*This is part of a series on goal setting, please read the first post first.
Your route constitutes the steps you must take to reach your goal. This is the most important part of the work.
This is where we objectively consider what may block our way to our goals. In this exercise we map out what struggles we foresee, and create strategies for how we will overcome them. You don’t have to know all the answers immediately. Expect some research, trial and error, and the need for external supports.
Print off the worksheets. This week we will be working with “Chart your course: Your Route.”
If your route is the journey between two nations, what is in the way? Consider all the possible barriers and new challenges that may be required to reach your destination. Think about what skills and tools you will require to tackle these challenges.
As survivors of psychological violence, there are certain steps we will need to consider that are non-issues for others. This is the healing journey. Thus, we must consider two streams in our route.
The first is what skills and healing work we must do to manage our particular struggles as survivors. Thus, consider adding the following to your route (I’ve made them into ‘destinations for your map’, but feel free to change this):
- The island of beliefs. We must visit our shame based beliefs about ourselves and our capabilities. These foundation beliefs must be changed for us to reach our dream destination.
- The storm of negative thoughts. Most of us have internalized the psychological violence and perpetrate it on ourselves. To reach our goals, we must learn to manage our thoughts.
- The mountain of relational healing. As survivors of psychological violence, we very likely need to heal our attachment. Further, we need to develop our skills in conflict resolution, communication and healthy boundaries.
- The waterfalls of self regulation and coping. Research shows that survivors of psychological violence struggle with maladaptive coping mechanisms like self harm, eating disorders, and substance use. We must learn how to regulate ourselves in a healthy way- using coping mechanisms that support our goals and dreams.
The second are those steps that everyone must take in achieving a goal. For example, if you hope to upgrade your career, you may need to do more schooling. If you hope to leave a relationship, you may need to find a new living arrangement or find a way to leave the situation safely.
Add in the steps you must take to reach your destination from this perspective.
Chart your course! Include the struggles, as well as some ideas regarding tools and strategies for overcoming them.
This map should also help you remember- nothing is linear. Yes, you can chart a particular course, but winds will blow you this way and that. By mapping out all the different places you must visit; hopefully, you will see that tasks may be done in any order. Thus, going back to complete one is not a failure, but a necessary step in getting to your destination.