Welcome to this Monday’s edition of mental health matters. I’ve decided to share some topics on Mondays that require no links – no selling, just telling – that will benefit your life far beyond fashion. I am a mental health professional and while I initially started blogging to tap into my fashion and fun loving side, I realize it’s time to share more than that in this space. Kicking things off with How to Really Reach Your Goals…and I promise it’s not a post about getting healthy (although there is nothing wrong with that!).
How to Really Reach Your Goals
The beginning of the year is always a popular time to set goals and resolutions, why? Well, for starters it’s an easy way to mark time. When you’re celebrating success or keeping track of progress that makes a difference. There’s something kinda powerful about marking time when you’re eager to achieve. Another reason January is such a popular time for this? Everyone is doing it or talking about it and it gets you thinking…why not me, why not now. Let me share with you a few things to be mindful of and practice that will most certainly help you really reach your goals!
What You Focus On You Get More Of
Another way of saying this is change your thinking or better yet, changing your stinkin’ thinkin’! Here’s the thing, you must stay positive when you are setting a goal and outlining steps to achieve it. Last week I shared how in 2023 I finally reached my Instagram goal of getting to 10k. It took me a long time to get there, seriously at least a few years. I often felt bogged down and defeated. Listening to podcasts, signing up for free courses on how to grow on IG, and asking questions of my friends who had big accounts did little to really help me. Why? Well, because I kept coming up with all the reasons I couldn’t do it. I’d be inspired for about a day or so and then, when whatever new strategy I tried didn’t work, I’d give up. Thinking Instagram hated me, that I had nothing to offer, that I wasn’t good enough, or that somehow the window of opportunity had closed all served to do nothing but bring me down. Focusing on all that got me more of that! I focused on what I couldn’t do and I couldn’t do it.
To help better explain this, think about disciplining a child. By the way – discipline means to teach, not to spank or punish. When you want a child to do something – or choose one behavior over another – rather than say, “Don’t run” you would say, “Please walk.” Why? Because the brain hears and focuses on the last thing said. Saying don’t run is going to get you more running.
If your goal or resolution is health related focus on the behaviors you want to incorporate rather than the ones you want to be rid of. Rather than giving up junk food tell yourself you are going to eat healthier snacks, rather than say what you can’t eat talk about what you can. Trying to get more exercise in? Look at all the positives instead of the negatives. Feel like you are killing yourself at the gym you just joined? Change what you are doing and find something you enjoy.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
I used to tell my students when I spoke at the 5th grade “graduation celebration” to choose their friends carefully because they are like elevators. They will bring you up or bring you down! It’s honestly so true. The 5 people you speak to the most each day have so much influence over you. Please understand, friends and family are our sounding boards and by all means, venting, sharing frustrations, and even complaining is part of building a strong and trusting relationship. But when it’s only negative it starts to take a toll. This doesn’t mean you have to end those relationships but recognize how you feel when you come away from an interaction. If you are comfortable and have a close enough bond with the person you can even share how you feel with them; if not, then try to limit those conversations. This is not always easy but it’s worth the work in the long run.
In short, I don’t know of a situation where complaining a lot ever really helped anyone achieve a goal. Positive action helps you achieve a goal. I don’t know a single successful person who has ever said, “I just sat back and did nothing.” Think about that. Only YOU can make it happen.
Is it Really What You Want?
Sometimes we set goals because they seem like the popular thing to do. Grow on social media, organize your closet, your life, your fridge, lose weight, etc. But the goal may not always be a good fit with your life. And that my friends is the real reason you aren’t reaching your goal.
You may know that I was a Weight Watchers leader for 15 years. I had lost 60 pounds myself – about 30 on the program and really enjoyed inspiring others. Nothing felt better than celebrating a member’s achievement. But the big factor in their success was making changes they could live with to maintain the weight loss. Not just getting there but staying there, no matter what your goal is, that’s what really matters.
At some point you have to ask yourself if it’s really what you want and if you are willing to do what it takes to maintain it. Taking on a project – weight loss, blogging, writing a book, changing careers, learning a new skill – all require time, focus, and change. Are you really willing to make the changes? Do you have the time it will take?
Back to my social media goal – I wanted to grow. Growing on social media means taking the time to consistently publish content and engage. I came to the realization that I was just posting here or there, not at the same time each day, and I wasn’t consistently spending time on Instagram engaging. Getting tired of not accomplishing my goal, I made the decision in June of 2023 that I would post every single day at 5:30pm and I would spend about 30 minutes total engaging before and after I posted. I committed to doing it for at least 6 months and then I’d evaluate. It definitely worked and also made me realize a few things. I am not interested in spending more time than 30 minutes a day engaging and the bigger your account, the more work you’ll do! So when it comes right down to it, I really don’t want a big Instagram account. I don’t want the pressure that comes with it and now I realize that.
Know the Difference Between a Goal and a Wish
There’s a fine line between a goal and a wish. I wish I could post a reel and it would go viral and my account would blow up with women who want to follow me and enjoy my content. It would be so wonderful and exciting if that happened! However, my goal is to create content that attracts women who like my style, need a little outfit inspo, and want to engage with me. Quality rather than quantity is my focus. I do have to keep reminding myself of that and not compare myself to others. It simply serves no purpose. Also? Like I mentioned above – I don’t want the added stress of the big account, it is a lot of pressure and I’m not at a point in my life that it’s a good fit.
Just start. If there’s something you want to do just start. But allow yourself to make changes along the way. I like to set SMART goals because they’re specific and measurable. No matter what, JUST START. When you start something your brain works to close the loop so taking that 1st step is key. Allow yourself many opportunities to evaluate as you go. You may find that what you thought you wanted is not really what you wanted at all. Be open to this and focus on the positive!
I’m gonna leave it right here for now and would love your feedback. Do you have specific goals you are trying to achieve? Can I help you come up with a plan? It is my superpower. Seriously, I LOVE helping and motivating others.