GoalPOSTS™ in Practice
GoalPOSTS™ is fundamentally a coaching model and process. Over the past twenty years, it has been used in a number of different environments from business, to education; healthcare and more recently, personal mental health wellbeing.
“Many of my friends don’t even bother to plan out their tasks and activities, or they start working on tasks a day before the due date, and because of this, get stressed out and panic blaming everyone but themselves. Goalposts has helped me avoid this” (post-graduate student, Liverpool University)
“I think the model is great and it needs to be deployed in a format which will not seem like ‘extra work’. If the university could integrate this as a component within existing university student platforms, I think it would be readily adopted” (Post-graduate student Liverpool University)
“This would be great for student mental health. Did you know that there’s an award University’s get for looking after the mental health of their students? UCL has to be proactive to ensure that they can keep the award, I think Goalposts would help them with that.” (Undergraduate student, University College London)
“As a post-graduate international student, where English is my second language, it can be hard to achieve the university’s academic standards, let alone reaching my family’s expectations, which is a completely different level of stress. Regents attract some of the best international students and it’s very competitive. Goalposts is an excellent tool and it has given me a structure for identifying goals and achieving them that I haven’t had before.” (Post-graduate international student, Regents Business School London)
“Goalposts is a tool which enables a self-manged approach, which in itself it is very practical. I like the circular methodology because I know that achieving one goal often leads to needing to achieve others. I recognise that the process isn’t circular in a static sense, it’s more akin to a spiral,” (HR Lead, Private Wealth Investments)
“I’ve been using the Goalposts process to re-focus myself. I go back to it and review and update when I’m feeling stuck. I like using it because I can dip into any part of the process to review where I am and move forward from there. I don’t feel as if I have to just continue from the last point, I don’t feel hemmed in.” (Senior Manager [Housing], Midlands-based Local Authority)
“I enjoyed using Goalposts, it’s a solid model. There are times when being the leader is particularly challenging and I miss having a manager to feedback to; notwithstanding that I do prefer operating in a self-directed manner, I’ve found that dipping in and out of Goalposts, rather than using the complete model all of the time, has helped me in finding the motivation to just get stuff done!” (Managing Director, SME, high-tech surfaces manufacturer)
“The fact that you’ve included ‘Position’ is interesting. This introduces the concept of Mindfulness (understanding your ‘past’ and ‘present’, so as to manage your ‘present’ and create a different ‘future’). It provides the opportunity to adopt mindfulness therapies.” (GP, Mental Health Advisor, TogetherAll)
“Even when people are ragingly unwell finding the glimmer of a goal or simply a reason for living, this can be lifesaving and move people to place of lesser distress or at least be there as a protection when needed. Goalposts could do this for specific groups. I see these as people with mild anxiety disorders and / or mild to moderate depression.” (Senior Counsellor, University College London)
“Sometimes you just need to have an additional wobble when you’re not feeling on top of things, to really stress you out. The pragmatic nature of Goalposts has helped me to focus and what I can do in the ‘here and now’, and not be concerned about stuff that actually I have little or no influence over.” (Radiography Manager, Bedford (South Wing) NHS Hospitals Trust)
Personal Mental Health Wellbeing
Through on-going co-production with an NHS Mental Health Recovery College, GoalPOSTS™ has demonstrated that it aligns well with the key principles underpinning the mental health recovery journey, often referred to as the CHIME Principles: Connectedness, Hope & Optimism, Identity, Meaning & Purpose, and Empowerment.
The impact of using GoalPOSTS™ upon improving feelings of anxiety and stress has been eluded to in use-cases from education and general healthcare. Its’ use as a tool with people challenged by specific mental health wellbeing issues, has developed in association with an NHS Mental Health Recovery College. Notwithstanding mentions by students and healthcare workers of the impact GoalPOSTS™ has had upon their perceptions of enabling them to better manage feelings of stress and anxiety, one specific use-case study; that of Keith Hackett; demonstrates the power of GoalPOSTS™ in providing a model and process to move Keith from out-patient psychiatric care to a fully functioning healthcare manager, over a period of approximately six months
During Keith’s career, he has been challenged by stress and anxiety, which has sometimes led to depression. It was during one particularly difficult time that he was referred to NHS mental health services. Unfortunately he floundered under NHS psychiatric care, and he removed himself from the pathway. Instead, Keith used his own GoalPOSTS™ model to provide a level of structure and pragmatism that the NHS was unable to offer him. He pursued his own positive recovery journey.
This journey with GoalPOSTS™, together with the association with the NHS Lancashire & South Cumbria Mental Health Recovery College, using co-production to discover, and significantly enhance personal goal visualisation and goal realisation through storytelling, has invigorated him. Not only has GoalPOSTS™ proven to make a lasting, positive difference to those who have used it, it completely turned Keith’s life around.
His call to action, is making others aware, and encourage their adoption of, GoalPOSTS™.