In this episode, I talk about anxiety, goals, failure, and New Year’s Resolutions.
- Why I don’t set New Year’s Resolutions
- Why people with anxiety may shy away from setting goals
- Self-Evaluation & Setting Personal Goals
- Where does fear of success come from?
- Overcoming failures
- Aligning your goals with God’s will
Verses and Scriptures discussed: Philippians 2:12-13, Isaiah 1:17, Ephesians 2:19
Welcome to hope for anxiety and OCD Episode 59. I am your host Carrie Bock. And today we’re having a solo episode on anxiety, goals, failure, and New Year’s resolution. Maybe you’re starting to think about your new year’s resolutions or goals for next year. Maybe you’re not, some people just say, “ I don’t set new year’s resolutions. That’s not for me.”
At the beginning of every year, you will set New Year’s resolutions and often resolutions fail for a variety of reasons. I don’t set new year’s resolutions per se, because they remind me more of making a wish before you blow out your birthday candles. It’s kind of like, “ Yeah, this would be a nice thought or guest year, but there’s really no plan to complete it.
I really believe in setting goals. Goals are specific. They have a plan to help you get there. And you’re going to know if you achieve them or not. There’s some type of measurability to them. And later in the episode, I’m going to look through some previous schools that I’ve said and talk with you about whether or not I achieved them.
And some goals that I have for the upcoming year, especially specifically for this podcast. Just a reminder, in case you missed my last episode with Steve, where we talked about having a baby next year and how that’s going to impact the podcast. We are going to an every other week show starting in January.
So we will have a show next week for the first week of January. And then. Beyond an every other week schedule after that, just in case you are like my mother and diligently tune in every week. I hope it’s not just my mother that does that. Maybe there’s some people out there that really like the show and try to tune in every week.
If you don’t and you’re catching up on old episodes, there’ll be plenty of time to do that as well. I want to talk with you about problems you may run into in terms of setting goals. If you have anxiety or OCD. There are some reasons that people who experience anxiety may not set goals. You may feel overwhelmed.
Maybe you feel like you have so much that you want to do that you want to accomplish and you feel overwhelmed at the idea of actually trying to do it all. It doesn’t really matter what that goal is. Whether it’s to get in better physical shape, get out of debt,eat healthier this year, you can become easily overwhelmed by any of these goals.
They seem really big and really insurmountable. So you may get to a place where you say, well, I’m just not going to try, because I don’t know how to break that down into smaller steps. I have no idea how to get to where I want to be. And so forget it. Just give it up. You may not know what you need or want. I know that sounds strange.
So this is something I run into a lot. When people come into counseling, they’ll say things like, I want to feel better. I want to have less anxiety. And in the beginning, that sounds like a good goal. Feeling better, having less anxiety, but we really have to dig in and ask some more questions in order to help make those, a goal. For someone saying, “ I want to feel better.”
What does feeling better look like? What kind of things would you be doing if you were feeling better? Well, “ I would be exercising on a regular basis. I would be spending more time socially with friends.” Those are some things that you can actually get down and measure and create specific objectives to meet those goals.
You may not feel worthy of achieving certain things. Some people learned maybe in their family of origin, not to want things, because if they wanted something, they knew that nobody was going to help them get that. This can lead to people leaning on self-reliance or it can lead them to saying things like, “ Well, you know, I just, I don’t know.I just don’t really want anything.” Because they don’t want to be disappointed.
As Christians, we don’t have to deny our wants. Sometimes people think that somehow more Godly, but we do have to submit them over to God to see if that’s something that He has for our lives. And sometimes it’s a matter of timing.
We may want something from God or for Him to help us achieve a certain outcome, but we may not really be ready to receive that. I can definitely think of plenty of times in my life where I wanted something, but really wasn’t ready for that responsibility. I think about that in the professional realm, in terms of starting a private practice, there was definitely a lot of times
Before starting my private practice that I wanted to do that and wasn’t able to, but now I can look back and say, “ Everything happened at the right time, the way it was supposed to, because if I had tried to start something earlier, I wouldn’t necessarily have had the confidence to follow through and persevere in the difficult times.”
