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This is a discussion on Goals within the Alternative Treatment forums, part of the Treatment category; I've hit some terrible lows in the last week. I can't take it. Thanks to everyone who has put up ...

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Old 07-12-12, 07:49 PM   #1
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I've hit some terrible lows in the last week. I can't take it. Thanks to everyone who has put up with me. Thanks to someone else for giving me this idea and saying that they will help me with it.

I seem to sabotage myself from the start by making goals or trying to do too much where I have no option but failure. When I was at school, my therapist tried to help create manageable goals and we talked about this issue a lot. I felt stupid for these silly goals because they seemed so ridiculous, but I guess my therapist was right that I'm so down that I need to start there.

I guess I have to try this or I'm going to kill myself. I really don't want to die, but I don't want to be like this anymore. I need help...I can't do this alone.

So I guess these are the rules of this whole thing. And correct me if I'm wrong about this PrairieDawn. I set a goal with a time limit. If I am able to complete it by then, then I get a reward that is something for me to work towards that restricted to this whole thing. I have a journal that I haven't used because I needed a purpose for it, so I guess this will be it's purpose.

Here's my issues with everything. I don't know what are manageable goals. And I don't know what a reward would be. And I'm nervous about how I'll feel if I don't meet the goal by the time limit. I'm pretty sure I'll feel like I need to be punished, but was told there are no punishments.

I know what long term goals are, but I don't know how to break them down into things that I can do. My long term goals right now are:
-to have good self-esteem
-to have a social life
-to be comfortable with my physical appearance
-to have a girlfriend
-to have a few really good friends
-to enjoy hobbies

And it's hard to find a reward, since I feel so down that it's like I don't enjoy anything or have energy for anything...I feel so down where my first idea for a reward would be to hurt myself since that's pretty much the only thing that I want to do. Or a good reward would be to hang out with friends...but it feels like I have none.

So I guess what I'm saying is thank you to anyone who reads this. Thanks to anyone that has any ideas or advice on what to do. I hope this works. Not sure what will happen if I fail right off the bat.
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Old 07-13-12, 05:58 AM   #2
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I think this is a great idea!

I have one small goal myself right now. There's a new Mexican Restaurant in town and I want to try it out. I have the Newspaper Clipping taped to my computer right now as reminder. So, I suppose I'm goal setter too.


Start with something small and work your way up, just one day at a time. Just keep trying. Hang in There. I'm glad your sharing also.
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Old 07-13-12, 11:30 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 20depressed View Post
I don't know what are manageable goals. And I don't know what a reward would be. And I'm nervous about how I'll feel if I don't meet the goal by the time limit. I'm pretty sure I'll feel like I need to be punished, but was told there are no punishments.
NO punishments! This approach only focuses on the positives, and you are rewarded for them. The eventual outcomes are:

1. You will have successes, which will be documented for you to clearly see.

2. Negative statements or ideas are not reinforced (rewarded), so they will begin to happen less.

Try not to use the term "time limit", because it sounds..... limiting. And that's a negative way to look at it. This is a positive system. The way I see it is that everything is broken down into tasks to do each day, for a week. At the end of the week, if everything is checked off, you are rewarded. If everything is not checked off, then you did your best and you try agian the next week. You still have some checked off things to be proud of. But, not enough to earn a reward. Try again next week. This way, every week becomes an opportunity!


Quote:
Originally Posted by 20depressed View Post
I know what long term goals are, but I don't know how to break them down into things that I can do. My long term goals right now are:
-to have good self-esteem
-to have a social life
-to be comfortable with my physical appearance
-to have a girlfriend
-to have a few really good friends
-to enjoy hobbies
Okay - here is where you start. Great! I think those articles I sent you will definitely help with a lot of these. Which one do you want to start with? You are in charge of this - not me. It's up to you how it will go. I'll set the structure for you though, because I think you are a guy who needs to work within a structure. That's not a bad thing - it's just a different way of learning to do things. Some people can set their own structure, and some need it provided for them. Believe me, there are lots of different ways to learn and get things accomplished - it's just a matter of finding what works for you So, a lot of structure at first, and then we'll re-evaluate how much support you need (or don't need) periodically.

Indicate which area you want to start with, and I will give you tasks for next week. Some of the goals you have will overlap, so even though you are choosing one to start with, working on that one will probably have good effects in the other areas by default.

