Christian therapist Murrieta

How to set goals you can actually accomplish in 2019

Happy New Year! I can't believe it's already 2019. It seems as if last year rolled by too fast. Now, if you're like most people, you probably have great dreams for this year. You want your life to be filled with joy, you want your family to be healthy, and you want to accomplish some great goals. The problem is you have a bad habit of setting New Year's resolutions and then forgetting all about them by February.

Remember that unused gym membership from 2018? Remember the time when you said you were going to write a book but you didn't? Well, today is your lucky day because I'm going to give you 6 tips to increase your chances of actually following through with your goal.

1) Make your goals SMART

We all set life goals, but the problem is that some of us have goals that are way too vague. 'Make more money,' 'Lose weight,' 'Be happier,' all sound like great goals on the surface, but they are way too broad. I like to break my goals up in a SMART way. Here are the steps:

Make sure your goal is Specific: Make sure your goal isn't too vague. You brain can't compute anything that's too vague and your heart won't become emotionally tied to a vague goal. If you are emotionally attached to your goal, you'll be more motivated to follow through. So, you could say something like "I want to make $1,000 more in January 2019." That's as specific as it gets. 

Make it Measurable: Quantify your goals. Make sure each goal either has a completion date or some type of number attached to it. So your money goal of making $1,000 in January 2019 is measurable. We know exactly how much money you're trying to make and we know the deadline for completing the goal. That way you can break it down further each week to know what targets you should be hitting to stay on track.

Make sure it's Achievable: It's always great to reach for the sky, but how many of us have actually ever touched the sky?  If your goal is unattainable, it has the opposite result. You'll get discouraged and stop trying to pursue it. If your goal is to make $1000 in January 2019 but you haven't held a job in the past 5 years, chances are you might not be able to achieve it. So set something attainable, then set another goal as soon as you reach that one. So if you haven't had a job in 5 years, perhaps your goal could be to make $100 extra in January 2019. After you've met that goal, set a goal to make $200. Be systematic.

Make sure it's Reasonable: Also pay attention to your abilities, the level of support you have in your life, and your resources. If your goal is to travel to 5 countries this year but you know that you work a regular 9 to 5 job and you don't have any time off, that's pretty unreasonable. Even though it's great to think outside the box, an unreasonable goal will discourage you. And a discouraged person most likely won't be motivated to complete a goal.

Make it Time Limited: Add a completion date to your goal. An open ended goal will kill your ambition and you'll lose steam fast. But when you know you're going to be working toward a goal for a limited amount of time, it's easier to maintain focus. It's helpful to set 3 month and 6 month goals to begin with. Then as you get good at maintaining your focus, you can stretch those goals into 1-year, 2-year and 3-year goals.

2) Get an accountability partner: When you have someone positive cheering you on, you are more likely to work tirelessly toward your goal because you know they're going to ask you about it. No one wants to deal with the embarrassment of letting their accountability partner down. Make sure you only pick someone who is positive and encouraging. A Debbie Downer will kill your mojo.

3) Post your goals somewhere visible: I like the added accountability of posting my goals on a mirror, a door, in my car or somewhere I cannot ignore it. Why? Because if you can't see your goals, you can easily ignore them. Out of sight, out of mind. But when you are greeted by your goals every single day, you'll be more motived to actually work towards them.

4) Plan out small steps towards your big goal: A 5 year goal can be very daunting. So after writing the long term goal, break it down further. If you want to accomplish something big like buying a house in 5 years, what would you need to do in 3 years to help you reach the goal? Break it down further. What would you need to do in 1 year to reach your goal? Break it down further! What would you need to do in 6 months to reach your goal? Even further. What would you need to do in 3 months, and then weekly to reach your goal?

5) Schedule everything: Once you've broken down your goal into smaller steps, it's time to schedule it out on your planner or phone. I love Google Calendar. It's free and it can also send you reminders. Spend 1 day planning out your tasks and setting them automatically on your phone. That way when the alert pops up, you remember to get right on it.

6) Give yourself a reward: Goal setting is difficult business. Set a benchmark for yourself and agree to give yourself a reward every time you hit that benchmark. So for example, if your goal is to make $1000 more in January, you can buy yourself a treat every time you make $250. If your goal is to buy a house, you can do something special every 3 months as you're on your way to rocking your goal.

There you have it- 6 easy ways to actually accomplish your goals this year. And if anxiety or insomnia are keeping you from accomplishing your goals, I'd love to chat with you for 15 minutes to see if I might be a good fit for you. I help anxious women, insomniacs and engaged couples in the Temecula/Murrieta feel calmer, sleep better and lay a solid foundation for their future. Click here to schedule a free 15 minute consultation call.

 

Are you a Highly Sensitive Person?

You have always felt like you're different from other people. You get overwhelmed easily, you feel other people's emotions strongly, certain fabrics feel like sandpaper when they touch your skin, and you tend to get anxious a lot. You don't fit in in the world, your family thinks you're too sensitive, and your friends certainly don't get you. You were called "Weird" when you were growing up, but you've always hated that. You don't enjoy going to the club, other loud places, or being among a large crowd. You also tend to spend a great deal of time on your own. There's something about time alone that soothes you and makes you feel rejuvenated.

Maybe you're simply just unique.

You were created with certain unique gifts that set you apart from the people around you. Maybe that's why you never fit into a box. But let's face it, a part of you always wanted to be understood. A part of you wished others would understand you. But maybe you were never meant to fit in, maybe boxes weren't made for people like you.

A Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) is someone who processes stimuli a lot stronger than others. The term was actually coined by a researcher called Dr Elaine Aron. So you might hear a lot sharper than others, notice little nuances in the environment that others ignore, feel sensations stronger (hence the itchy fabric issue) and even feel emotions more strongly than others. You feelings might get hurt more easily. A HSP is often very empathetic. They might cry more when they watch a sad movie, or they might be completely horrified and might not be able to watch violent movies or play graphic video games. They often see the hurt and the pain that other people try to hide. Because they're so empathetic, others tend to gravitate towards them and pour out their hearts to them. But the problem with this is, a HSP often feels the need to help everyone- leaving her with no energy left for her own emotional needs. If you're curious to see if you're a HSP, take the test here.

Here are some traits of HSPs:

1) People think you're sensitive or shy.

2) You are bothered by loud noises and bright lights.

3) You get frazzled when there's too much going on in your life.

4) You enjoy structure.

5) You avoid violent movies and games.

6) You love spending time all by yourself.

7) You tend to soak up other people's emotions.

So if you take the HSP test and find out that you're a HSP, congrats!! You are one of the chosen few. Only 15% to 20% of people are HSP. This is why others find it difficult to understand you-it's because you're a rarity. So take off the stigma of being weird and different. You are indeed unique- not weird. I love helping HSP women learn how to care for themselves, learn how to maneuver their way in this loud world so that they can how harness their innate gifts and create meaningful relationships. Click here to schedule a free 15 minute consultation call, so I can help you move from emotionally exhausted woman to a master boundary setter. I also provide online counseling for women throughout CA.