Overcoming Anxiety Through Your Values - Scott Groves LPC

If we understand anxiety as typically resulting from fear of an unknown outcome or worry, it makes sense to first look at the thoughts behind this fear. This starts with identifying the thoughts. “What am I telling myself that is possibly contributing to my anxious feelings?” “Are the thoughts rational?” In other words, is the outcome that I am imagining a likely possibility, or am I engaging in awfulizing (assuming the event or outcome will be more than I can tolerate if it occurs)? Can I dispute these thoughts, or beliefs, that contribute to my worry? These are a few of the questions we can ask to begin to overcome any emotional disturbance. In addition to this, I believe we can limit anxiety by having a clear understanding of our values.

In my practice I often see people for reasons such as anxiety or depression, and rarely do we find a need for medication. After speaking with them for a period of time, we discover that there is usually some level of discontent with current life circumstances. Most people that come to me for therapy have some level of upset around where they think life should be or the direction life is going. This upset often has contributed to troubles in their relationships with others at home or at work. In addressing these issues, I like to start with an evaluation of their values.

When I ask people what they value, I usually get a response such as integrity, honesty, etc. What I am looking for in that question is what they love. If they could truly do what it is they would love to do, what would it be? There are a series of questions that can be asked to narrow these values down to a short list of their top values. I refer them to Dr. John Demartini's exercise for this clarification  Once we have established these values, we can then begin to evaluate and see where they have been living life outside of these values. When people begin to see that they have been living their life based on what they were told they 'ought' to do by someone else or what they believed they 'should' be doing, they start to recognize the source of their emotional upset. At this point a real change can begin to take place.

As we recognize the important roles that thoughts, values, and psychological needs play in our lives, we can begin to take ownership of the direction of our lives. This direction is what most people are lacking. The increased sense of control that comes with a deeper understanding of who we are and why we do what we do, along with the right tools to help along the path, leads to a life of decreased worry and stress.

Have questions about taking the first steps to overcome your anxiety? Feel free to get in touch by sending me an email.

How To Stop Worrying - Scott Groves LPC

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), is a very common diagnosis. I recently read an article which points out one effective way of examining the thought process that leads to anxiety by keeping track of our worries, and then evaluating them at the end of a given time period. They used this information to determine whether or not the worries "came true". Of course, most worries do not come true and the article suggests that this realization, accomplished through this exercise, can help us to worry less thereby decreasing our anxiety. This can be an effective tool (also referred to as a thought journal), but I suggest applying this idea to every negative emotion.

If we are worrying about something that will likely never come true (this happens 91% of the time according to the researchers at Penn State University), we would call that irrational thinking. If, as the article suggests, we can "diminish the distress that comes with chronic worrying" by recognizing this irrational thought process, it might be wise to apply this idea to every area of our lives that could potentially cause emotional upset. This is what Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy(mentioned later as REBT) teaches and it can be applied to most areas of our lives to prevent negative, unhealthy emotions as well as to improving relationships.

REBT teaches that emotional disturbance is caused by irrational thinking. For instance the statement "I must pass the test next week", seems harmless. It may be true that if you do not pass the test next week you will fail the course. But why would this be an anxiety inducing statement? The statement is simply a statement of fact. The problem is that a number of people attach personal value to statements like these or they catastrophize the outcome. So, in reality the thought behind the simple statement "I must pass the test next week or I will fail the course", becomes "I must pass the test next week or I will fail the course and therefore will never get into the program I want and that means I am a complete failure".

REBT suggests that we challenge the irrationality of this thinking by recognizing that failing one test does not necessarily mean the outcome will be catastrophic. It certainly does not mean that I am less of a person because I did not perform as I would have liked to.

Learning to evaluate the beliefs behind an emotion is a valuable, life-enhancing ability. While it is not difficult to learn, it is something that I encourage people to practice daily. It takes time to develop the habit of thinking differently than we have been accustomed to for years.

Recipe For an Inspired Life

Below is a summary of the interview hosted by Landon with Type 8. Type 8 is a community dedicated to improving the lives of its members and those around them daily, and has designed a platform for getting amateurs and artists recognition for the work that they put into that journey. Type 8 reached out to me for an interview on how to live an inspired life. To hear the audio, click on the MP3 below, or enjoy the summary that follows.

Landon: What kind of work do you do?

