Posts Tagged: goals

What do YOU want in 2017?

Good Morning to the Late Night Partiers and the In-By-Tens, Happy New Year! Is it is ok if I ask you a personal question? That’s what I do best, right? Sometimes we think about every body else before ourselves, so I’d like to help you start your new year off right by asking you this one thing…

What do you want in 2017?


Often, we don’t let ourselves dream or hope because we fear possible disappointment or failure, thinking if we don’t try, then at least we won’t fail. But the opposite is true; if we never dream, or hope or try something new, then we won’t know the happiness of a dream realized. Here are a few questions to spark your imagination.

What do you want for your relationships? The relationship we have with people we love are seldom easy to manage but can offer a great deal of love and comfort if managed well. Managing relationships well takes courage to set strong boundaries, humility to admit wrong, ability to forgive freely, and vulnerability to communicate intimately. It forces us to face our own fear of abandonment and offer an open hand to someone with no guarantee of getting love in return. The fear of abandonment is real, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you. What do you want for your relationships this year? For me, more laughter- at life, at coincidences, at silly mistakes, at myself, at God’s big miracles, and certainly in the face of fear. I want more laughter in my relationships.

What do you want for yourself? Maybe you know that something is missing from your life; like a passion, or healthy self care, or friendship, or spiritual connection. Sometimes we can be so routine and scheduled that we don’t pay attention to the small voice inside ourselves that needs to be heard. I find that when I pay attention to what my heart is saying, and I intentionally mull it over, something new and beautiful is created. My relationship with myself is restored, and so is my joy. What do you want for yourself this year? For me, I want to feel strong in 2017. That will include physical, spiritual and mental exercise- but if the right music is playing, I can do just about anything. 🙂


What do you want for your profession? Psychologists, gurus and wise old ladies all agree that meaningful work gives a sense of accomplishment, confidence and fulfillment. Acknowledging that our work is important and necessary helps us to find gratitude for even the most mundane or frustrating sides to our profession. What do you want for your professional, working self? More freedom, more flexibility to create, more structure, more cooperation, more education, more incentive? For me, the addition of an art/play therapy room will bring new creativity and expression to my counseling practice.


What do you want to say no to? This may be my favorite question to answer! Whether it is unrealistic expectations, or compromising principles, or personal disrespect or emotional vampires, or menial time-sucks- maybe it is time to give yourself permission to say no. Change things up. Try a new path. Practice saying “no” to the distractions and nonsense, and “yes” to what is really important. For me, I am saying no to the silly distractions that suck up my time. I will also be saying no to difficult-to-deal-with, low paying third party payers. (Shazam!)

Let me know how you answered- I want to hear your goals for 2017! Can I offer a blessing for you for 2017? It’s my pleasure.

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon, and be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Making Plans for the New Year

This Nook is where I do my writing and reading and praying. Oh, and Facebook surfing. The praying usually gets interrupted by the Facebook surfing. You know, just keepin’ it real. Anyway, this is where I do my best work. My soul work. My creative work. And since, it is the New Year, and people are making plans, I thought I might share a few questions I’ll be asking myself as 2016 approaches. I’ve also shared some of the things that decorate my Nook.

I have a space in my house called “My Nook.” The kids know where to look when the house is quiet, because this is my favorite room to hang out. It over looks the neighbor’s unfenced back yard where I can see the deer eating her flowers. The shelves are lined with my favorite books, pictures of my favorite people, and gifts from family who aren’t around anymore. I don’t want to brag, but it even has a fire place. Oh Snap. 

  • What are the best things that I can do with my time? There are a lot of good things I can be a part of. There are good organizations, good jobs, good groups and good people. But what is the BEST use of my time and energy? Don’t neglect the BEST for the good.
  • What is my singular calling? There are a lot of different things that I do in a day. Just like you, I wear a lot of different hats with different roles. However, I want to be singularly minded on my priority- my calling- my mission. For me it is to let Love Lead. Have you thought about your singular mission? I mean the thing that rises to the top in importance- it outweighs everything else you do in life. What is that? There are many distractions that take our focus off our Singular Calling, so give this a little thought to help you get it prioritized again.
  • What is my next step? You don’t have to write every goal down, or plan every step for a successful 2016, but you can identify what your next step will be. Write down a few action steps to get you feeling accomplished and motivated. Getting something done that you’ve been putting off is a great way to start the year.

Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future,” is more like a goal than a reality for me. Maybe you can relate.

Let’s ask ourselves these questions together, and prepare for the best 2016 can offer us.

Happy New Year!

How to Build Self Esteem Part I: Get Out of Your Own Way

How to Build Self-Esteem Part I: Get Out of Your Own Way  

Face it, if you don’t have it, you can’t give it away. The way you feel and think about yourself, profoundly affects your relationships.  I talk to married men who are broken hearted because their wives lack self confidence. I talk to parents who are completely distressed because their daughter’s esteem is bordering on self-hatred. I talk to women who have been crushed by cruel words and actions from people they trusted.  Our self esteem determines how we relate to God, and how we relate to other people. How can we get over low self esteem and become happy, healthy, fulfilled people God has made us to be? 

            Psychologists know that children’s self esteem is not only built through parental praise and unconditional love, but it is primarily built through accomplishing developmental tasks through life. Each task that is accomplished from walking to potty training to learning to read, builds a child’s sense of self-control, competencies and confidence. The same is true for us adults.

