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  • Writer's pictureLisa Hess

Goal Setting For The New Year

As the year comes to an end, we tend to reflect on how we have spent our time. We often judge it, weigh it and come to some determination whether that collection of days has been a success or a failure. Then we make plans and declarations of change for the new year. As a therapist, how could I not take the opportunity to talk about goal-setting?! “Such fertile ground for therapy!”, as a friend of mine likes to say.

Love me some goals. Love it! What I don’t love? Shame. So often the goals we set are rooted in shame and motivated by fear of failure. Then we beat ourselves up when we don’t succeed. It perpetuates a cycle that begins and ends in shame.

“Lisa, how do I set super awesome achievable goals that aren’t shame based?!”. Great question! I’m writing to share some points to reflect on while you are considering your goals for the upcoming year. These are written by an outstanding therapist and author, Nedra Glover Tawwab. I highly recommend her work and you can find her on Instagram @nedratawwab. I’m only sharing a few but you can find all her reflections here:

Here we go!

1) What did 2022 teach me about myself?

2) How did I cope with uncomfortable feelings?

3) How can I better manage my reaction to my feelings?

4) What has been a barrier to me completing my goals and how might I remove that barrier in 2023?

5) What limiting beliefs do I need to release?

Your reaction might be, “I have no clue how to answer those, Lisa”. That’s okay. You don’t have to know. Take the pressure away from knowing the answers and let’s just sit with the questions for a bit.

Reflecting on how we manage our emotions can help us construct goals that fit our life *and* we are more likely to achieve what we’re aiming for if we are compassionate with ourselves if we stumble.

“That’s nice, Lisa. But I just want to quit smoking or do better in my classes at school.” I got you. Message me or bring up “S.M.A.R.T” goals in our next session.

Looking forward to learning about your goals for 2023!



TLDR; Shame is a barrier to achieving goals. Set goals after reflecting on how you manage emotions and challenges. Therapy is cool.

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