Thanks for listening to Take Out Therapy, where you can improve your mental health, emotional stability, and life skills in less than 20 minutes a week. Simple, straightforward, authentic advice and education, right from a private practice therapist and anxiety expert. I'm Rebecca Hunter, and this is Better Mental Health, Delivered.
Visit TakeOutTherapy.com for lots more resources to help you thrive. Well, hello there, friend. I'm so happy you stopped in for the second part of the New Year's reboot process.
Hey, so if you listened last week, then hopefully you have a list of things you are getting rid of for this year, the out list, and things you want to bring more of in this year, which is your in list. This year, our reboot started with the ins and outs of 2024, taking into account your relationship to yourself, physical, mental, spiritual relationship with yourself, your relationships in general and any changes you want to make there, and your work life, which includes all the stuff we do every day to keep life humming along, whether we get paid for it or not doesn't really matter. So we take a look at those three areas.
We make a list of things that are out for 2024 and things that are in for 2024. So if you didn't listen to last week's episode, that's the very short recap of where we're at in the process. Regardless, hopefully this episode will really help you to understand why setting goals is so important to our personal growth and how to go about doing it in a way that sets you up for success as opposed to failure.
I really sometimes hesitate to set goals because I'm like, well, why set goals? You know, don't we all screw them up anyway? And the answer is yes and no, right? Because sometimes in the past I have set goals that were so vague, so unrealistic. Like, for example, I know I've talked to you about this before, but I'm not a big fan of exercising for the sake of exercising. I really enjoy playing certain sports.
I really enjoy hiking, but I'm not somebody that likes to go to the gym. So all those years where I set that goal, like, you need to get more exercise, you need to go join the gym and start working out, like, it's never resonated for me. I wasn't ever going to happen.
And I'll be honest, it never really did. But what did really help me after I learned, like, how to set goals was basically to get really in depth with what exactly exercise meant to me and create goals specifically around those activities. And I can say that I definitely move more today than I did in the past, and it's ever increasing because of my awareness of, like, what my goal is.
It's an achievable goal that I've set for myself that I want to achieve, not that the external world is telling me I need to do. That's the other thing, you know. Personal growth is a really personal process, and every person is moving in their own direction.
So reading memes on the internets is not going to help you set your New Year's goals. It's actually putting pen to paper and placing some intention around where you are in your life at this point and where you'd like to get to in this next season of life. So whether you're doing this in January or you stumble upon this episode in April, who cares? What I would say is it's always a good idea to do a little introspection.
Personal growth involves intentional living, accountability, and emotional maturity. It involves self-reflection. So, again, whether you're here in January or you find this six months from now again, I mean, it doesn't matter.
You know, it's your process, and you have to, like, kind of be on board with how you like to do things. So I'm meeting up with you in this usual way of, like, it's your decision, friend, what your personal growth looks like and where you are with specific things, specific areas of your life. Okay? So that being said, I want to teach you today a little method of setting goals that will really help you to narrow down that list of things that you want to create for 2024.
And this goal-setting method is called SMART goals. And perhaps you've heard this at a work conference or in a staff meeting or some other kind of work-y related context. But let's bring it into the personal growth context just for this exercise.
Because I think SMART goals are a really smart way to get some movement going in a different direction. So I'll give you a couple. I'll give you first the information about what the heck a SMART goal is, and then I'll go through a couple of examples for you.
And then I'm going to set you loose so you can do your own personal growth work. You know, part of the reason that I create this podcast for you, part of the reason that I have Take Out Therapy Club, which is my monthly membership where we're, like, seriously digging into doing a year-end assessment and setting goals and really looking at personal growth, part of the reason I do these things is because I want people to understand that you're responsible for all the different areas of your life. And if you put some intention and some thought into things, you can thrive.
Like, you can absolutely get where you want to go. You can dream up a life that is beyond your wildest expectations, and through tiny little movements, a little bit of education, and some intention with action behind it, you can totally achieve what you want to achieve. That being said, I would say have some accountability in this process for how far you're willing to go.
