Reach Your Goals This Year: Ways to Stay On Track With Your New Year’s Resolutions

Did you set New Year’s Resolutions or long-term goals this year?

Can you believe that we’re already one month into 2017?  I sure can’t.  It seems that January went by in a flash.  The new year always feels like a clean slate.  It’s a chance to start again, reach goals, and redesign our lives for the better.  If you’re like most people, you started out the new year with lots of ideas and gusto about all the goals you wanted to accomplish. You made a list of resolutions and a plan to stick to them. Maybe you even went as far to create some of those S.M.A.R.T. goals you’ve heard so much about.  You promised yourself you’d keep those resolutions this time.  You were certain this year would be different from the last one.

Fast forward to today, January 31, 2017. 

How’re you doing with those resolutions and goals for the year?

Have you lost some momentum or are you knocking them out left and right?  If you’ve managed keep on track, awesome! Take the time to celebrate each time you make good on these commitments to yourself.  But… if by chance you fell off the wagon somewhere around week three, don’t worry.  That’s normal.  Dust yourself off and stop beating up on yourself for falling short of those initial expectations.   Because that’s all they were: initial expectations.

Time to regroup and ask yourself:  Do I frequently promise myself one thing only to cut corners or lose steam and never really do it all the way?

If YES popped into your head, but you’re at a loss as to WHY this happens to you, then keep reading.  This one’s for you!  Everyone’s been there, thinking back to unaccomplished dreams and wondering how they got off course.  Sometimes you need more than just the power of intention to make changes happen in your life.  Often the goals and dreams you’re hoping to accomplish require significant growth in some really uncomfortable directions.  Your insecurities, the past, self-doubt, lack of self-confidence or know-how are almost guaranteed to bubble up to the surface.  And it’s at that point, you’re likely to revert back to your comfort zone, avoiding the steps to achieve your dream or flat out abandoning it because it feels too hard.

Think back to how many times this has happened to you.  What’s kept you from moving forward and reaching your goal? 

If it feels like there’s an invisible barrier that’s keeping you from achieving your goals, there probably is – an internal brick wall.  What’s probably even more frustrating is that you’re aware of it and you’ve read all the self-help books and tried a dozen other things, and none of it has even so much as chipped a hole in that wall.  You still don’t get it – you’re good at reaching goals you set in all other parts of your life…except this one.  Here are my suggestions for emotional wall scaling if you know that 2016 cannot end without you making some progress towards your resolutions.

Three Cs: consultation, coaching, or counseling.  I’ll explain what I mean.

Consultation

This is when you meet with an expert to seek their advice about a concern.  You give them all the relevant details about your circumstances and the options you’ve considered. The expert gives you some objective advice, helps you flesh out pros and cons, and may even point out some possible considerations to look out for as you proceed.  Let’s be clear – he or she doesn’t tell you what to do.  They serve as an objective sounding board.  Consultation is great if you need some quick clarity and/or a nudge in the right direction.  It’s also laser-focused and short in duration, about 3 sessions or less.

So then, what’s coaching?

Coaching can help you identify and refine goals, and monitor your progress towards those goals.  Think accountability.  Like sport coaches on the sidelines, life coaches observe your performance and provide suggestions for continuous improvement of your “game”.  Coaches can help you identify obstacles (like emotional pain) that arise and find ways to work around them to keep you moving towards your goals.  Coaching is mostly future-oriented and time-limited, with most coaches working in 90-day increments.

There are all kinds of coaches: business coaches, executive coaches, career coaches, homework coaches, spiritual coaches, life coaches, relationship coaches, financial coaches, and even ADHD coaches.  It’s a largely unregulated industry, so just about anyone can hang a shingle outside the door and call themselves a “coach”.  Find a coach that’s certified by the ICF if this sounds like a good fit for you.  Another option is to find a licensed psychotherapist that provides coaching.  Just be sure you understand that the rules that govern therapy (like confidentiality, reimbursement by insurance, etc.) don’t apply to coaching.

 Coaching tows a fine line with counseling.

Counseling (or psychotherapy) is the treatment of mental health disorders to address thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that people find troublesome.  Most of the mental health professionals and coaches I’ve spoken with stress that counseling focuses on reducing symptoms of an illness by delving into your past to heal those wounds.

Personally, I disagree with this definition.  I feel that great counseling integrates coaching principles and techniques.  At least, that’s my style, but that’s a whole other blog.  Suffice it to say that limiting thoughts, behaviors, and/or feelings are likely at the root of your difficulties achieving personal and professional goals. So symptoms of anxiety, depression, etc. show up during coaching as people keep bumping up against the same walls.

That’s where counseling comes in.  Instead of finding a way around that wall, therapy gives you the tools (ahem, sledgehammer) to knock down that sucker so it’s out of your way for good.  With those barriers out of the way, your goals and dreams are in plain view and the path is cleared.  It’s hard work, but oh so rewarding.

I hope this post has helped you figure out the kind of support you may need to make your 2017 resolutions a reality.  If you’re considering help to demolish some emotional walls, call me at (305) 501-0133 or click here if you’re ready for a free 20-minute Clarity Consult to decide if my brand of counseling with integrated coaching is the right fit for your needs. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have about how support can get you back on track with your new year’s resolutions.   If you enjoyed it, share this post with that someone you know is struggling.  They’ll thank you for it and you’ll have a friend for life!

erika martinez media expert psychologist miami

Erika Martinez, Psy.D.is the founder, owner, and a licensed psychologist at Envision Wellness in Miami, FL.  She specializes in working with ambitious young professionals and entrepreneurs to overcome anxiety/stress, burnout, limiting beliefs, people-pleasing, low self esteem, heartbreak, and toxic relationships/codependency.  Dr. Martinez has a passion for helping others achieve happy, fulfilling, and change-making lives that make the world a better place.  Click here to schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation.  Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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