I can also say that with having a child, a lot of people have children in their twenties and there’s nothing wrong with that. For me ,personally, I don’t think that I was ready to be a mom in my twenties. I guess if it happened back then, I would’ve had to figure it out and rise to the occasion and it probably would have made me a better person, but having a baby now that I’m older, it’s caused me to process things very differently.
And I think in general, I’m a much less selfish person than I was in my twenties. I feel like I will have more to give to this baby than I would have back then. So God’s timing in that sense for me is perfect. When we submit our desires over to God and our wants, we can pray and say,
“ Okay, God, this is what I’m desiring.Is this in your will for me?” or “ God helped me desire the things that you desire.” And then you’ll start desiring things of the kingdom, rather than just things that you want for your own purposes or your own gain. Sometimes people don’t set goals because they actually fear success.
I know that sounds pretty strange to say out loud, but sometimes people will wonder what would happen. Like, “ If I got that dream job? Will my family look down on me then?” , “Would people judge me?” , “ What are people gonna think of me if I do this or that ?” All of those things can really get in our way. And we can be afraid of all kinds of things related to success. We can be afraid of achieving more. We can be afraid of making more money, but most typically fear of success comes down to our relationships.
We’re afraid that somehow if we’re more successful, that’s going to negatively impact our relationships. So that’s something that you also can take to God and pray about. And a lot of times, fear of success may come from family of origin issues and it’s a good process to work through some of those things.
I had to work through some thought processes about money, really, for counseling several years ago. And it was a hard process, but a really good process for me to understand that I could help people and also make money because those two things seem to really be an opposition to each other. That was part of my overcoming some fear of success for myself.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may not be setting goals this year because you fear failure. You may be saying, “ Well, I’ve been trying to lose weight for the past three years. And I haven’t done it. So why am I even going to put that out there as a New Year’s resolution or as a goal this year?” It’s important for us to understand why our goals failed in the past.
Prior to starting this podcast, I had created an online course for anxiety management and I spent about an entire year creating it, marketing it. I had Facebook ads and I had decided at some point, then I was going to shift gears and make it about panic attacks and to be more specific, switched a few things around and marketed more of that.
I will tell you that I spent a lot of time, energy and money on something that was an epic failure. I did not sell a single course, and most people would call that a major waste of time and money. It took me a long time, probably over a year to try something new and even longer to understand that I had to take this as a learning experience.
I needed to go back and dissect, understand why the course failed and figure out how to not make those errors again the next time I did something. Had I not taken that evaluation time, I would not have started the podcast ultimately. Setting goals or reevaluating what we did or didn’t accomplish last year is an important part of our process.
But we can’t just say, “Well, I failed. So I’m not going to be able to do it again.” We have to understand what failed in terms of my course, I did not have a public platform or a persona or an ability for people to know, like, and trust me to get to that point where they felt like I was the person that could help them manage their anxiety.
In the process of this failure, recovering from the failure, I started to just digest more podcasts, to understand marketing your ideal audience and how it works, how people connect with you via social media in different places. And trust me, I am no expert on any of this stuff because I’m continually also asking myself how we can grow the podcast. But there’s a lot that I’ve learned over the last few years since I had my epic failure of trying to sell that course.
So if you haven’t lost weight in the last few years and you’ve really wanted to, or you haven’t been able to stick to your budget in the last few years, and you’ve really wanted to, first of all, we’re going to have a couple episodes coming up on each of those things on anxiety surrounding finances, and really just how to get started in a fitness journey if that’s one of your new year’s resolution.
So I’m excited about those upcoming shows, but also just take some time to evaluate for yourself, “ Why did these goals fail? Was it because you didn’t have the support that you needed?” “Was it because there’s lies, maybe your limiting beliefs that you’re believing surrounding these issues? I mean, some people may believe, well, there’s just, “ Everyone in my family is heavy and is always going to be fat. So why bother trying to lose weight?”
