Getting Results With Self-Compassion By Simone Warrick-Bell, MA, LCPC

By Lisa Savage | Jan 17, 2023

It’s a New Year! Welcome to the beginning of the new year and the all too realistic pressure to “carpe diem” and “achieve your goals” mantra that will be constant for the next couple of months.

As a therapist, I have a challenging relationship with the beginning of the year. Ideally, it’s delightful to see people pursue their goals and utilize their therapists for support however; at times I fear for clients and the general public who hope to achieve every goal today. At times when people do not achieve every goal every day, it can lead to an agnostic approach to progress, hopelessness, fatigue, burnout, and depression. I am here to tell you there is a better way to approach goals and stay focused on getting results while simultaneously overcoming challenges.

I wanted to review these tips which have helped me organize my goals and get results.

1. Determine what you want to change. This can be overwhelming because life is messy
sometimes. One starting point could start with a self-care assessment. They have
various self-care tests and assessments online. My favorite self-care assessment can
be accessed via therapist aid. This assessment will help you identify what you want to
improve or change in your life including physical health self-care,
psychological/emotional self-care, social self-care, spiritual self-care and professional
Self-care.

2. Develop Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (S.M.A.R.T)
Goals. Your goals should be specific to areas you want to change in your
life. S.M.A.R.T. goals can help create realistic expectations as well as lessen
overwhelming emotions. A person might say, “I want to read more this year.” After applying S.M.A.R.T goals, the person’s goal might change to “I want to read one Black-
Authored book per month for the next six months.”

3. Develop a system of accountability. This could be your family, friends, colleagues, peers or social groups. If you have limited social connections this an opportunity for you to develop connections while pursuing your goals via meet-up groups or groups via social media. Joining a book club, walking group or any group related to your goals can be immensely beneficial.

4. Lastly, planning for inevitable walls or speed bumps. I often ask clients, “how are you
approaching this with self-compassion?’ If you stumble on your journey of progress, how do you plan to respond? With anger, frustration, punishment, and insults? Typically,
negative reinforcement often has the opposite effect. If you find yourself encountering
challenges, then it might be helpful to gently re-assess and evaluate.

As we journey into this season of change, I would encourage people to approach creating lasting change with flexibility that honors one’s values and abilities. Change often takes time and consistency which is completely possible with time, patience and care.

Happy New Year!

About The Author
With a Master’s in Counseling Psychology, I possess a wealth of skills that I utilize to support clients and provide consultation. My goal as your therapist is to help you achieve your goals in a positive and
healthy manner. I cherish building a bond with clients to assist them in creating change in their lives. My hope is to collaboratively work with my clients to cope with issues, improve symptom management and develop a space of comfort. I have years of experience that primarily consists of working with college students, adults, and couples who are impacted by anxiety, depressive symptoms, adjustment issues, transitional stressors, family issues, and relationship issues. I utilize an eclectic approach to ensure that treatment is tailored to the client’s needs. I am an ally of the LGBTQIA+ community.

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Lisa Savage

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