Topic Progress:

It’s time to define my goals!

Now that you have a clearer idea of your values and how you would like to approach applying them, it is time to think about specific goals. Keeping in mind how to set effective goals, first take a few minutes to think about the things that you would like to improve or enhance. In terms of personality characteristics, the table below provides four general personality domains and potential weaknesses attached to each. It is a high-level overview of broad personality types that is derived from the work by Swiss-Canadian leadership expert Peter Urs Bender. Use it to get ideas of your own potential weaknesses and development goals. Peruse it to see if any applies to you.

Session 3 - Main Personality Domains

What are your experiences now and what is the ideal state that you would like to achieve? Be optimistic and reasonable. You have to believe that it is in your reach to succeed. Use the worksheet provided to guide your thoughts.

Use the ideas listed on the values worksheet to identify your most pressing current problems related to your problematic schemas that most often stand in your way to fulfillment. Again, you need to be specific. Remember that you current problem(s) needs to be measurable in order for your goal to be the same. Only then will you be able to monitor your progress and know when you have achieved it.

For example “I feel dissatisfied more than half of the time”; “My goal is to feel valued and content 90 percent of the time”, or “My goal is never to fight with my spouse.” Describe how you believe your life will be different if you achieve this goal: “I will feel more relaxed and spend more quality time at home.”

Because of my anger or distance I am never there for my family”; “My goal is to have a happy family relationship each day.” The difference: “Everyone will feel better and our lives will improve.” Write down your schema problems, goals, and how you think achieving it will influence your life on the sheet.

What are the factors that may prevent me from achieving my goals?

After formulating a few goals and the outcome that you expect when achieving it, think about factors that may stand in the way of success. “My work often keeps me away from home”; “Conflict makes me feel stressed and I need go out to relax.” Add brief notes in the relevant spaces in the worksheet.

What are the factors that may help me reach my goals?

Now, think about those aspects that may support you in achieving your goals. “My family encourages and appreciates my efforts”; “I am highly motivated to stop being aggressive”; “This program will help facilitate the process.” List your supports in the spaces provided.

Now that you know what to consider and have described your values for each life domain, formulate specific goals pertaining to each, and how you believe your life will change when you achieve them. BE SPECIFIC! Your goals need to be measurable and reasonable. Start with the most central/prominent problem, which will likely be the quality of relationships or dissatisfaction with aspects of life, before moving onto underlying issues.

Download and print the worksheet to formulate your goals here: Formulating Goals

What comes next?

Next, in the fourth session, we return to the heart of Schema Therapy by learning about schema coping strategies and considering what it means for you.