You may want to set a different goal for yourself. Maybe you want to set, instead of just focusing so much on weight loss, maybe you want to just say, “This year, I’m going to get in better shape and decide what better shape looks like. I’m going to be able to walk this far without getting wounded” or “ I’m going to be able to do this many sit-ups or this many push-ups by the next three months, six months
Sometimes those goals feel a bit more achievable than weight loss. And then we start to feel a little bit better about ourselves. One of the reasons I wanted to do a couple of shows around fitness and money is because people look at these two areas and they think, well, “ If I just create this plan, I should be able to execute it and go do it.”
However, a lot of times we have these emotional barriers. They get in the way of being able to do some of these things that we want to do. And that’s why that self-evaluation process is so important. And if you have a hard time self-evaluating, you may want to sit down with another person, a friend, somebody from the church, or it could even be a counselor.
You know, I have had people come in for emotional barriers to weight loss, and that’s some really good work that can be done in those areas. Going along with the fear of failures , sometimes we’re too hard on ourselves. We don’t achieve something and we can be our own worst critic. And there’s a lot of value in our society that we place on achievement, at least in American society that may be different in other parts of the world.
There’s this feeling that , like our worth is based on what we achieve or what we accumulate. Sometimes life just happens. You know what I mean? We’re not in control of all factors. There are things that we may not be able to achieve or goals we might not be able to complete because of situations outside of our control. It is interesting because I was having a conversation with my friend, Erica.
And I said, “ You know, this year I’ve probably been the least productive that I’ve been in the last several years. It’s because I got pregnant and there’s all these different challenges that have come with pregnancy of being able to sleep at night and dealing with restless leg syndrome. And the first trimester, I had morning sickness, which news flash has really like all day nausea.
It’s awful. And I’ve had to sleep a lot to get your extra rest. My perspective on it was like, well, I’ve been the least productive, her perspective on it was, well, Carrie actually you’ve been the most productive because this is a goal that you’ve wanted for yourself and your family. It’s just, the productivity looks very different, trying to take care of yourself and allow God to grow a tiny human in your body.
I’ve also been married for about a year and obviously time allocation is a lot different when you’re married than when you’re single. I remember being single and when I was creating that course specifically, I’d just stay at the office really late. Sometimes I do some extra work or I’d come home and I do more work.
And now, evenings are really important for me to have that time with Steve. And even if it’s just sit down and watch a little TV together. Eating dinner together and just talking about our day and how things are going. You may have had life changes, whether it’s getting married, having a baby moving across town.
I mean, there’s so many different things , getting sick. Maybe you got diagnosed with an illness this year, and you’re just not able to do as much as you were able to do before. And that’s okay. I would say really just be gentle on yourself. One thing I’ve had to realize is like I’ve had to lower the expectations for myself and know that just in this season, it’s okay to do that.
It’s okay to lower your expectations sometimes and go back to what is the simplest form of self care that I need to focus on right now, whether that’s getting enough sleep, eating well, whatever it is. I want us to talk about, “ Why are we even talking about goal setting on this podcast? Why is that important?”
It is important for us to set goals because if we don’t set goals or make efforts to change in this new year, we are going to end up in the same place that we ended up last year and stuck in the same patterns that we ended up in. And as Christians, we are partners with God in our own sanctification process.
What does that mean? Well sanctification, if you don’t know, it’s just basically a big word that means , becoming more like Christ and that’s after we’re saved, that’s our work as Christians, we don’t work to get saved. You know, salvation is by grace. But after we get saved, it is our job really, to partner with God in working out our salvation.
That’s what Philippians 2:12-13 tells us is, “To work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose.” So we can’t do it all on our own. We have to work with God and rely on him. There’s another scripture, Ephesians 2:10 that says, “ Where we are, God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. “ We have been prepared by God to do good things. And we need to sometimes examine and ask him and explore what are those good things God wants us to be doing in this year? And we can’t expect to grow as Christians, spouses, parents, employees, if we don’t take the effort to work on it, and you have the opportunity to create goals for different areas of your life.