Scott: I am a theracoach, which is a term people are going to start hearing more regularly. So essentially, I am a therapist, but the bulk of what I do, Landon, really is performance coaching, life coaching, that sort of thing. So, I work a lot with people who come in for generally one reason. For instance, they may call me and say they are anxious, depressed, or feeling stuck in a particular area of their lives. 9/10 times however, what I find is that these people are actually just stuck. They are miserable, and it doesn’t make sense to diagnose these people for these mental health diseases such as, depression or an anxiety disorder, when it isn’t what the problem is. It would be a disservice if i diagnosed my clients in that fashion.

As an example, I had a guy that called me several weeks ago, and he said, “Well, I think I need a diagnosis for bipolar disorder. I am in my mid-thirties.” So, I asked him to tell me why he thought that he was bipolar. “Well, because I am unhappy, I don’t like my job, and my family is telling me maybe I am bipolar.”

So, I explained to him that this isn’t really criteria for having bipolar disorder but let me guess for a minute. “You have already said you’re miserable, you’re probably having some marital issues, you can’t stand your job, you feel like you’re stuck in life, maybe you’re not where you want to be, you are in other words stuck.”

He said yeah that’s it.

“So, you wake up every day miserable.”

“Yeah.”

“You aren’t bipolar, you’re unhappy.”

(He doesn’t feel like he’s living up to his potential)

The majority of the people I see aren’t for therapeutic reasons. That’s where coaching comes in handy.

In dealing with people, I ask typical questions- what do you think is going on, what do you think is contributing to the way you feel? How does your family see these things? Family History etc. and inevitably what I get is that they feel stuck in some regard. Life is not what they thought it would be by now, and/or it’s not headed in the direction they would like it to go.

So, my approach with people works around the idea that there are 3 things that make up the recipe for an inspired and happy life. Any book in the self-help section, you will find a formula for success, happiness, etc. These formulas indicate that there’s a specific way of doing things to achieve a positive result every single time. I consider my “formula” to be more of a recipe. The beauty of it is that these three things taken together, or incorporated together, would prompt your life to become much more inspired. Much more enjoyable or fulfilling. But any one ingredient put into action, utilized alone, creates a life that is significantly better, or greater than it has been. (So even if it seems overwhelming to gather all this information and then put it together, you can still benefit from just including one piece of the recipe at a time.)

So, the first place I look is the person’s values. Define values. What are yours? I normally get social idealisms. Integrity, honesty, family, etc. But what I’m looking for is, “What do you love, what do you enjoy?” You can find out a person’s values by asking several questions.

Dr. John DeMartini is really the expert in the field of values and value determination, and how those affect you. He is the author of the Values Factor, and several other books. He is a great speaker and great author, I recommend all his stuff to my clients, friends, and family. He asks these 13 questions to determine your values. Some of them being, “When you’re in your office, home or private setting, what do you see when you look around? What do you see that inspires you, that you love? What do you love to do? What do you think about? What occupies your mind? What do you do instead of the things that you tell yourself you ought to do?” Oughts and Shoulds are an indication of values that we are living, that belong to someone else. I should go to work today. I should go help my neighbor. I’ve got to go do this. I’ve ought to go do this.

What I may be communicating there is something that I’ve been taught that I need to do, to be a good neighbor. Or, go to this job that I really don’t care for in the first place. If we are living in our values, that sounds like “I want to do this. I love to go do this.” Which as you can notice, uses completely different language than “I’ve ought to, or I should.” And a lot of times we will put off those “shoulds” for something else. So, what is that something else? That’s probably what you value.

If you’re living your values, the honesty, the integrity, the social idealisms will come into play on their own. Those become a natural part of who you are and what you do. (You can find links to the Values Determination Quiz in the resources section of this website, or you can click here to be redirected to the quiz!)

The values part ties in well with the second part of the recipe, one’s psychological needs. There are 6 different ones, Significance, Growth, Love, Contribution, Certainty, and Uncertainty. Everything we do, we do to meet those six needs. Tony Robbins, who has probably made more of a significant impact in my lifetime than anyone in the field of change, or coaching, and anything where psychology is concerned, created this test with Cloe Madanes. A lot of people in my field will probably disagree with my opinion on Tony, but they are probably in the academia side of psychology, areas that are looking for something that fits a diagnosis.

