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March 2013
Feeling Good
Newsletter of Dr. Chloe Carmichael, PhD 


Staying Focused in the New Year: 

Tips and Encouragement


Each year, as the holidays come to an end and winter really sets in, many of us start to lay out plans for our New Year's Resolutions. Sometimes these resolutions are small, like losing five pounds, while other times they're much bigger and take more time to achieve, such as vowing to focus on the important relationships in our lives.


Whatever we decide to resolve at the start of a new year, it can be tricky to keep these promises to ourselves. Often, we make resolutions that are quickly forgotten by spring, but creating resolutions shouldn't be a one-time deal- it is an ongoing process that requires patience with ourselves as we learn to develop new habits. It can be difficult for many people to keep the resolutions set at New Year's, because the weather is cold and dreary, we're often tired from the holidays and many people fall into the "winter blues"- so if you are struggling with focus, don't give up on yourself just yet!


Quarterly goals are a great way to revisit resolutions made at New Year's, and assess progress or stumbling blocks in accomplishing these goals. Spring is a great time for renewing goals set at the beginning of the year.  As we look forward to spring, many people feel renewed and invigorated... which is a great boost in the process of goal attainment!


By setting quarterly goals, rather than just resolutions on December 31, you're allowing yourself a little wiggle room for not meeting your goals right away. Below are a two examples of popular New Year's resolutions, and ways to recommit yourself to progress. 


  • Exercise: You started the year hoping to exercise more often, but perhaps it hasn't gone quite as well as you'd hoped. Why not reevaluate this goal as spring begins, and find new strategies for exercising outdoors as the weather warms? By creating quarterly goals, you're allowing yourself the opportunity to not only reassess your resolutions, but also modify your strategies for success, as needed, which can actually help you achieve long term goals, rather than quick fixes


  • Financial Goals: You created a budget at the beginning of the year, but unexpected expenses, financial changes, or simple distractions have kept you from sticking to it.  Rather than getting stuck in self-criticism, congratulate yourself for having recognized that your budget- or your way of sticking to it- could use some refining.  Perhaps you need a friend to review and revise your budget, or maybe you need to plan a weekly half-hour slot with yourself as a dedicated time for you to review progress on your budget.  Giving yourself permission to struggle with a goal, rather than demanding perfection of yourself, will facilitate a sense of progress that will motivate you to keep trying- which is the most important part of goal attainment.

Even if your goal is different from the examples above, you can use some of the same strategies, such as asking a friend for support or scheduling a weekly time with yourself to check-in on the goal and keep you focused. 


In addition to renewing goals set at the start of the year, spring can also be a great time to set new goals for the coming quarter.  


Setting quarterly goals will allow you to work thoughtfully and meaningfully on the goals you hope to achieve in your life.  The shorter time frame is helpful because it can help keep you focused.  This is an advantage over yearly goals, although those can be helpful too.  You might want to set quarterly goals that will work in support of broader, long term goals.   


The process of meeting goals and creating strategies for success is one that is filled with learning and development- so give yourself room to experiment and discover the strategies that work best for you!


If you have questions about goal attainment, or other topics that you would like to see covered in future newsletters, please feel free to email.  I really enjoy hearing from clients as well as others who read this newsletter, so please know that your comments are always welcome.


Have a great spring, and good luck on the goals!


Groups and Workshops

Many of the clients in my private practice have asked about groups and workshops.  I am in the process of developing material to offer, and I am very excited to share it with you!


If you are interested in groups and workshops, please complete the survey below so that I can make sure I offer material that is relevant to your needs and suitable for your schedule.  Thanks, and hope to see you soon!

  •  Groups for Singles:  A group for singles who eventually would like to be in a meaningful romantic relationship.  This group focuses on issues like dating confidence, deciding when to become exclusive, being open to different types of people, and having support throughout the dating process.  Many people in my private practice work on these issues individually, and I feel that sometimes it is helpful to share and listen to others who are on the same page.  Participation is limited to 10 registrants.  Click here if you would be interested in joining a Group for Singles.
  • Groups for Breakups:  A group for people who have either recently ended, or would like to end, a relationship.  Many people find themselves repeating the same breakup over and over because they can't seem to let go, or they can't quite seem to complete the breakup.  This group offers support and perspective, as well as strategies and ideas to facilitate moving onward and upward!  Participation is limited to 10 registrants.  Click here if you would be interested in joining a Group for Breakups.
  • Social Anxiety Group:  This group focuses on issues related to shyness and self-esteem.  We will practice techniques within the group and give each other feedback, as well as try techniques outside of the group and then discuss the results when we meet.  Many people with SA find that being able to share openly in a structured group environment helps them to make progress in terms of being open and comfortable with groups.  Pairing up sometimes during the group for certain exercises also facilitates learning how to gain confidence with one-to-one situations. Participation is limited to 10 registrants.  Click here if you would be interested in joining a Social Anxiety Group.
  • Stress Relief Workshop:  This is a short-term workshop of three 90-minute sessions. The workshop offers a sampling of stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, journaling, and other proven methods for managing stress. In addition to learning the techniques as a group, participants will do partner exercises as well as share with the group about their experience of the techniques. Sharing your experience with others, as well as listening to the experiences of others, increases your understanding of the exercise and gives you a sense of perspective. This is especially helpful for people who have tried or wanted to try things like yoga or meditation before but always somehow feared they might be "doing it wrong"- in the group, you get to see that you are a beginner who is making progress and learning just like everyone else! Participation is limited to 15 registrants. Click here if you would be interested in joining a Stress Relief Workshop.
  • Goal Attainment Group:  This group is for clients with a direct focus on goal attainment.  Many people find that discussing goals and obstacles in a group format to be helpful.  Group participation facilitates goal attainment through the process of sharing your intention in a supportive atmosphere, and provides accountability as you update the group each week on your progress.  Members also discuss obstacles such as anxiety and procrastination, as well as ways to overcome these barriers.  The group offers a sense of community, which helps to keep goals from feeling overwhelming and provides the chance to celebrate each milestone towards your goal in a supportive atmosphere. Participation is limited to 10 registrants.  Click here if you would be interested in joining a Goal Attainment Group.

I welcome additional ideas and suggestions, as well as potential challenges that you would like me to address in the next newsletter, so please feel free to reach out if you want to share!  


Feel free to call anytime!  If you would rather book or change an appointment online, is available 24/7

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