Robert E. Reichlin, Ph.D.

Houston Psychologist ∙ Psychotherapist ∙ Geropsychologist ∙Bellaire, Texas

Goal Setting

Tuesday, June 2nd 2009

In my last post, I talked some about realistic goal setting, particularly as it applies to activities that require ongoing effort. I used working out as an example because it captures many of the aspects of self-discipline that are difficult to maintain: showing up and developing modest, flexible goals. The issue today is that goal setting can be approached in terms of setting specific points to be reached on some scale, e.g. increasing the amount of time you exercise by 10 minutes each week, or lifting 10 pounds more every week. To accomplish these goals, one has to control a number of variables: setting the time for exercise, making sure that schedule isn’t interrupted, deciding on how to handle the situation if you are traveling, become ill, stay up too late, have to be at work earlier/later than usual, etc. Compare that to setting a goal of losing a pound a week. Such a goal requires the control of a number of things that are in themselves difficult to control, e.g. sticking to a diet has its own rhythms and complexities (it takes 3500 calories to make/lose a pound). Being exposed to an onslaught of food stimuli is also hard to prevent. You get my point- deciding on goals requires careful evaluation and modesty: in this case, a pragmatic approach means tolerating life’s complexities in a flexible manner. Not so easy to do. More about this later.

Thanks for reading this post.

If you find that my perspective on goal setting makes sense to you, and you are considering psychotherapy, send me an email or give me a call and we can schedule an appointment.

Contact Houston Psychologist Dr. Robert Reichlin at 281-813-7202;

Leave a Reply

Robert E. Reichlin, Ph.D.