If you missed some of those ingredients growing up and feel at a disadvantage when it comes to self-esteem and self-confidence, you are not alone. Many adults struggle with this- whether it is taking a new position at work, or putting yourself out there in the dating scene, or just trying Zumba for the first time. Low self-esteem affects our happiness, our relationships and our ability to accomplish great things.

I will show you in this three part series how to build your self esteem. I’m going to be talking about 1) how to get out of your own way, 2) How to dream big by identifying what you want and why you want it, and 3) How to make and accomplish SMART Goals. When you pair up love and discipline, anything is impossible. Love- means that when you love God, yourself and others enough to break through your fears and do all you were made to do. Discipline means doing the hard work of planning, investing, plodding, and enduring until the goal is finished. When you have the combination of these two things working in tandem together, you will become confident and competent. Your self esteem will blossom.

Goal accomplishment has a lot more to do with self-esteem than you may initially think. Setting a goal, making the sacrifices and investments that are required to meet that goal, and then accomplishing the thing we desired adds to my sense of ability, competency, ego strength and maturity. However, if we rarely set new goals, or give a half hearted effort in achieving those we set, our self esteem lacks proper exercise for increased strength. When we half heartedly set goals, we never see our goals realized and that lack of success reinforces our low self esteem.

What keeps us from making and keeping personal goals? Well, fear of course! Fear of accountability. Fear of failure. Fear of taking risks and being wrong. If I write it down and say it out loud, I am making myself vulnerable to failure. But if I don’t write it down and say it out loud, then I will never achieve it. I stand in the way of myself ever accomplishing my dream.

Wishful thinking is also something that keeps us from realizing our goals. Wishful thinking is believing that somehow my goal will happen to me- that I’ll get discovered, or someone will hear of me and my idea and they will want to be my angel investor- is a sign of immaturity. Proverbs says, “How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— and poverty will come on you like a thief.”

Common reasons why people lack the motivation to see a goal all the way through.

  • Black and White Thinking- also known as  Right/Wrong thinking. Too afraid to do something wrong because of all the bad consequences that can befall you. 

  • Perfectionism = Procrastination: Because you believe that your product must be perfect before launching, you become overwhelmed and procrastinate, thereby putting out a product doomed for failure.

  • Fear of Failure- this is rooted in our own shame. Shame is the feeling that something is innately wrong with you. It’s power is so great that when tapped into or triggered, we either implode or explode. If we experience something as a failure, or we look like a failure to others, then our shame is triggered and we internalize that failure as being a part of us- as actually having the power to define us.
  • Self Fulfilling Prophecy- or negative predictions. The thing that you are most afraid of happening actually happens. The fear you have actually produces the energy to make that thing come about. We can be so self protective, trying to prevent or avoid our greatest fear, that we actually create space for the thing to actually happen.


Don’t Make This Mistake

Want to be successful at your goals this new year? Don’t do this one thing…
Have you ever had good intentions to make good on your New Year resolutions and goals, only to find that intentions weren’t enough? This has happened to me. Like the year I told myself I would work out in the morning at least three times a week. Or the year I said I would read through the Bible in a year. Or the year I said I would write a weekly blog post. None of these things happened for lots of different reasons, but one of the biggest was the “full plate” syndrome.

Think of your dinner plate. Let’s go with the meal I prepared last night. You have your salad, your lasagna, and your garlic bread. Seriously, is there room for anything else on the plate? Not really. Not even if it’s the healthy stuff, like the salad. It doesn’t matter how good it is for you, it just won’t fit. Not until you finish what you’ve already got, then you can have seconds.

A sure way to feel overwhelmed, even with good stuff, is to add extra stuff on top of the stuff you’re already doing. Get ready for the burn out. Get ready for your new, under-developed goals to be the first thing to get dropped. Nobody can eat all that stuff on their plate!

Something has to go.

Is it the late show, so you can wake up earlier? Is it the Starbucks coffee, so you can afford the gym membership? What has to be taken off the plate so you can make room for the good new thing? You will need to let go of something, even if it’s a good thing. It’s a mistake to just heap more good things on your plate without first taking something else off.

Here are a few that are making my list this year.

  • I’m taking a new job teaching Communications two days a week at Northwest University. This means having fewer hours available for my counseling practice. Instead of adding the teaching hours on top of the hours I’m already working, I cut out some hours of counseling availability.
  • I joined a gym this fall with a monthly fee. I cut out manicures and pedicures. Good thing it’s not flip flop weather.
  • I plan to finish a manuscript by April. I must give up all evening TV until then, except Downton Abby. Let’s not be extreme, people!
  • I plan to give my daughters more responsibility around the house this year. I must give up the twice-a-month cleaning lady. (I’m already hearing screams of terror, and the gnashing of teeth… and I think it’s coming from me…)
  • I plan to fit in two sprint triathlons this summer. That means I have to give up some summer leisure time to train. I also have to give up drinking margaritas the night before training. Oh the Agony!
  • Create More. Stress Less. In order to make creativity a daily value and part of my happy existence, I must give up the urge to work, work, work. I painted some Zen Tangle over Christmas break… I’m hooked!

What are your goals that you want to accomplish this year? What will you take off your plate in order to make it happen? Go ahead and share them here. I’d love to hear about them and cheer you on! Good Luck!

My “Relationship Savvy” blog gives you tips, advice, and flippin’ fantastic feel-goods to help with your most difficult relationship challenges.

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