6 Mistakes to Avoid When Setting Goals

With the majority of the holiday insanity behind us, it's time to shift focus to setting goals for the new year. The limbo time between Christmas and New Year's when you don't know what day it is or how many cookies you've eaten is the perfect time to sneak away for a couple hours and plan your best year.

Dr. Laurie Santos, a researcher at Yale University, found that setting goals is a proven way to boost well-being. It's good for your health to set goals!

Achieving goals is a great feeling too. You stand a better chance of achieving your goals when you really develop them effectively from the start. So let's take a look at common mistakes to avoid when setting goals so you can generate powerful goals for 2024. 

Avoid These 6 Mistakes When Setting Goals

  1. Not identifying why it's important to you. If you set goals based on what you think you "should" do, your goals are being dictated by societal expectations. They don't have deep meaning to you. So you likely won't be motivated...
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Making Meditation Enjoyable When You're a Perfectionist

happiness stress Nov 15, 2023

As someone who reads self help books voraciously, I constantly hear about how powerful meditation is. And there is a lot of research backing the practice. So I felt like I needed to try meditating to reap all the benefits of less negative self-talk and a calmer nervous system.

Yet as a (recovering) perfectionist, it was important that I do it "right." For so many perfectionists just starting with meditation, it's something that feels like it should be easy. That we should be successful at it. But when we're met with the challenges that meditation presents, we get annoyed and often don't continue the practice. If we can't be perfect at it, we'll find something else to excel at.

Though my practice is off and on, I have been meditating for 2 years now.  So I want to share some tips that have helped me make meditation enjoyable.

It's easy to think that the only form of meditation is zoning out in silence. But that's not true. There is guided meditation! This is where there is a...

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Calming Music Vibes for Your Retreat Playlist

happiness retreat Aug 10, 2023

Imagine you're sipping coffee while sitting in an Adirondack chair taking in the morning lake views. The lake is like glass and you can see the trees' reflection in the water. There's calming music playing in the background as you breathe deeper and ease into your day.

The retreat playlist is part of the retreat experience. Most homes have Bluetooth speakers available and you can listen to your playlists to set the mood.

This playlist features mostly pop artists and is about 90-minutes long. As the playlist progresses, it gets a bit more upbeat.

Calming Music for Your Retreat Playlist

Sunrise by Norah Jones

Sacrifice by Elton John

Waiting in Vain by Annie Lennox

Midnight in Harlem by Tedeschi Trucks Band

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwoole

Alone by Bee Gees

Come Away With Me by Norah Jones

All My Life by K-Ci & JoJo

Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt

Love and Happiness by Al Green

Bad by U2

If You Leave Her (feat. Meghan Trainor) by Forest Blakk

For Your Precious...

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Identifying Self Sabotaging Behaviors

"There is nothing holding you back in life more than yourself."

That's the very first sentence in the book The Mountain Is You by Brianna Wiest. We read the book for book club and during our discussion I asked the members if they agreed with the statement. 100% answered yes.

One of the hardest things to do in this life is to look within to unravel the mess of stress, fear, and emotions that lurk below the surface. But when you want to heal, when you want to get unstuck, you must do the inner work.

Identifying self sabotaging behaviors is critical to your growth and progress. Knowing how to get out of your own way is powerful fuel for becoming your highest self.

Turns out there are many types of self sabotage. I'm super familiar justification. I often say I'm going to stop eating sugar and then order dessert after dinner. That self sabotaging thought process falls into justification. The little voice in my head says, just this one time.

Which of these types of self sabotage resonate...

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How to Shift Your Mindset When You're Full of Self Doubt

I love reading self help books because the insights they provide are like therapy. I find such value in understanding how our minds work. In 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don't Do by Amy Morin, I learned that the negative self-talk that infiltrates our minds actually has categories.

These were a-ha moments for me and I think you'll recognize some of these as well. We all fall prey to chastising ourselves, but it's something we can get better at. It takes awareness first. Having the awareness that you're doing it allows you the opportunity to course correct. You can shift your mindset to more positive.

When you're not as consistent with your goals as you had promised yourself, it's important to say what you really want to happen; not what you don't want. Speaking negatively invites negativity. Speaking positively attracts what you actually want. That's because your thoughts become your reality. And self doubt can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So when self doubt starts to creep...