For instance, the fastest way to feel connected and significant is a problem. You probably know someone who constantly has a problem, they are always down, anxious or upset about something. Those people have essentially learned that they can connect to others through their problems. Its not necessarily a healthy way to connect, but essentially it allows them to connect with loved ones or friends and be the center of attention. So, they meet their needs for connection and significance through that problem.

Everyone that I see is striving to meet these needs. We all are. The interesting part is it’s hard to separate them from values, so what you need is to be able to help people meet their psychological needs through their own personal values.

We all have the same 6 needs but they’re in different hierarchies. So, If I can meet those needs through my values, without even pulling the third part of thought part into this, I’m already focusing on doing the things that I love to do. By doing so I am meeting my needs at a high level every single day, which creates a life that is significantly more inspired or impactful, than probably 99% of the world.

When we bring the third piece into it, thoughts are a significant piece of what I do as well. What I generally try to communicate to people is that everything comes back to thought, every experience begins with a thought. Here’s what I mean by that: if we go somewhere and we walk outside and its raining. (I personally can have some negative thoughts about the rain.) I walk outside, see that its raining and think, well this day is ruined. Now I’m going to be stuck inside all day, etc. We may walk out the same door together, and you may think, “Oh this is great, now I can hangout inside, watch Netflix. Its great weather to take a nap.” So, what’s the difference? I’m having a miserable day, because of what? Because its raining? You’re having a great day because its raining? No, it all boils down to thought. It’s the same rain and we’re two people walking out of the same door. It’s the same experience, but our thoughts are creating the emotions we have about the rain.

Now we walk out and see the rain and turn around and go back in. I’ve decided this is going to be a bad day, but you’re pumped! And you say, “Let’s go see this movie they’ve been talking about on tv.” So now I’m pumped too, but it’s still raining. The rain didn’t change. My thoughts about it did.

This can sometimes be something that is hard to grasp, but the best way I can explain it is, an experience is not good or bad, how we think about the experience makes it that way. Often times I get resistance around this because people want to be able to blame an experience, or a parent, or something someone did. And I’m not making light of trauma, but for trauma excluded experiences, often times its what we think about that experience that creates how we feel.

A good example would be the many studies about happiness. Overall, western countries are fairly unhappy. We are one of the wealthiest countries, the United States especially. We have essentially everything that we can ever want, lets be honest, even the poorest in the US, assuming that they are not living on the street, have more than most people in other third world countries. Even people who are living on the streets, they may have more than people in third world countries. Studies show that the majority of happy people aren’t in the United States, they are in these third world countries.

What’s the difference? From all indication, they should be absolutely miserable. They’re living in a grass hut, or maybe nothing, with one meal a day. Meals that don’t even compare to our meals. The difference here is thought. That’s it. A lot of people struggle with this, but what else could it be? Its important to realize that if you take these three ingredients separately from one another, if all you did was focus on your values, and live by those values, life would be completely different. If all you did was determine your top psychological needs, and live your life meeting those needs, then life would be completely different.  If all you did was recognize that all your experiences, they way you feel about those experiences comes down to thought. So, if you could just pause and realize that you are having a bad experience or having a bad mood and realize that this could change in an instant. This is what I try to communicate to people every day. If you take all three and bring them together and recognize that if you’re meeting your psych needs through your values, that I can have experiences that may be negative but I don’t have to let that experience ruin my day, or ruin anything. I can just realize that the experience isn’t good or bad, but my thoughts make it so. That has an impact on relationships and everything in our lives, so if we can pull the three together and recognize that when we do that, when we live that life, that it is truly life changing.

As I was thinking about this, I started thinking about Type 8, I went to the anagram institute. I wrote this down, so here it is:

The Anagram Institute said, “At their best, type 8 personality: self-mastering. They use their strengths to help improve other people’s lives. Becoming heroic, magnanimous, and inspiring.”

So, I looked that up, because that’s an interesting word.

Magnanimous means generous or forgiving, especially toward a rival or less powerful person.

And I thought, this fits so well with what we are talking about today. To have for your company, Type 8, to represent that level of or that pursuit of life mastery and really what we are talking about is emotional or thought mastery. These things, thoughts, values, psychological needs, all fit very well with the message Type 8 is trying to communicate. And I think if more people can receive Type 8’s message, recognize that life truly can be inspiring and heroic, that we can all live our lives passionately, whether our personality fits a particular category or not. We can all live our lives in a way that is beneficial to not only ourselves but to others as well. Thus creating a more inspiring, fulfilling life, but also a better world. A better world in your own universe, for your family, for your friends, for your connections. And that’s the kind of message that I try to bring to people every day through my work, and I know you guys do the same there at Type 8.

