How to Set and Meet Your Goals: An obsessive control freak learns to let go


Hello. My name is Lisa, and I'm an obsessive control freak. My intervention was five and a half years ago, and I've been slowly releasing my grip since then.

New Year's Resolutions have always been troublesome for me. I love a fresh start, and if I'm planning a new project or endeavor, I'll always begin on the first, whether it be the first of the week, the first of the month, or (the best option) the first of the year.

My resolution usually goes well for a couple of weeks, maybe even a month. The trouble sets in when I miss day or two. My inner obsessive control freak tells me that I have failed the goal and that it's all over. That I may as well give up.

It's why I have half a dozen journals that are mostly blank.

It's why I felt an awful pit of guilt and defeat when I skipped a blog post two weeks ago.

It's why I've avoided making resolutions at all.

However, in my efforts to grow, I've been experimenting with letting go, especially when it comes to the "all or nothing" notion, through self-talk and changing my inner narrative.

When I skipped the blog post, I told myself that despite my self-accusing feelings, everything would be okay. I could return to the blog the next week, and my readers would forgive me. And in the future, if I occasionally stray from my weekly schedule, that will be okay, too.

Last week, I listened to Write Minded, a weekly podcast about writing. The episode was about renewing and refreshing your motivation for writing projects. Not only was I inspired to pick up my writing with new eyes, the hosts encouraged the listener to try a new way to meet and set goals.

"Just plan a month at a time. Or if that seems too big, go week by week."

This was an approach I could manage.

Then as if to reinforce the message that I was on the right path, a friend posted this quote from Enlightened Consciousness.


Start by doing 1 push up. Start by drinking 1 cup of water. Start by paying toward 1 debt. Start by reading 1 page. Start by making 1 sale. Start by deleting 1 old contact. Start by walking 1 lap. Start by attending 1 event. Start by writing 1 paragraph. Start today. Repeat tomorrow.

Yes. My goals can be taken in small chunks, starting with the first step. And if I don't meet my goal today, I can always start fresh tomorrow.

What kinds of goals or resolutions do you have?

What if you chose just one goal for one week? How might that change your experience of accomplishment?

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Some Doorways from this week:

  • As I was driving home, I marveled at the beauty to be seen at dusk. The rich, dark blue sky, hints of pink and orange as the only evidence of the sun's disappearance, and a crescent moon taking its turn on the stage.

  • Shawn and I stayed home for New Year's Eve, but on social media and television, I witnessed our common hope for a better future as people around the world declared that 2020 would be a year for happiness and growth.

  • Through the beautiful technology of texting, I was able to feel the pure joy of my nephews as they ran and jumped at the local trampoline gym. It was almost as good as being there.



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