OK, so SMART goals is obviously an acronym. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. So a SMART goal targets a specific area for improvement.
So last week when we made our list of the ins and outs for 2024, we looked at those three areas of life, relationships, self, and work. We're looking at specific areas for change, OK? Today we're going to narrow that down even further, right? Measurable just means, like, can we put a little bit of number behind this? I do this for my business as well. I create measurable goals.
Here's the deal. If you ain't counting, it ain't happening. So measurable, all that means is, like, can you put a number in this goal? Can you put an amount of time, some sort of quantifying data that will help you know whether you're on track or not, right? And then, very importantly, it absolutely has to be achievable.
Again, if you don't like exercise, don't join a gym. Learn from me, OK? It has to be something that you can do. For example, if you're like me, and you're a five-, three-, fifth-year-old woman, having, like, growing my hair three feet down to my back by the end of this year is not achievable, right? And so you need to stay realistic, right? Let's see.
What would be another thing? Is, like, getting rid of codependency. Like, you're not going to get rid of codependency in one year. But you can think about specific areas for improvement within codependency and start measuring how you get there, and that will make it achievable.
Does that make sense? And then SMART goals also have to be realistic. The results have to be able to be achieved, given your resources. So realistic means, like, you have to be able to get to where you're going, right? It has to make sense for your life, right? So if I start setting business goals that are way outside of the bounds of what I can do as one person, and then I'm unwilling to hire anyone to help me, my goal is now unrealistic.
Does that make sense? It's also unrealistic in our personal growth goals, which I've seen a lot of people do this, is set goals that are about other people's behavior. Unrealistic, okay? So I'll help you set goals that are realistic and achievable. And then the last part of SMART goals is that we want them to be time-bound.
And so one of the fun things about doing a New Year's reboot is, like, we're just talking about, over the next year, these are the things that you want to work towards in your life, whether they have to do with work, whether they have to do with how you behave or how you conduct your relationships, or whether they have to do with you, your relationship with yourself, your mental health, or your physical health. Hopefully that makes sense. SMART goals.
Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. So now I'm going to walk you through a couple of examples. So let's see.
Last week we talked about a couple of ideas that I have for my own life. For example, in 2024, in terms of the way I conduct my relationships, I am saying goodbye to reacting too quickly in conflict. When something comes up, oftentimes I fire up.
I go into fight or flight pretty quickly. The way I know that I'm doing that is I get really defensive. So that's out this year.
This year I'm going to be working on taking breaks in conflict, doing it respectfully, and having more meaningful connection. But that's not a SMART goal, is it? Okay. So if we were to put that into a SMART goal context, it would be to get specific.
When a conflict arises, to get measurable. I'm going to, okay, so specific is like, what's the specific action that I'm going to take? How can I quantify it? Can I double-check it to make sure it's both achievable and realistic? And can I put some sort of timeframe or target date around it? Yes, I can. So if my goal is to behave better in conflict, to react appropriately and accordingly in order to create more connection in my life, then what will that look like, right? So specifically, what I'd like to do is take a break when a conflict breaks out.
That's a very specific thing. Well, what kind of break, Rebecca? Well, I'd like to take about a 15-minute break. That's a boundary.
Boundaries are measurable with our action, right? So when conflict comes up, I will remove myself from the room for about 15 minutes. I will also communicate that that's what I'm doing. So what I'm planning on having as my goal is I'm just going to say, do you mind if I take a little break where I can just kind of regroup and give this some thought, and I'll come back to you in about 15 minutes.
Is this an achievable goal? Well, yes, but I'm going to give myself a few tries at this SMART goal in order to see if it is achievable. And if it's not, then I'll be setting a more realistic goal. You know, a realistic approach to this goal of like not responding so vehemently or defensively or poorly to conflict or feedback would be that I plan to take a break, but like if I go down the path that I'm already on, which is that I react really quickly, that I would just have a statement that I say there.
Like I don't want this to be going in this direction, and so now I'm going to take a break. I have an agreement with myself that I'm going to take a time out, and I'm going to do that right now. So all I'm saying is that when we set SMART goals, we're creating some parameters for how we're going to behave differently.
