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4: Make a Plan

Set Your Goals

goal cloud

Goals help manage transitions, however, the changing nature of an event might mean your goal setting is shorter in its term. If you were facing homelessness, for example, your immediate goal may be to secure a place to safely stay for the next few nights while you look for help from local resources. Even if your long-term goal is to have a home, you may need to focus on several shorter goals in the near-term. Use the SMART Goals Worksheet to help you set your goals.

Hold Yourself Accountable

It’s important not only to have goals, but also to measure your progress toward them. Your goals might be very short term or you may be working on several goals at once. Evaluating your progress will keep you focused on what you need to address next.

Here are some ideas for checking in with your progress:

  1. What is the first step you have to take, the second, the third, etc. How will it look when you are finished with that step? What reward will you give yourself when you finish each step?
  2. How will you monitor your progress toward longer term goals? What evidence will you have of this progress?
  3. What will you do if you have a setback? Will you make adjustments, and who can help you make them?
  4. Who else might help you stay on track?

Start small and build on your successes. Let go of guilt or regret over setbacks. Every day is a new opportunity to start again. Even if all you can accomplish today is a 10-minute internet search or a single phone call, that is progress. Use this Hold Yourself Accountable Worksheet to help you.

hold yourself accountable worksheet

Acknowledge Milestones and Victories

Just as you celebrate age-related milestones, it’s important to recognize achievements during a major life event. Especially when the individual achievements seem small, like researching a financial advisor and making an appointment, it is important to acknowledge the progress you are making. Use these questions to help spur ideas:

  • What reward will you give yourself to celebrate reaching milestones?
  • Who will you tell?
  • What will you set your sights on next?

Regardless of what you are going through, it is important to recognize that circumstances are constantly changing. Be gentle with yourself, ask for help and celebrate even the small victories along the way.

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