Landon: So, Type 8 started out as a platform for artists and amateurs, people that are really trying to pursue what they love. We are trying to create a community of support for those who just go for it, those who are going for the gold. What would be step 1 of trying to make that happen in your life? What is one practical step?

Scott: I think the first practical step is to really recognize that what you’re doing as an artist is meeting your values at a high level, and its contributing to other people. Unfortunately, for a lot of artists, art is not always a big money maker, and that’s too bad given the fact that is does contribute so much to everyone. Even to my enjoyment and many others that I know. But if you can recognize that art in all its forms and whatever you do as an artist is meeting your values at a high level, meeting your psych needs then great! Consider this, maybe your top needs are contribution. So, you are contributing at a high level, if you’re doing that consistently, on a daily basis. It makes your life different. When you aren’t doing that, you recognize it, you notice something is missing. That’s when the thought piece really comes into play. So, I think the first step, to answer your questions, is really to nail down why you do what you do. What are the values that you hold around art, or whatever you create? And recognizing the level of contribution that you’re bringing to other people.

Landon: So that’s really good information, that’s probably going to help a lot of people get over a slump that they’re in where they feel like they really want art to be the focal point of their life, but fear that its not necessarily sustainable.

Scott: Remember to that if you’re pursuing those values, and one of the things DeMartini says is to figure out your values and find a way to get paid very well for those values. It can be difficult for artists to make money doing the things they love to do, but keep pursuing that because you’re filling a void, and not in a bad way. The easiest way to make money is to fill a void in someone else’s life. Do not give up on pursuing your values through art in an effort to get paid by doing it.

Landon: So that’s helpful information for people who may be feeling discouraged about what they are doing right now. So where can they go to kind of get these steps, find their values, find what is really inspirational in their lives? What they should be pursuing?

Scott: I would start with the Values Factor by John DeMartini. You can go online to his website and find the Values Determination Process, which is a very helpful tool(link is in the text above as well). Then I would take a look at the psychological needs test, which can be found online in a couple of different places. Its by Tony Robbins and Cloe Madanes. That is probably where I would start. The thought piece can be a little more in depth, but one resource would be the book “How to Stubbornly Refuse to Make Yourself Miserable About Anything, Yes, Anything” by Albert Ellis. It would probably just be easier to just google Albert Ellis. Those are good places to start.

There’s a couple of books, if you google the three principals, that really goes into thoughts. There are some differences between these three principals and Albert Ellis’ approach of Rationally Motive behavior therapy, and the three principals but that is a lesson therein of itself.

Landon: The way I understand it is that you have some material coming that you’re working on now that will go on your website, that will be available to the public. Is this true?

Scott: Correct. My website is scottgroveslpc.com, or anyone can book an appointment directly through the URL oklpc.com.

Thanks for checking out our interview, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to myself or Landon, with Type 8.

Being Ghosted

This is in response to a Facebook post I came across a few days ago that I felt needed some attention. Here is the original post.

“I've been ghosted on WAY too many shoots this year. I'm chalking it up to unreliable people but for all of you that's worked with me before, what kind of other incentives can I throw out there to help with this? Free stuff isn't working anymore lol.”

This is a young man who thrives on helping others, contribution is one of his top psychological needs I found out after discussing this with him. He has gone above and beyond for those within his reach, and doesn’t understand why he is getting ghosted when he is providing his services for free. However, when reading through the comments on this post, I realized that perhaps many of us feel this way, that people ghost them for no reason and not knowing how to get people to stop ghosting them.

Ghosting is the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by, suddenly and without explanation, withdrawing from all communication. This is common among those who are dating, and for those in business environments who are trying to build rapport, client base, and even market awareness for their particular industry. With this post I want to focus on the business/entrepreneurial side of ghosting.

The reality is most people are not worthless, inconsiderate, irresponsible, or any of those things. They lack the very things we have discussed; namely, recognition of their values, a true desire to succeed at what they say they want, and a belief that they can’t achieve it or something to that extent. You should not have to incentivize someone that truly wants to participate, to do what they claim they really want. The problem is that, like most people, they don’t REALLY want it. I am in a business that helps people overcome trauma, depression, anxiety, fears, limiting beliefs, etc., and I have no-shows. Why? Because I am too expensive? Nope. Because the problem they say is truly bothering them isn’t REALLY as bad as they claim, and it may in fact, be benefiting them in some way. As for you, recognize that everyone WANTS to be successful, famous, recognized, seen, but most will never do what it takes or even ask the questions that get them to a point of realizing what it is really going to take, so that they can do it.