So another one of my outs for 2024 was endless and unintentional scrolling. Oh, my gosh. How do I get back into this again and again and again? Well, friend, I'll tell you how, because it's not intentional.
And so my SMART goal or what's in this year is planned scrolling. Okay? So specifically, instead of mindless scrolling throughout the day, I'm going to lock myself out of those apps until a specific time of day. I will allow myself to scroll with intention for a certain amount of time.
That's the measurable thing. It's achievable because I'm going to create an impossibility for myself to do that at any other time of day. I just am.
I'm going to create reminders. I'm going to block myself out of the apps except for certain times of the day. So my SMART goal is I'm going to create blocks of time on my calendar, actually, every day that I can do like a half an hour of mindless scrolling.
I'm going to give myself actually a realistic time frame of a half an hour. I don't know how much time I spend right now, and I'm interested to see like when I set that timer, is that a realistic goal? So, again, this isn't like a one-shot, you've got to set SMART goals, and that's what your goal is and you have to stick with it. It's really trial and error.
So I might need to come back and be like, nope, it's 15 minutes twice a day, right? Or it's one time per day of a whole hour. I don't know yet. So one of the great things about setting SMART goals is once you understand the parameters of the thing, then you can set realistic, achievable goals.
And my time-bound piece on all of these things is this is what I'm going to be doing this year. So each month, I'm going to do a little check-in with myself and see how these goals are going. What are your goals this year? Are you going to try to, is people-pleasing going out and living for yourself going in? Is living in this like really serious manner all the time out for 2024? Maybe you want to take a more lighthearted approach.
Do you want to look at other areas besides relationships, work, and self? Do you want to take a look at like are you living your values in your life? And how could you be doing that better? And create some very, you know, specific SMART goals around that. If you want to dig in further on this New Year's reboot, yes, I've spent two full episodes with you helping you to kind of noodle on how you want things to change. But if you want to do a little bit more work with me on this, come visit me at TakeOutTherapy.com. Perhaps my Take Out Therapy Club would be a great fit for you.
Tomorrow, January 5th, I'm putting out the big New Year's reboot, which is going to be three separate sessions that are actually different than these two sessions that are going to help my members to absolutely take a look at the past year, take a look at their personal growth project, and reboot big time in all these different ways. So I'm really excited about that. And if that sounds like something that you want to take part in, come on over to TakeOutTherapy.com and check out the Take Out Therapy Club.
Regardless, I hope the last couple episodes of the New Year's reboot have been super, super helpful for you. One thing that I'm definitely going to be doing this year is continuing to put out the podcast. As a matter of fact, I was recently on the airplane, and I said, I'm going to make a list of 100 podcast episodes that I'm going to record.
And lo and behold, my friends, I made a list of 125 episodes that are coming to you, to your headphones very, very soon. The next one is going to be called Lighthearted Living, where I'm going to talk about like, man, we've gotten so serious, haven't we? Can we lighten up a little bit? And then I'm just going to rattle off a few more of the episodes that are upcoming. One I'm definitely going to do is I want to talk about death in the context of life.
I think that that gets overlooked quite a bit. You know, we're kind of funny in our society. We don't really talk much about death or the impact of it.
But when we live knowing that the end is inevitable, boy, that's a game changer. Let's see. I'm going to talk about social skills, guilt, authenticity.
I'm going to talk about inputs and outputs, basic neuroscience, gaslighting, the trap of scarcity. I'm going to talk about highly sensitive people and irritating people. I'm going to talk about overworking and how to calm down.
Yes, I am. I have a lot of fun things coming around the corner for you. So stick around, friend.
I'll be here right beside you doing the work. Happy New Year. Thanks so much for joining me today to support this free resource.
Subscribe, review and pass an episode along to a friend in need. And always please get the level of support that you need for your situation. Want a full session? Just reach out.
I'm here to help. Head to TakeOutTherapy.com for lots more resources and to join my community. This is better mental health delivered.