Goal Setting Rethinking the Past Within the Context of Your Future

Goal Setting: Rethinking the Past Within the Context of Your Future

By Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”- Michael Jordan

One fact remains true: Individuals who have struggled with substance use and addiction within their lifetime learned to develop a level of resilience and grit that can only be attained through successfully overcoming life’s challenges and adversity. Through the use of “Experience Mapping,” an individual begins with focusing on past successes within the context of their desired future.

Experience Mapping:

Developed by Businesswoman, Karen Newman (2009), Experience Mapping is a process of taking an inventory of your skills, abilities, training, education, experience, and anything else that enables you to realign all of those assets and resources in a new area. It’s a simple and effective process that can change your life. Experience Mapping:

  • Increases motivation
  • Builds self-efficacy
  • Lets you know that your strategies are working

Power of Visualization:

Visualizing something successful that you have already done in the past is actually more empowering than visualizing something in the future that you have not done yet. It is easier to visualize the past simply because you were there, and you already have all the details of the event where you performed at your best.

Putting it to Work:

Think of a time in your life when you set a goal for yourself and successfully achieved that goal in one of the following areas. (No goal is too big or small):

  • Level of health-physical, emotional, freedom from addiction
  • Education
  • Career
  • Financial life
  • Family life/Relationships
  • Social life
  • Contribution (volunteer, community, other)
  • Spiritual life

Look more deeply into the goal you achieved above: Recall a timeframe for when this event happened. Can you remember where you were when you achieved your goal, how it happened, who else was there, and how it felt emotionally? Use this exercise whenever you feel self-doubt, the desire to give up, or lost in the process. You’ve done it before, you will do it again.

Selected resources

Newman, Karen (2009). Experience Mapping(TM): How to Leverage Past Experience for Future Success. Create Space Publishing. ISBN 10: 1449958451

Life begins where addiction ends.  Call now to learn more about our addiction treatment modalities and treatment programs (888) 920-8849.

Susan Finley, Ed.D., NCC is an educator, published researcher, and social media consultant. She is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) (e-therapy) and Suicide Prevention Instructor (QPR) under the National Board for Certified Counselors.

How to Contact Passages Addiction Treatment Centers:

Call Passages Addiction Treatment Centers today if you or a loved one is battling an addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our admissions department is available 24/7 and can be reached directly by calling our toll-free number at (888) 397-0112. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

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