For instance, people constantly bitch about the 1%. “Do they really need that much money?” “Why do they NEED more?” They don’t. The 1% are the 1% because they are the 1% (that’s redundancy but it is true). They would still be the 1% if you took all the money away. They would be the 1% in a truly socialist economy. They are the 1% because they work their fucking asses off, get fucking clear about what they want, and do what it fucking takes to get there and STAY there! Most people will be the 95%. The 95% is everyone that says they want more. They want more success, more money, more fun, better lives, more meaningful lives, and on and on, but they will NEVER do what it takes. Most won’t even bother to define what they want in the first place!!! Now that leaves 4% (I am making these numbers up but I imagine I am pretty accurate). The 4% shoot for the moon but don’t quite get there. They don’t become the 1%. So what?! They have enough and they are content. They may not even be in the top 4% financially, but I am talking about people now and am including attributes that are not just financial success. The 4% live lives that pursue their values, needs, etc. They may be financially wealthy but they may not be in all actuality.

Anyway, most of us spend our lives being the 95%. We spend our lives (with the 95%) bitching and complaining about other people, wishing we could be the 5%. We bitch about the 5%, the 1%, and everyone that has what we don’t. So keep kicking ass and moving forward. You only want to work with the top 5% in anything anyway. There is no need to incentivize them to do what they want and love, because if they truly want it, they will take advantage of every opportunity they can to get it.

The Values Factor

“The Secret to Creating an Inspired and Fulfilling Life”

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I discovered Dr. Demartini several months ago. I started reading “The Values Factor” and immediately took the Values Determination Process online. At first, I struggled with the results because like he says, we all have these “social idealisms” that we believe are supposed to be at the top of our values list (family, integrity, honesty, etc.). Because of that confusion, I actually took the test twice in the same day to make sure I was doing it correctly. I then took it again about a month later. My results were the same.

My personal top values are Learning, my business (contribution to clients, business growth, etc.), and travel. A lot of people would look at this and struggle with the idea that family, for instance, is not at the top of that list. The reality is that all three of these values contribute significantly to my family. As I meet my top two at a high level, I am then able to travel with my family (something I absolutely love to do).

These values fell perfectly in line with my top psychological needs which are growth and contribution. I have known my psychological needs for a couple of years but nailing down my values seemed to give me the complete picture of where my life should actually be focused. Dr. Demartini recommends that you take the test every quarter to make sure you are living in alignment with you values. Over time your values can and very well may change. A person in their 20’s may not have the same set of values in their 40’s or beyond. As our roles in life change, we mature, achieve different things, have families, significant events occur, etc., our values can certainly change. The key is to make those values the top priority of focus.

I have attached a link to Dr. Demartini’s Values Determination Process for you to take the test, here.

Please message me if you would like to continue the conversation or book a coaching session to get started on your journey today!


Teletherapy & Its Benefits

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Teletherapy is a newer form of therapy that allows patients and clients the opportunity to have therapy sessions over an online, video chat platform. Teletherapy is not limited to video conferences, however, this seems to be the most popular type among others such as, phone calls or voice messaging.

If you have ever used a video chat software such as Skype, or Face-time, then you already will know the basics of how to have a teletherapy session. Sit in a well lit area, with minimal background noise. Ensure that you are comfortable since these sessions can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. Another thing you may do to ensure you are properly prepared for your teletherapy session is to double check that your computer meets any software requirements for the program or platform your therapist has chosen or suggested. Closing any background programs that are running that may bog down your connection speeds or overload your computer during your session.

Teletherapy provides a wider range of availability since there is no commute or travel time that is associated with the sessions, especially since you could basically do it from anywhere if needed. Are you having a really bad day and would like to squeeze in a fifteen minute session on your lunch break? Check to see if your therapist has any availability during that time and meet from your car! The options there are endless.

This also means that in addition to using teletherapy as a supplement to traditional therapy, you can get in touch with, and start to see on a regular basis, a therapist that is out of your local area. For instance, if you saw a therapist for many years and loved the results and working with that particular therapist, but you had to move out of town or across state lines for a job, or any other personal reason, you could still see your preferred therapist through teletherapy sessions.

