Evaluating your goals
It is probably too early to evaluate whether you have reached the goals that you set in the beginning. We hope that you feel empowered to apply what you learn to keep working towards the goals you established in Section 2.
In the last few sections of this course, you have put together everything that you have learned. This will be reinforced through your journal and activity plan. We recommend that you actively work with these tools for some time, before evaluating your improvements.
However, if you feel that you have already achieved significant progress, please compare your achievements with your initial goals. When you feel that you have made progress in the future, take some time to determine whether you have achieved your goals.
When you decide that it is time for you to evaluate whether you have reached your goals, consider if there are factors affecting whether or not you have reached a goal, such as:
- Have you worked conscientiously? Have you put the necessary time into the relevant worksheets?
- Have your life circumstances changed in a way that has helped or interfered with reaching the goal?
- Were your initial goals realistic or unachievable? Have you set goals that are consistent with this online therapy program?
When it is time, write down your goals and evaluate if you have reached them. It’s also a great time to write down new goals. You may realize that some problems you identified in the beginning (but set aside to focus on your most significant problems), really aren’t problems anymore! You may also have new insights into the underlying factors impacting you and will want to set goals using this new understanding.
Your anxiety test
Please retake the test that you took in Section 2, to see the progress that you have made during this online therapy experience. This often helps you to really understand the progress that you have made.
Going forward: Your life-long tool box for staying on the right track
We hope that you have gained some new skills to help you deal with your current problems. We also want to remind you how important it is to continue to apply these new skills. Since you have unconsciously processed negative automatic thoughts for your entire life, it is not realistic to demand that you unlearn this thinking and the subsequent problematic behavior immediately. Most people will also experience some setbacks, before they are totally fine.
The healing process that you are going through takes time. When we hurt ourselves physically, it takes time for the scars to clear up. The same is true with emotional problems. Recovery takes time. If you experience setbacks, you must get back up in the saddle. It is especially important to not fall into bad habits like avoidance. To move forward, you must keep exposing yourself and confronting formerly distressing situations. If you experience setbacks, stop and think about the situation. Pull out the worksheets that were provided throughout this course. Establish what triggered you to feel anxious or down again. Identify what you are saying to yourself, if you are using thought traps and how to re-interpret what is happening in a more helpful way.
It’s important to use what you have learned to analyze your thinking, feeling and behaving. This will help you to find a better way of reacting. The worksheets are here to assist you!
We sincerely hope that our online therapy program has helped you move forward, and that you can use what you have learned to more effectively manage your problems.
Congruence between your life values and your priorities is the foundation for a good life.
Values are core principles that are important to you. While all values are inheritably good, there are certain ones that each one of us prioritizes. When you apply the values that are most critical to you, happiness ensues.
In your final worksheet, you will identify the values that are most important to you. You will also evaluate how you can apply those values in your life. You will describe exactly how you’re going to make sure that your short-term actions are consistent with your most important values.
1) Identifying your life values
Identifying your life values, will give you a clear direction in life. They will guide how you should allocate your time and resources, so that you can feel the way you want. Without a clear direction and the prioritization of your values, it’s easy to feel discontented, overwhelmed and feel powerless to make the necessary changes.
Therefore, what are your life values? You should not be concerned how you have applied them in the past. You must, instead, consider how you would like to live your life right NOW. What really adds value to your life? What brings joy to you and the people that you care about? What are your imaginary values that you thought added value to your life but actually are just getting in the way?
2) Short-term actions that are consistent with your long-term values
After identifying your values and how you will apply them in your life, look at your schedule. How do you spend your time each day? Are you really prioritizing what’s important to you? Are your daily actions consistent with your long-term values? Are you still letting short-term impulses control your life?
If so, then you need to re-prioritize your precious time. Otherwise, you will never live the life you want.
What are the current high-risk situations in your life? How do you choose to handle them? What actions do you need to take during these situations? You can use the Activity Plan (first introduced in Section 6) to make sure that you are applying your values.
3) Continuing to keep a journal and an activity plan
To keep you on a brighter and happier path, we recommend that you continue to keep a journal and activity plan. Taking daily notes ensures that your life-values and actions are consistent. It is important to be aware and mindful about how you’re living your life. Change the things you can and accept the things you can’t.
We would like to thank you for being our companion and taking the steps to finish this program. Always remember that life is a constantly changing journey. As we move forward, good and bad things will happen to us. There is no way to avoid that. However, we can be prepared for the bad and enjoy the good. When we work through our problems, when we reach those tough patches and life throws us a curveball, we will be able to take it in stride. Good luck and all the best!
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