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Originally Posted by 20depressed View Post
And it's hard to find a reward, since I feel so down that it's like I don't enjoy anything or have energy for anything... Or a good reward would be to hang out with friends...
A good reward it to hang out with friends!! That's it! Use TTL Chat for this. You can go on TTL chat on Fridays ONLY, and ONLY if you completed all the tasks. How's that? I think this is great, because people on chat might miss you on a Friday and wish you could be there, in the event you don't earn it. So that's built in encouragement

Last edited by PrairieDawn; 07-13-12 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 07-13-12, 11:48 AM   #4
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Can I ask for your opinion about which goal would be best to start with? I just would rather talk about it first because I want to be careful and not screw up. I want this first one to go as smoothly as possible.

And my only concern with rewards is I think I'm good at 'getting around the rules'. I feel like my mind says 'oh I can't use that, but I'll just pm people'. I mean, obviously, the biggest reward for me is succeeding and fixing my life. I do feel like a better reward for this would be something that's an actual object or something because it's harder to get around the rules.

Idk, what do you think?
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Old 07-13-12, 11:56 AM   #5
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Full disclosure. I don't want to keep what I'm proposing for 20 a secret. I do this every day at my job to help people be more independent and to increase their rate of success, and thereby increasing self esteem and a lot of other positive things. This is called Behavior Modification (we call it B-Mod). We use it in daily life without realizing it.

This approach recognizes that all behavior is linked to a consequence. When we like the consequence, that behavior will increase so we can have the consequence again. When we don't like a consequence, we will stop doing the behavior that caused the undesired consequence.
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Old 07-13-12, 11:57 AM   #6
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Can I ask for your opinion about which goal would be best to start with? I just would rather talk about it first because I want to be careful and not screw up. I want this first one to go as smoothly as possible.

And my only concern with rewards is I think I'm good at 'getting around the rules'. I feel like my mind says 'oh I can't use that, but I'll just pm people'. I mean, obviously, the biggest reward for me is succeeding and fixing my life. I do feel like a better reward for this would be something that's an actual object or something because it's harder to get around the rules.

Idk, what do you think?
Ok I'll think about it and get back to you.
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Old 07-13-12, 04:51 PM   #7
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Hey 20. I was thinking about your list of long range goals. And I looked at some of the articles. I think this is a good place to start (and I'm sorry about the word 'laziness' here - I would never have chosen that word! Just means it can be hard to get started):

Overcoming Laziness And Inertia Towards Working On Your Issues | www.succeedsocially.com

It will give you a good but brief introduction. Read only 2 "sections" of the article a day. This article has 9 sections. If you think you can handle 3, then try that - but no more! Read your 2-3 sections, then summarize them here, or in a book. You can do this however you want - you can ask questions about what you read, and / or you can sum up what you read in 1 or 2 sentences. Writing about it after you read it will help to reinforce it in your mind. Also, you can look back after a while and have an at-a-glance, brief description of everything you learned. Keep your sentences or questions on the positive side (avoid saying, "I should do x, but ....". No buts! Even if there is a 'but', we can address that later).

You can start tomorrow, or Monday if you want to do it M-F. Probably good for the weekend though since you are more free then anyway. After the introduction, I think self esteem is a good place to start because it an be the foundation on all the other things on your list. What do you think?

Some places in the article have a link to another article. This is where people can get lost, switching back and forth and all around. Don't click the link yet - you can read that other article another time. Stick with one thing until it's done - thay will avoid feeling overwhelmed with information.

So.... a tangible reward, huh? Hmmm..... We might have to think about this one for a while. Don't be discouraged - effective rewards can be hard to find. You can go to the animal shelter and be licked by puppies?!! Is there any new music you want to buy or get for free at the library? You can download 2 new songs as a reward? If you want a whole album (do people still say album?), you can download 2 songs only at a time. I'll keep thinking....

Last edited by PrairieDawn; 07-13-12 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 07-13-12, 04:58 PM   #8
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I think this is a great idea!

I have one small goal myself right now. There's a new Mexican Restaurant in town and I want to try it out. I have the Newspaper Clipping taped to my computer right now as reminder. So, I suppose I'm goal setter too.


Start with something small and work your way up, just one day at a time. Just keep trying. Hang in There. I'm glad your sharing also.
That sounds delicious! Small goals, one day at a time... yep!
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Old 07-13-12, 09:35 PM   #9
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Thanks. I'll think about it in the shower. I'm freezing from working at a dunk tank, so time to warm up. I'm so cold. brrr

Thank you so much. You really have no idea how much it means. I want to cry right now, but not out of sadness, but from the work you have done with me and continue to do, even though I'm so stuck.

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Old 07-14-12, 07:16 AM   #10
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I share some of goals you have. Here's to both of us becoming unstuck
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