In the same regard, perhaps you are going on vacation, but do not want to take a week off from your therapy commitment. You could still see about a teletherapy session so you could keep up with your progress while you were away. Or, even in the instance of inclement weather, such as flooding, torrential rains, or even snow that would prevent you from getting out of the house, would be a great opportunity to try a teletherapy session.

All around, teletherapy seems to be a more convenient option than traditional therapy. Some practicioners even offer more affordable costs for teletherapy sessions since they can likely fit these types of sessions into open areas of their schedules. Should you be interested in a teletherapy session, contact your preferred therapist today and see if they offer teletherapy sessions or if they would be willing to try a teletherapy session with you.

In my personal practice, I do offer teletherapy but if interested please email me to set up an appointment for teletherapy. Through that email we can discuss the basics of what softwares I prefer to use, and when our availabilities line up. I look forward to hearing from you, and hope this information was insightful. Should you have any further questions about teletherapy, please contact me today!

2019 New Year's Resolutions: Don't stop! Start Over!

Most people have quit by now.

As I write this we are a month into the second quarter of 2019. Most people had big dreams almost five short months ago of accomplishing some great feat this year, whether that was losing weight, working on their relationships, self-improvement, etc. And by now most people have QUIT! Most have stopped hitting the gym, stopped reading the books, and are right back in the relationship, job, or personal rut that put them there in the first place.

But Why?

Is it because the goal was too hard, too small, not motivating enough? Of course the answer is none of the above. The answer is that they didn’t have a measurable goal in the first place. Oh they had a wish, a dream perhaps. They had an idea that this year would be the year for change, for a fresh start. This would be the year they finally did it (whatever ‘it’ is)! But the dream was never planned and a dream without a plan is a wish!

The goal wasn’t measurable.

If the goal, plan, or dream doesn’t have a timeframe attached to it, what are the chances of reaching it? How many successful people in any area of life got there by wishing they would make it without actually having a game plan? And I mean truly successful people. I am not talking about lottery winners and trust fund babies. I would venture a guess that NO ONE who has experienced success in any endeavor simply had a dream, got lucky, and it magically happened.

Start now!!

If I am describing you it isn’t too late. The year isn’t over. Take 30 minutes, sit down, put pen to paper and start planning. Here is the template:

  • When do you want to lose the total weight (improve the relationship, become more productive, etc.) by? Set a date, write it down.

  • Measure backwards: How much do you want to lose in the next six months? The next three months, the next month?

  • What is your process? Which gym will you join? How often will you go? Do you need a trainer? What exactly are you going to do when you get there? How does your diet need to support this? (that may be another goal entirely)

It really is that easy! But you’ve got to take the time to plan it. Start now!

And remember:

A dream that never gets planned is just a wish

New Year's Resolutions and Why They Don't Work

Clients come to me for a variety of reasons. Relationship issues, work issues, loss of purpose, loss of hope, struggles with addiction, depression, anxiety, etc. The list is endless. After extensive discussion and “peeling away the onion” as we say, a majority of the people I see suffer from a few things. Some have experienced trauma. It has affected their lives at seemingly every turn. It is real and the suffering often feels unbearable. MOST PEOPLE however, suffer from thoughts that the world, other people, or even themselves "must” meet a certain expectation that they have irrationally defined, OR failure to establish Clear, Measurable Goals aimed at a vision of the future that is so compelling that the trivial things in life cease to interfere.

New Year’s Resolutions typically do not work for the above reason. If I state that “I want to lose 50 pounds this year”, that is not a goal. That’s a wish, a dream. The person likely to benefit the most from that wish is the gym that you join and stop attending a month later. There is nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight, improve your marriage, increase your productivity or performance, or any other healthy endeavor you choose. But simply stating you want to and writing down your desire does not create the result you’re after.

  • When do you want to lose the total weight (improve the relationship, become more productive, etc.) by? Set a date, write it down.

  • Measure backwards: How much do you want to lose in the next six months? The next three months, the next month?

  • What is your process? Which gym will you join? How often will you go? Do you need a trainer? What exactly are you going to do when you get there? How does your diet need to support this? (that may be another goal entirely)

If you dream it it’s just that, a dream. If you write it down it becomes possible, when you schedule it the result you’re looking for happens.

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