So you may decide that you want to create some goals in the spiritual or ministry area. One of our goals one day is for Steve and I to go on a mission trip together that really has been thwarted by two things, one COVID and travel restrictions,and two me, getting pregnant as far as me being able to travel and so forth.
Hopefully next year, at least maybe Steve will be able to go. That’s what we’re hopeful for, that things will have calmed down enough with COVID for him to be able to go on a mission trip. And then maybe in the future years, we’ll be able to go together to do that. We’ve also talked about becoming more involved in a local organization that’s near and dear to both of our hearts, which is called Isaiah 1:17 house.
And it’s not just in Tennessee, it’s in several states. I think mostly in the Southeast, but it is quickly expanding. If you want to look up Isaiah 1:17 house, they really provide food and temporary housing to kids that are coming into DCS custody, who just need a place to stay, or they need a meal until they can find them at the proper foster home for them to be in.
They are currently building the Isaiah one 17 house in our community, which we’re excited about, and it should be done early next year. So depending on how things fall with the orientation process or me having the baby, I may have to wait a little bit to get more involved, but that’s something is, I guess you could say is one of our ministry goals as a couple together.
You can create relationship goals that may look like having a date night. You know, in a prescribed like, time period, maybe we want to go on a date once a week or twice a month, just to kind of, depending on what your life circumstances are. Maybe you want to decide that you’d like to pray with your spouse together.
That’s something Steve and I have been doing more of this year and I definitely would like to continue that it’s just brought us closer to God and really closer to each other. You can set goals financially, maybe something that you’re saving for. Maybe you’d like to save for a house. Maybe you’d like to save for a family.
Maybe you’d like to pay off certain bills that you have, whether it’s a car or some credit card debt. That’s just kind of been out there lingering, I think at the beginning of this year, Steve and I had talked about paying off some bills that we had, and we definitely did a lot of home improvement type stuff.
So those were certainly in our goals, that house just been here for 10 years and it’s older than that. It just definitely needed some work and some investment this year. So we were able to do that actually are going to be able to pay off some bills that we weren’t necessarily expecting to pay off this year, like my car.
So very thankful and grateful for that new consent career goals for yourself. Maybe you’d like to move up into your company, maybe like to get some kind of new training or certificate program. Maybe you would like to go back to school. Really think through if there’s any career goals that you’d like to make. This year, I was able to be a part of a 16- week training program, combining EMDR and ego state therapy.
That was something that really boosted my career and that I’ve really enjoyed getting to know more about. I also took training on combining EMDR and OCD. That was super helpful. Next year I’d like to get trained in something in the EMDR community called, “ The flash and technique.” I’m not as focused on career training next year due to having the baby, but I will have to get some CEU credits.
I shared this in Episode 50 with Steve. But one goal that I have for next year is financial and a career goal that really is for the podcast to be able to break even this past year. I’ve invested a lot of time and money from my counseling practice into building the podcast, paying for editing, paying for social media help with the website.
And we now have a Patreon set up for the podcast where you can become a monthly subscriber or patron of the show. You can receive some teachings and help on anxiety, real life activities that you can practice, go in there and practice them over and over again, until you get better at them to help with your thought life or just calming your physical body informational sessions in there on mindfulness and different things.
I’m very excited about this and also want it to be valuable for people who are looking for more self-help materials. Maybe you’ve been listening to the podcast for a little while and have gotten a lot out of it. Maybe you just entrusted in giving five to $10 a month, or maybe like to make a one-time gift. We have the ability through, Buy Me a Coffee to make one-time gifts.
And if you’re interested in being a monthly subscriber, you can go to Patreon. And I’ll include links in the show notes for both of those. One of my goals for this year really that did not work out and fail was that I wanted to be able to sell a digital product. And I had created an ebook on finding a therapist, which I think I’m going to just go ahead and include that for the Patreon members.
