in life.”

So how do values, goals, and manifestation work together? The first step to take is to identify what values you hold in your life. Learning what our values are right now helps us set our goals for the future. A definition of “manifestation” is “an action/event that embodies an abstract idea.” So, manifestation is a fancy way of saying “action steps you take toward your goals”.

For example, if one holds “health” as a value, and that speaks to a goal of becoming more physically fit, a manifestation of that may be increased exercise frequency, greater attention to diet and nutrition, scheduling a long-delayed doctor appointment, etc.

“I feel a critical aspect of setting goals for oneself is reconnecting the long-term aspiration with the “here-and-now” value, and recognizing opportunities for manifesting that value in our daily actions (or taking accountability for how we may, in fact, be acting against the concepts and ideas we strongly identify with).”

I asked John what the practical steps are that we can take to successfully set and manifest our goals:

  1. First, set realistic and attainable goals. Beginning with unfair or impossible expectations will only contribute to pressure and stress.
  2. Second, visualize the realization of that goal – predict how you will feel once you accomplish it; this will help promote intrinsic motivation.
  3. Third, break the ideal end result down into the smaller, component steps and determine what kind of schedule or structure will best help you to accomplish them (amount of time required, frequency of activities toward the end goal, opportunities to reflect on efforts and evaluate progress, etc.).
  4. Identifying potential barriers at each step will help to highlight what resources, support, accountability, or extra motivation might be necessary to achieve your goals.
  5. Finally, take the first, necessary steps toward your goal and be sure to proceed with patience and encouraging self-talk; you will surely encounter extra challenges, setbacks, or even failure along the way and being able to manage difficult thoughts and feelings appropriately will be necessary!

Take some time today to really reflect on your current life values, goals, and actions. Do your actions and goals match up with the values you hold closest? When our actions and goals don’t match our values, it’s normal to feel stress, anxiety, and a loss of direction.

It’s also normal for values and goals to change over time. This year, many of us have had value-shifting experiences and may need to take some time to realign ourselves. If you feel that you could use support in this, our team is here for you. We can support you with life coaching services, walk with you through life transitions, and help you live your best life that honors your values.

Contributions by John Millett, MS, LCPC
A photo of counselor John Milette who provides anxiety therapy near La Grange.







A graphic with a woman holding a hat in front of her face with greenery in the background representing how you can benefit from meeting with a La Grange life coach.

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