The Focus On You

*Self-Care & Lifestyle Blog*

Tag: goals (page 2 of 2)

3 Ways You Jeopardize Your Future

Whether or not you’re considering a New Year resolution, you may be making silent deals with yourself about your future. Or you may be cursing yourself after doing a personal review. We are all our own worst critic. How we handle this is the difference between success and stagnation.

If you have been thinking about 2017 and beyond, please be smart before making lofty goals or falling into patterns that don’t work.

Here are 3 ways I recognize people jeopardizing their future:

  1. Being Too Extra:

Have you ever made a goal or resolution and then pitched a fit when you didn’t stick to it? What does the conversation with yourself sound like? This is what I see many people saying on social media: “I’m too dumb.” “I’m too this and too that.” “Ugh I can’t even.” “This gives me my whole life.” “What is this life?” See a pattern here? You’re catastrophizing your situation. It seems to be a popular way of complaining, dealing (or not dealing) and not feeling alone as an “adult.” Honestly though, it’s too extra. It’s extreme. This leads me to number 2.

  1. Being Unrealistic:

Extremes are like a seesaw. Each side is imbalanced. In order to reach the other end you need large forces of energy to shift your weight. This is why “balance” seems so far fetched. People want their lives to be “perfect” but its unrealistic. They don’t even know what the middle of that seesaw looks like. They figure that a change means “doing the complete opposite of what I’m doing now.” This is called “all or nothing” thinking and it isn’t safe. Being realistic about a budget, a career goal, weight loss will help us break down our goals into do-able tasks. Being unrealistic leads to unmanageability. Honestly, living a “balanced” life really means “managing everything well.” Click To Tweet

  1. Settling For Small:

This may sound like the opposite of being unrealistic but I swear it’s not! Have you ever heard the quote, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” Are you jeopardizing your future by minimizing your strengths? It’s easy to stay comfortable. Shoot, I’d love to stay comfortable and never grow but where does that leave me in 5 years? As a therapist I have to keep up to date on client trends. When I was an addictions therapist I saw a demand for mental health care. I started my internship in mental health counseling after the 2008 recession and I never stopped learning. If you don’t know what your next move will be, look at the trends in our society. Is health care a stable industry? Technology? Expand your horizons and stop limiting yourself.

When people share their doubts with me about goals or plans, I almost always point out faulty thinking. Cognitive errors are the reason why cognitive behavioral therapy is a popular form of talk therapy. Many of our faults or weaknesses can be linked to these thinking traps. And maybe your past resolutions haven’t worked because of these traps?

Regardless of when you set new goals, keep these thinking errors in mind. Stop settling, stretch your wings, keep realistic goals, use a coach to help you stay accountable and stop being so extra. Less complaints and more action!!

Do you have patterns of faulty thinking?

Recommended reading: Do You Live In Extremes? 

Part 1: 3 New Ways Music Can Inspire You

It’s the most romantic or the most depressing time of year, depending on how you view Valentine’s Day. Hearing romantic music can intensify both of these feelings.


Did you know that music can be beneficial in educational and therapeutic settings?


One of my favorite group activities with my clients was music therapy. I asked the clients to identify one song that reminded them of difficult times and one song that inspired them. Music bridged the gap between the different generations of clients in this room. Listening to each member’s songs brought up different topics that no structured activity could have triggered. As a clinician it introduced me to a softer and more personal side of my clients that I had not seen.


Music therapy is used in educational settings and can be beneficial for children with emotional or developmental difficulties. Drum circles, the use of instruments, movement to music and vocal expression are a few examples of activities based around music.


The use of music therapy has also been studied and viewed as beneficial for adults suffering with anxiety or depression. When I work with clients I inquire about their relationship with music. Are there songs that can help them relax during their most anxious times of day? Is there a genre of music that soothes them? Different types of music can be shown to affect blood pressure and emotional regulation.


Even if you are not suffering from a mental health disorder or emotional issue, how can music inspire you? Let me explain 3 ways.


  1. There was a buzz surrounding Missy Elliott’s appearance at the Super Bowl. Her Spotify channel received a 676% boost after her halftime performance. Numbers don’t lie. According to research from Yuna Ferguson, people can successfully improve their moods and boost overall happiness in just two weeks by listening to music. My questions to you are: What songs or artists could boost your mood? When was the last time you listened to this? Would you be willing to take a 2 week challenge?
  2. If you’re in a relationship, what songs create happy memories for you and your partner? If you are married, when was the last time you heard your wedding song? I’m old enough to remember mixtapes (don’t judge) and they used to be one of my favorite gifts. Mixtapes were original “playlists”, but were much more personal. Maybe a Valentine’s Day gift idea would be to create a playlist of “mood boosting” songs for you and your partner?
  3. Are you procrastinating on any goals or tasks? If you said no, dust off your unicorn horn and proceed to the bottom of the page (lol)! Would your tasks be more enjoyable if you had motivating music to encourage you? It’s a joke in my culture that when your mom turned on Spanish music on a Saturday morning you would be woken up to help clean. I can laugh about it now but I admittedly clean the house listening to salsa music! Thanks Mom! Speaking of Missy Elliot and cleaning, I’m sure I would get this floor mopped MUCH faster if I listened to “Lose Control!”


In short, music has many emotional benefits (personal motivation, romantic inspiration, emotional regulation) that we may be missing out on.


Check out Part 2 of this series tomorrow where I will share a playlist guaranteed to get your heart racing!!


 Share your favorite motivational song in the comments below!

Here are a few of my favorites:


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