It is for sale on the website. I really haven’t had any sales or traction from that. However, I have gotten some clients who have listened to the podcast and decided that they wanted to see me for therapy. So that’s been a good blessing, but I haven’t sold any digital eBooks or anything like that. I had originally thought about creating some downloads or creating a course.
And have decided really to move towards this subscription model, because I think it makes most sense for the podcast itself. If you disagree and want me to sell individual audio downloads on my website, definitely contact me through hopeforanxietyandocd.com. I’m very interested in seeing what self-help stuff people are looking for and how I can help you get that.
So much of entrepreneurship and podcasting is a lot of trial and error type work. Maybe that helps you or encourages you in your individual goals. The first thing that you try may not work out and that’s okay. You know, it’s okay to go back to the drawing board and say, “ Do I need to persevere through this? Work harder on it?”
Because sometimes we need to do that. Sometimes we actually need to stick with something and persevere, but there are other times where we have to evaluate and say, “ Okay, maybe that wasn’t the direction I needed to go in. Let me take a step back and figure it out. How can I go in a different direction?”
That’s going to be more helpful for myself this next year, in terms of goals for me is to really figure out what my work-life balance is related to being a mom and figuring out what the best schedule for myself and my infant is going to be trying to figure out childcare plans. It’s going to be a challenge for sure, but something that I feel ready to take on.
And I’m excited about just this new chapter and new season of life. I hope that this episode has really encouraged you to examine yourself, evaluate last year and really look forward to this new year and say, “ Okay, how can I make some helpful and meaningful goals for myself? How can I work through these fears that are getting in the way and the anxiety that’s getting in the way of me being the best self that I can be.”
And as Christians when we are the best self that we can be, that benefits the kingdom of God and also benefits the other people that we’re in relationship with in our lives for our story of hope, because I like to include one in every podcast.
I wanted to give you guys a little bit of an update on Steve’s eye situation and the pain that he was experiencing. So we talked about that episode in Episode 50, about how there just wasn’t clarity surrounding what was causing this eye pain. And one of the things that was thrown out was you can go to physical therapy and try to work on this cranial nerve that runs from your neck and it runs behind the eyes as well.
Though, we had no idea that you could go to physical therapy for your eyes. However, he’s been going to benchmark physical therapy in Smyrna, and we are just so thankful for Kim over there who has been helping him. I am recording this in November and as of today, you know, he’s been in physical therapy for about a month and they’re expecting him to have to be in physical therapy for maybe another month and should be finishing up by the end of November.
So certainly by the time this episode comes out, he has been making just amazing, great strides in physical therapy. It’s been helping reduce his eye pain that he was experiencing. Which feels like such a relief for us in just an absolute miracle answer to prayer from God. We are so very thankful. The journey has been really rough as we talked about in episode 50, but he seems to be getting better in terms of the eye pain.
There’s still a lot that we don’t know about the vision loss, but we place more peace about that because we always believed that the eye pain was somehow involved or causing his vision loss. And that doesn’t quite seem to be the case in his particular situation from just what we know right now. So this situation has given us a lot of hope that God does hear us, and He does answer prayers and He will leave us and guide us in getting the healing that we need.
And I believe that for you to whoever’s listening, if you are in need of healing physically or emotionally, spiritually, whatever you need, God is able to provide that for you. And He loves you so much. It may be a journey to receive that healing, but He’s going to be with you every single step of the way.
And please get some Christian communities around you as well. Who can love you and support you on that journey. I hope that we’re a part of that community for you. If you listen to our show regularly, I hope that you all had an amazing Christmas and blessings as we go into the new year. You can always contact us online anytime at www.hopeforanxietyandocd.com.Let us know what you’d like to see more of or what you’d like to see less of in terms of the show.
Hope for anxiety and OCD is a production of By the Well counseling in Smyrna, Tennessee. Our original music is by Brandon Mangrum and audio editing is completed by Benjamin Bynam.
Until next time. May you be comforted by God’s great love for you.