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From Stoic to Emo – How a Control Freak Relaxed Her Grip and Became Peaceful

happiness stress Feb 14, 2023

You have to pick your battles.

I heard that expression many times after becoming a mom. And I'd always nod my head in agreement.

On the surface, I understood that sentiment. But in the depths of my subconscious, I picked ALL of my battles. I didn't let any go. I had to win every argument. Always be right.

My intense grip on life wasn't a problem until my child brought it to light. In her 4yr old way, she taught me that I was a control freak. I could deny it no longer. I had to face my demons and change for my family's sake.

It's crazy because control is a basic human need, but too much control becomes problematic. Control freaks have a hard time defining the parameters. You need control in the sense of having agency, yet also need to surrender to the things that are outside of your control.

Being a control freak looks like being fiercely independent; having trust issues; not asking for help; the need to always be right; placing productivity above everything else; avoiding emotions...

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When You're an Introverted Parent and Your Child Isn't

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree...or does it?

In the case of me and my daughter, we couldn't be more different. She is loud, goofy, hates reading, and can't stand to be alone. I am quiet, reserved, a total bookworm, and love my alone time.

While our differences may seem typical on the surface, it's completely affected how I parent. I regularly tell her how loud she is. I have to bribe her with iPad time to get her reading homework done. I have to constantly remind her to keep eating during meals because she will make a game out of anything that's sitting on the table.

Parenting is challenging. And it's even more exhausting when you're an introverted parent and your child isn't. It's a battle that results in feeling stressed and out of control for the parent, and feeling unseen for the child.

Right now, you may not even be aware that you're trying to get your child to be quieter because that's what YOU desire. Sometimes you have to hear something many times until it lands...

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How to Stop Overthinking Everything

One of the strengths of introverts is thinking things through and weighing risks before acting. This serves us in not making hasty decisions. However, we have a tendency to think too much and get stuck in one of the forms of overthinking:

Analysis paralysis



Overthinking is a hidden culprit that contributes to low energy. The mental load of weighing options, what ifs, and making decisions completely wears you out. But you're not doomed to constantly be a prisoner in your head. You can learn strategies to keep the chatter at bay. So what can you do to stop overthinking everything?

Know Your Values

First, know what your values are. It's much easier to make a decision when it's in alignment with your values. For example, I value knowledge, down time, and honesty, amongst other things. So investing in books, courses, and coaches is an easy yes for me because it increases my knowledge and helps me grow.

I also value rest and an unbusy schedule. So I...

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Emotionally Unavailable: Sticks and Stones Never Comforted Me

happiness success Aug 19, 2022

When I was growing up and would tell my mom that someone had called me a name or had said something mean to me, my mom would always respond with "just say: sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." And while I understood the concept of not letting mean comments get to me, it didn't work in reality. It still hurt.

I didn't know it then, but what I was really seeking from my mom was empathy. An understanding from her that I felt bad. But instead, my feelings were brushed usual. We just didn't do emotions in my family. While the 5 of us managed to eat dinner together every night, our conversations were never about how we felt. My parents were emotionally unavailable.

This explains why I've been so interested in learning about emotions lately - because I never experienced them. What I thought was an interest in personality has expanded into understanding emotional regulation and behavior.

The weird thing is that I don't remember my childhood before...

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How to Live a Successful Introverted Life

Once you've discovered that you're an introvert, it's time to start shaping your reality according to your true nature.

Introversion is your energetic trait, meaning you get drained by socializing and need to recharge your energy by being away from people.

Real talk: being scared and procrastinating due to fear or anxiety are not introverted traits. They're human emotional responses that we can change. Successful introverts are scared, but take action anyway. Fear and worry do not hold them back, nor are they defined by it.

Just as societal conditioning will lead you to believe that introverts are unfriendly and uninterested, the popular belief about success is that it's achieved when you have a large house, a vacation home, a couple expensive cars, and the list of material possessions goes on.

Yet how you define success is unique to you. Most people define success as making a certain amount of money. That's a goal more than a measure of success. And when that goal is reached, what...

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