Personal goals are desired states that people seek to achieve, maintain, or avoid. They are often roadmaps that show us a direction we want to get to, and they also give meaning & purpose to our actions. Setting goals can lead to increased motivation, self-esteem, confidence, and autonomy (1,2). We often break down goals into(3):
- Short-term goals: as the name suggests, these are goals that are set to be achieved in approximately two months or less.
- Medium term goals: which can take between two months and three years to achieve.
- And long-term goals: these goals may require three years or more to achieve. Quite often our long term goals are achieved by fulfilling our short-term ones.
Menopause and personal goals
During menopause, emotional changes mean we often compromise our well-being and mental health. In fact, many women may experience feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression, as well as low self-esteem and problems with self-confidence. Of course, these changes can compromise the setting and achievement of personal goals (4).
However, it is important that we continue to prioritise our own goals. Being consistent, working towards something we desire and prioritising ourselves will support our overall wellbeing and happiness. Some of the most important goals to focus on are 5,6,7,8):
Exercising, one of the most important personal goals
Yes, it takes time, energy, and dedication to exercise regularly. However, this is the best thing you can do for yourself, especially as it contributes to a healthy lifestyle. It’s recommended that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week.
Build a support network
Find a group of women who are going through menopause. This can be a way to encourage each other, feel supported and cope with the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
Build a growth mindset
It is common for many women during menopause to start looking backward instead of forwards. This is not very productive or helpful, try and focus on things you enjoy and what gives you joy. For example, you may want to devote yourself to building a good social life.
Write your new internal dialogue script
Instead of being hard on yourself for the changes and challenges you may perceive now, work on being more self-compassionate. Self-criticism is not helpful, not nice, and certainly not good for you.
Expand your horizons
If you have reached a point where you’re feeling low and down, why noy try starting something new to find that motivation again. Some women take up yoga, others focus on getting a good night’s rest to avoid the sleep disturbances common at this stage.
During menopause it is important to maintain a balanced diet, as everything you eat, and drink has a significant impact on your symptoms. You could also try nutritional supplements to support you in achieving this.
Tips for persevering and achieving personal goals
Define your personal goals
The most important step to persevere and achieve your personal goals is to define them. For this, you can use the SMART approach to help you to set them properly. The most important thing is that they are realistic, concrete, and achievable. For example, change “exercise more” to “go for a 1km walk three times a week”.
Choose personal goals that motivate you
Do not set goals just for the sake of it. For them to work, they need to be meaningful and challenging. In this sense, look for goals where you get personal satisfaction and enjoy the activity.
Challenging goals produce better results than easy ones. You just need to be highly committed to making changes and have confidence in your own abilities. When you set intrinsically motivating goals, you are more encouraged to achieve them regardless of their level of difficulty.
Develop an action plan
Another fundamental part of persevering and achieving your goals is to be very clear about where, when, and how you will approach the steps to achieve them. One recommendation is to keep short-term deadlines on a weekly basis. Also, try to elaborate and define coping strategies; what attitude you would take in case you cannot meet the weekly target, or you fail one day:
- For example, if you plan to exercise with a friend, what is your plan if she cannot attend?
- If you want to eat better and tiredness prevents you from cooking a nutritious dinner, what can you do in advance, so you don’t fail?
Always keep in mind that you are human and can fail to meet your personal goals. Remember that growth is not linear, it has ups and downs. The important thing is not to give up.
- Davis T. Personal goals: Definition, 30 examples, & tips for goal setting [Internet]. United States: Berkeley, Well Being Institute. [cited 2023 Jan 28]. Available from: https://www.berkeleywellbeing.com/personal-goals.html
- Roy M. The science & psychology of goal setting 101 [Internet]. Netherlands: Positive Psychology; 2019. [cited 2023 Jan 28]. Available from: https://positivepsychology.com/goal-setting-psychology/#definition
- Council for Economic Education. Shor-term, medium-term, and long-term goals [Internet]. United States: Council for Economic Education. [cited 2023 Jan 28]. Available from: https://fffl.councilforeconed.org/documents/978-1-56183-694-9-visual-lesson-10.pdf
- NHS Inform. Menopause and your mental wellbeing [Internet]. Scotland: NHS Inform; 2022. [cited 2023 Jan 28]. Available from: https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/womens-health/later-years-around-50-years-and-over/menopause-and-post-menopause-health/menopause-and-your-mental-wellbeing
- Yeager S. 10 goals to get you stoked during menopause [Internet]. United States: Feisty Menopause; 2022. [cited 2023 Jan 28]. Available from: https://www.feistymenopause.com/blog/10-goals-to-get-you-stoked-during-menopause
- Mayo Clinic. Fitness for menopause: Why fitness counts [Internet]. United States: Mayo Clinic; 2019. [cited 2023 Jan 28]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/fitness-tips-for-menopause/art-20044602
- Belcher N. 20 Winona new year’s goals for 2022 [Internet]. United States: Winona; 2022. [cited 2023 Jan 28]. Available from: https://bywinona.com/journal/20-winona-new-years-goals-for-2022
- Balance. Menopause wellbeing: how to set goals to boost your health and happiness [Internet]. England: Balance; 2022. [cited 2023 Jan 28]. Available from: https://www.balance-menopause.com/menopause-library/menopause-wellbeing-how-to-set-goals-to-boost-your-health-and-happiness/