GoalPOSTS™ in Practice
GoalPOSTS™ has been used in a number of different environments: business; higher education; public health, and since 2023, personal mental health wellbeing.
Keith shares his own story as well as a selection of others, as a way of demonstrating how GoalPOSTS™ is used in practice.
There have been times in my career where I have been challenged by stress and anxiety, which has often led to taking time away from work, whilst on other occasions led to depression. It was during one particularly difficult time in 2019 that I was referred to NHS mental health services because of my depression. Unfortunately the NHS care provided didn’t work for me and I removed myself from the care pathway. Instead I coached myself using GoalPOSTS™, and successfully created my own positive recovery journey.
One result of my journey with GoalPOSTS™ led me to develop a relationship with the NHS Lancashire & South Cumbria Mental Health Recovery College. The recovery College expressed a professional interest in using GoalPOSTS™, and through co-production with the College and some of its’ outpatients, GoalPOSTS™ evolved.
Together we discovered that personal goal visualisation and goal realisation could be significantly enhanced by incorporating personal stories – from our past, present, and potential future(s). This revelation has changed the power of GoalPOSTS™.
“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” (Sanjeev 2018, 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.” (Laura, 2016, 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.” (Nastya, 2018, 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, 2014, Esefund LLP, 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 [Social Housing], 2008, Wolverhampton Council)
“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, 2016, University College London)
“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, 2020 Mental Health Advisor, TogetherAll)
One of the important discoveries through the co-production with the NHS Lancashire & South Cumbria Mental Health Recovery College, is that GoalPOSTS™ demonstrates alignment 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. May 2022.
Call to Action
The impact of using GoalPOSTS™ upon managing feelings of anxiety and stress to become personally more productive, have been eluded to in use-cases from education and general healthcare. One specific use-case study, my own story, demonstrates the power of GoalPOSTS™ in providing a model and process to move myself from out-patient psychiatric care to a fully functioning healthcare manager, over a period of approximately six months (March 2019 to September 2019).
My call to action, is making others aware that using GoalPOSTS™ can make a significant difference to how you feel about yourself, and how you have the choice and power, to change.