Mental Health

Setting goals for winning mental health

Goal setting is the process of setting a target or objective you want to achieve.

These targets can be work related or personal, and they may be long term ambitions or simple everyday tasks.

A great thing about goals is whatever they are, they can be a powerful and affective way to support positive mental health.

The science of goal setting

Goal setting isn’t just a random idea.

It’s a process steeped in psychology and behavioural science.

It’s backed by science.

The SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) framework is a widely accepted approach to setting goals.

This method enhances clarity, improves target feasibility, and ultimately makes the journey towards the goal more structured and manageable.

Basically, it’s a recipe for setting goals that actually work.

It makes things clearer, doable, and keeps you on track.

Mental health crisis among men

Here’s the deal: mental health is a big deal for everyone, especially men.

According to the ABS (2022) National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing, one in seven men will experience depression in their lifetime, and one in five men will experience an anxiety condition.

Alarmingly, men are less likely to seek help for mental health issues than women.

The power of purpose and self-care

Goals give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning.

They focus your mind and keep you moving forward, which is important for staying mentally fit.

When life gets busy, and looking after yourself sometimes takes a backseat.

But guess what? Setting goals can be part of your self-care routine.

Even small goals can make a big difference when times get tough.

The value of connection

Social interaction plays a vital role in men’s mental health.

Activities such as engaging in physical activities and spending quality time with friends can have a profound positive impact.

Pursuing these activities as goals can be a great starting point.

The journey towards your goals

Big goals can feel overwhelming.

But if you break them down into smaller steps, they become much more manageable.

Think of it like plotting your course on a map – checking in regularly to make sure you’re on the right track.

Small actions, big results

Setting goals isn’t just about ticking off a to-do list.

It’s about taking care of yourself and living your best life.

By setting goals that make sense for you and using the support available, you can take big steps towards better mental health.

If you’re stuck on what goals to set for quick wellbeing boosts, here’s five simple suggestions:

  1. Take a mindful moment – Set a goal to take a few minutes each day to practise mindfulness. This could be through deep breathing exercises, meditation, or simply pausing to appreciate the present moment.
  2. Move your body – Make it a goal to get some physical activity every day, even if it’s just a short walk around the block or a quick stretch session. Exercise is a powerful mood booster and can help reduce stress.
  3. Connect with someone – Set a goal to reach out to a friend or family member each day. Whether it’s a quick phone call, a text message, or meeting up for a coffee, connecting with others can provide valuable support and lift your spirits.
  4. Practise gratitude – Make it a goal to take a moment each day to reflect on what you’re grateful for. This could be jotting down three things you’re thankful for in a journal or simply expressing gratitude internally. Cultivating a mindset of gratitude can improve overall wellbeing.
  5. Unplug and unwind – Set a goal to disconnect from screens and technology for a set time each day. Whether it’s an hour before bed or a digital detox during lunchtime, giving yourself time away from screens can help reduce stress and improve sleep quality.

Resources for goals and mental health

You’re not alone on this journey.

There are heaps of resources out there to support you.

Beyond Blue offers fact sheets, booklets, and other resources to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health.

The Gotcha4Life Mental Fitness Gym is an excellent platform for men to work on their mental fitness.

Mensline Australia provides free telephone and online counselling services that are accessible to Australian men anytime, anywhere.


The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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