941-462-4807 meg@megyounglcsw.com

It is spring. In the northern United States life is starting to bloom – trees, flowers, grass. Animals are coming out. It’s a time of “rebirth;” of happiness of newness. So at a time when it seems like everyone everywhere is feeling excited and happy, you might be thinking, why can’t I feel happy and energized? I want to feel happy. I want to have a sense of new beginnings. Instead you may still be feeling a sense of hopelessness…another year went by and I’m still having panic attacks, anxiety, irritability, general unhappiness. Will it ever improve? Will I ever feel good again?

Can you imagine what it would be like to feel that happiness? Picture it with me: The ability to go out without fear of having a panic attack and needing to leave a situation. The fun times at the beach or park or museum or show or vacation with your family. The smiles and laughs. The feeling of being carefree, even for just the time you’re at the beach, park, museum, show or vacation. The lightness of your steps as you walk. The relaxed muscles in your shoulders, neck and face. The happiness you see in your family. Your thoughts being of happy things. The weather being absolutely perfect that day and taking a deep breath of the fresh air. Take a look at what you’re wearing and how good that outfit makes you feel about yourself. What color(s) are you wearing? Those color(s) seem to bring out the best in you. They highlight your hair or eyes nicely. The way the clothes fit positively accentuate your body. You listen to whatever you hear – nature, opera, soft talking, etc – just taking that in, noticing how good you feel listening to the sounds. You can really get yourself there and feel good in your mind. It would be amazing to have that be reality!

What if it is reality? What if that becomes your new reality? What would that mean to you? What would life be like if that were your new reality starting this year? What would it mean to have a sense of peace and happiness in your life…finally?
What would you do to have that life? Have you already given up on it? Can you pull it back out and decide, finally, that your new reality will be no more panic attacks, less irritation throughout the day, decreased worry, and rejuvenated interest in old activities?

Start with your goal. What is your goal? Dream big (but realistic). Visualize and define it in vivid detail. Tell me about it. I want to know what it looks like (visually), what you hear, smell, physically feel, emotionally feel, I want to know what it tastes like. Many goals don’t become reality because they are either too lofty of a goal or they aren’t clear enough. “I want to retire early” or “I want to be a millionaire.” Make your goal realistic, but high. Can you draw your goal? Create a collage to see it clearly? Put it out for you to see daily. Research has shown that when goals are visually seen on a regular basis, they are more likely to be accomplished.

Now break that goal down. When do you want to meet that goal? Again make sure that is a realistic time frame. You’re not likely to run a marathon in a month or three if you’ve never run before! Break the goal down into yearly goals, monthly goals, daily goals, and hourly goals. Write the goals down and keep them out where you see them every day. Sometimes the action step for the day is “look at my goal.” Sometimes, by the way, does not mean daily!

Go back to the overall goal. Why are you doing this? What is your motivation? Remember when I asked “What would it mean to you” a few paragraphs ago? REALLY know this. What WOULD it mean to you? Once you know what it would mean to you, you can find the right motivation to keep going with the action steps, even when feeling discouraged. Make meeting your goal your only option. As long as you have other options, it is easier to do what you’ve always done. That final goal MUST be your only option. Your only option is success. With that in mind, why are you doing this? Let’s find that motivation. Let’s find WHY this is your only option.

Having the realistic goal, broken down into doable action steps, knowing what your bottom line is (success), knowing why you are doing this and what it means to you for this to be successful, you have your outline for success.

Now it is about doing those action steps. Pay attention to the small gains along the way and frequently look at your goal and why you want to accomplish it; why it is your only option. One day at a time. Nothing big is accomplished overnight!

As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that I often write about what it takes to achieve goals: the importance of having realistic goals, breaking them down into more manageable action steps, finding your motivation and paying attention to the small gains. I am a very goal oriented person and believe 100% that this contributed to my success in life. Whatever goal I set my mind to, I have not allowed life to get in the way and have achieved all the goals I have set out to accomplish. I have had to overcome many obstacles in life myself, but the one consistent thing was keeping my eye on my goal and working those action steps daily. I had no other option. Success was the only option. I tend to write frequently about this topic because I believe so strongly in it. I also don’t think I’m the only person on the planet this works for. So, my hope for you is that you are able to set all fears aside and make success of your goal your only option. Call or email me if you need help getting started with this journey! Best of luck to your success!