The company you keep
We’ve talked a lot about goals this month and are going to move onto February’s topic, relationships.
But first, we are going to recap what we covered in January with goal setting, so you have it all in one place.
Burn your resolutions:
Write out a list of resolutions, which will probably consist of things you constantly beat yourself about and want to change, but haven’t. One you have your list written out, on paper, burn it. And then listen to your favorite breakup song because for the new year, you are letting it go and moving on.
Do you need goals?
This week, I want you to think about what it is you really want. For now, I want you to focus on what it is you want. Not your family, not your boss, not your significant other, not the bully from middle school whose taunts you’ve internalized. Think about what you want.
How to set goals:
You want to break goals up into short, medium, and long term.
For your short term goals, figure out what your obstacles are from reaching your goal.
Taking the time to gain the insights into what your trouble spots are. Spend a few weeks really thinking about what has and hasn’t worked for you, what your current obstacles are, and what your strengths and supports are. If you’ve heard people talk about learning from failure, this is how you do it.
Medium term goals are where the action is- they are your action plan into making the changes you need. You will likely find that there is more to this than it seems like or that you had thought of. It’s ok. Even if you start out with a list of say, ten things, it is likely that after a little work your list will be much shorter.
Your long term goals are the things you want- to lose weight, be organized, have better relationship, or whatever it is you want.
How to implement goals:
When you implement your goals, you are trying to set yourself up for success. So often, we undermine ourselves because of poor preparation. As you saw with goal setting, to do one seemingly simple thing, like losing weight, there is often a lot more to it than it seems. Looking at change through that lense, it is much easier to see why we fail so often.
The easiest way to think about implementing your goals is that this is the step where you transform them into something you can put on a to-do list or your calendar.
Now, I want to talk about something that bridges the gap between relationships and goals: the company you keep.
This is an area that you might or might not be familiar with, but you have definitely encountered it in your life on multiple occasions.
For me, when I was trying to quit smoking, once of the reasons it was so difficult was that everyone I knew smoked. Trying not to smoke with the constant temptation was more than I could handle and I kept smoking. When I moved to Texas, by the time I quit, very few of my friends smoked and my husband had made it clear he was going to quit with me (he ended up quitting two weeks before I did). It was much, much easier when I did quit, although it was still really hard.
Being aware of the company you keep is a foundational part of so many things- religion, education, work, hobbies. It is something that we often take for granted, but can play a large part in our success or failure.
There are many relationships we can’t chose, like our family and coworkers. However, you can control your professional network and how often you see your family.
Over the next month we will talk about romantic relationships, family and friends, coworkers, and being introverted or extroverted.
While we talk about these different relationships, be mindful of how the people around you influence you and your life. We all influence each other, so that in and of itself isn’t a big deal.
Our relationships become problematic when we ignore red flags, assume we deserve the treatment we have always received, or are around people who undermine us. Sometimes, the worst people we know are the closest ones to us.
What I want you to do is just think about the kinds of relationships you have, the people you see the most, the people you are closest to, and the quality of your relationships in general. Are they fulfilling and satisfying? Do they leave something to be desired? Most likely, you have a mix of all kinds of relationships in your life.
Think about it and let me know! Email me, comment, find me on Twitter and let me know if the people around you will support you being happier and healthier, or supportive of whatever changes you want to make.
Thanks for reading- I appreciate you.
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