Self-Care Goal-Setting Tool
The Office of Student Counseling and The Wholistic Health Initiative (a PTS student
group), would like to invite you to fill out an 80-question ASelf-Care and Wellness Assessment@
and the attached ASelf-Care Goal-Setting Tool@. Both are intended to help you assess your
strengths in four overlapping areas of wellness and can be found on the intranet under Student
Counseling and Wholistic Health. After filling out the 80-question assessment, please use this
ASelf-Care and Goal-Setting Tool@ to take stock of what you are already doing that is working
and to prayerfully consider setting a few goals for the semester to help you experience more
balance and well-being. If you are married or engaged, please encourage your partner to join
you in developing a personal self-care plan.
You may choose to review your responses with a partner, friend, or small group and ask
them to support your intentions with prayer, encouragement, and periodic check-in
conversations. You may also want to meet with Nancy Schongalla-Bowman, Director of Student
Counseling or with Cathy Cook Davis, Director of Student Relations to review your goals and
progress in the fall, winter and spring. If you find you are resisting your own good intentions or
need to fine tune your goals, you may want to meet more often. These meetings will be
confidential, and will not require disclosure of specific answers on the assessment inventory.
For more information or to set up a first consultation, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or
At the end of spring semester, you will receive a certificate acknowledging your
participation in a self-designed wellness program for the year if you have completed both the 80-
item Wellness Assessment and this Goal-Setting Tool, and you have discussed goals and
strategies for personal change with one of the administrators named above three times spaced
through the academic year. The Certificate of Participation can be shown to your mentors for
ministry and will acknowledge your initiative in developing healthy habits to enrich and sustain
you at PTS and in future ministry.
A brief word about goal-setting... Be sure your goals are your goals. If you set a self-
care intention which feels like a Ashould@, you may be setting the bar too high, too soon. Try
Asoaking@ your Ashoulds@ in prayer to soften them into goals you want to achieve. It is better
self-care to set doable goals than to reach too far out of your comfort zone and become
frustrated. Try to be affirming, persistent, but also forgiving as you coach yourself toward your
good intentions. You might want to limit yourself to an average of no more than 2-3 goals per
area. As habits form and you feel energized, you can always add another goal or two.
A. PHYSICAL WELLNESS in your life may include some of the following:
BAdequate and varied exercise (aerobic, stretching, weight-bearing etc.)
BA healthy diet
BPhysical affection and play
BLimited intake of caffeine and alcohol
BPreventive health care through massage, yoga, stretching, etc.
BRegular checkups with physicians, dentists, gynecologists etc.
1. I am already doing the following positive things to support my physical health and wellness:
2. The one aspect of physical wellness I most want to work on this semester is:
3. A few reasonable and specific goals I have set for my physical wellness this semester are:
4. The easiest, small step I can take to improve my physical self-care is:
5. The first, small positive sign I will probably notice as I take better care of myself physically
6. The phrase which best describes where I am now with physical self-care is:
______ I am doing well in this area already and want to maintain the good habits I have.
______ I need some improvement in my physical self-care.
______ I have a lot of strengthening to do in terms of physical wholeness.
B. SPIRITUAL WELLNESS may include some of the following:
BPracticing Sabbath through times of rest, play, prayer, silence, and renewal each week
BRegular time for prayer, meditation, listening for God; developing discernment skills
BCorporate worship, and possible worship leadership
BParticipation in group or individual Spiritual Direction, a Bible Study or prayer group
BCultivating mindfulness about being centered and fully in the present moment,
BPursuing beloved hobbies or artistic pursuits such as dance, painting, music
BAddressing underlying faith issues
BTaking time to be in nature
1. How do you care for your soul and relationship with God currently?
2. An aspect of spiritual well-being I most want to address this semester is:
3. Some reasonable and specific goals I=d like to pursue in the area of spirituality include:
4. The easiest small step I can take is:
5. What I expect to notice first as I take better care of myself spiritually is:
6. The phrase which best describes my spiritual well-being at present is:
______ Overall I am pleased with what I am doing and where I am spiritually right now.
______ I have a few things I=d like to add or address this year to enhance my spiritual well-
______ There are many additional aspects of spiritual well-being I plan to incorporate this year.
C. PSYCHOLOGICAL WELLNESS may include:
BCounseling to explore unresolved issues, and find support with depression, anxiety, loss,
decision-making, relationships, compulsive behaviors, vocation and Acall@ etc.
BAddressing workaholism, perfectionism, procrastination, unhealthy competition etc.
BManaging time and money thoughtfully to allow time and resources for play
BMonitoring escapes such as TV, video games, shopping, the internet etc.
BDeveloping habits of encouragement and grace toward oneself and others; avoiding judgment
BBuilding self-esteem by conscious decision-making and follow through, living close to your
values, maintaining a sense of humor, and practicing forgiveness
BDeveloping a range of practices for reducing stress
1. I want to maintain the following healthy habits of behavior which already support my
2. My greatest challenge in the area of psychological well-being currently is:
3. I would like to set the following few specific and reasonable goals for mental/emotional
4. One small step I can take immediately is:
5. The first positive sign I am likely to notice as I work toward my goals in this arena is:
6. The phrase which best expresses my assessment of my psychological health now is:
______ I am pleased with where I am psychologically and reasonably confident I can coach
myself back on track as needed.
______I have some psychological challenges to address but mostly feel good about where I am.
______ I have some real issues I would like to work on in this area.
D. RELATIONAL WELLNESS may include:
BIntentional building of friendships and investment in community life
BPracticing appropriate boundaries with regard to time, touch, and communication
BExploring and sharing feelings and needs including asking for help
BSeeking counseling to address challenges in family of origin, PTS, field ed, intimate
BTending dating, marriage and parenting relationships carefully, making regular time for them
BBeing simultaneously assertive and willing to negotiate
BEnjoying the gift of sexuality in life-enhancing ways
1. The following practices are already part of the strengths I bring to relational health:
2. The relationship challenge I most need to focus on this year is:
3. I want to commit to the following specific and reasonable goals this semester:
4. The easiest small step I can take toward my goals is:
5. Given my specific goals, the first sign that I am becoming healthier in relationships may be:
6. The phrase which best describes where I am on relational health right now is:
_____ I feel good about the quality and scope of most of my relationships currently.
_____ There are a some relationships and or aspects of relational health I need to work on.
_____ There are many aspects of relational health or specific relationships I would like to
Nancy Schongalla-Bowman, Director of Student Counseling Princeton Theological Seminary
III. PLANS FOR SUPPORTING AND ASSESSING PROGRESS IN SELF-CARE:
_____ I would like to meet with an administrator at the beginning, middle and end of the year to
discuss my goals and be eligible to receive a Certificate of Participation in the Self-Care
_____ I would like to share my goals and progress with a friend or peer accountability group I
establish for myself.
_____ I would like to keep my intentions and efforts as a private matter between myself and