Self-Improvement Column: Four steps toward achieving your goals

Jeff Hartwig is a licensed clinical therapist and founder of 1 Focus Counseling in Canyon Lake. Photo provided by Jeff Hartwig.

By Jeff Hartwig MA, PPS, LPCC  
Self-Improvement Columnist, Canyon Lake Insider 

It’s a new year, which means a fresh start! For most of us, entering the month of January sparks renewed enthusiasm for the resolutions that we may have set aside due to various setbacks. These barriers to success can become glaringly difficult to overcome without an intentional plan.

To reset your focus, start small and begin with modest milestones and victories. Consider employing this four-
step process as a strategy for success in the coming year:

  1. Solidify your end result.
  2. Commit to a time frame.
  3. Identify potential barriers to success.
  4. Set a realistic start and end date.

Consider the goal of weight loss. The end result must be clear, achievable, and recognizable. How will you know when you’ve reached your objective if your goal is not specific?

A time frame is critical to recognizing the small victories, it keeps you on track. Every day at work, you set apart time to get ready, show up, and complete your daily tasks. Carving out a specific schedule will make your goal a genuine must, just like earning money from your job.

The barriers to achieving your goals are personal. Do you lack motivation? Do you tend to procrastinate or become easily distracted? Ask yourself, “What are the specific barriers that have previously created obstacles to the completion of my goals?” Identify these early and remove as many as possible to make the road to success more of a joy than a chore.

Again, think of the many milestones in your life (first day of college, a wedding, or the arrival of your first child). These dates likely are embedded in your mind. I say to you now, seize the date for your goal and be on your way!

Jeff Hartwig is a licensed clinical therapist and founder of 1 Focus Counseling in Canyon Lake. The information in this article is for informational purposes and not clinical advice, nor should it be taken or applied as a replacement for clinical advice.


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