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10 Killer Ways To Rock Your Life By Setting Goals That You’ll Actually Achieve

10 Killer Ways To Rock Your Life By Setting Goals That You’ll Actually Achieve

You know the drill. It’s always the same: millions of people get all ramped up to make resolutions for the new year in order to finally reach their goals. But after a few weeks, any traces of these resolutions are gone and our goals remain unreached for the rest of the year. It really shouldn’t be this way, but alas, for most of us, it is. It isn’t that we don’t want to make changes in our lives — we do — but most of us are unaware of how keying into a few old-school tactics can help us to set goals any time of the year that we’ll actually achieve!

Here’s the secret: there is no special formula, no magic wand to wave over ourselves that will transform us into rock stars, and no pill for it yet, either.

The secret is this: it takes good old-fashioned American work to succeed at anything!

If you want to develop some killer success strategies that will stick, you have to be willing to work hard and believe you can make it happen.

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Here are ten strategies that will help get and keep you on track:

Persevere

When most people decide to finally commit themselves to reaching a goal, they are gung ho at the beginning. Yipee. Go get em! Live the dream, set new goals, lose that flab, and get that makeover. But hype won’t get you anywhere. That’s why most of us fail to do much of anything. The only thing that will work for you, whether you’re trying to lose weight, start a new business, or set new goals, is to realize that anything of value, anything that’s worthwhile, takes time and perseverance to achieve. There are no shortcuts. No guts, no glory.

Dig Deep

Most of us fail at reaching our goals because we lack passion, we’re too general in defining our goals, and we’ve historically had way too many failures on the front end of things. In other words, we expect to fail. To succeed, you have to dig deep and find out what’s really important to you. People that are passionate about what they’re doing don’t burn out as easily. That doesn’t mean they don’t get tired; it means that something more powerful is driving them. It could be a cause, a belief, a need, or the love of something. Find it for yourself, and there will be no stopping you.

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Give

Most people who are successful pour into the lives of others. They’re generous with their time and want to build value for others. If you want to succeed in anything, learn to be a giver. Don’t think about what’s in it for you — think about giving others what they need, and everything else will fall into place.

Build

Don’t overlook building relationships. Whether you’re working on a new business, trying to lose weight, or trying for that promotion, relationships can provide the client base or support you need.

Get counsel

Successful people are always learning. They look to other successful people to mentor them. They are teachable and don’t try to re-invent the wheel.

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Invest

Whatever you want to do, you have to invest in it. That means time, money, and plenty of effort. Buy the right food if you’re trying to lose weight and make a lifestyle change. It may be more expensive to go organic, but you’re worth it. Spend the money on that great online course by a reputable teacher. You can’t make money if you won’t invest it your own business. You have to be willing to do things others won’t do.

Think positively

We’ve heard this one forever, but how many of us actually do it? Most people aren’t aware of how their negative internal monologues affect their abilities. Start noticing what you tell yourself on a daily basis. If you’re prone to negative self-talk, learn to replace it by building positive counter-statements. Consider this: nothing keeps you from reaching your goals like stinkin’ thinkin’.

Write it down

Don’t skip this exercise! Get a piece of paper and write down a list of what is motivating you to lose the weight, continue with your writing, start a blog, create a new business, or whatever else you may be wanting to do. You can do this on 3 x 5 cards. When your motivation waxes and wanes, pull them out and read them — slowly. If you want to lose weight and you’re tempted to overeat, remind yourself of why this is an important lifestyle change for you. Ask yourself the following:

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  • How do you want to feel about yourself at the end of the day?
  • Will this action help or hinder your ability to reach your goals?
  • What do you need to do to re-focus on the bigger picture?
  • What next steps might you need to take to do that?
  • How will you plan for future obstacles?

Never give up

Winston Churchill said this years ago, but it still holds true: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Most successful people have seen the bottom drop out plenty of times, but they suck it up and keep going anyway. When you want to quit, just take a break, regroup, and come back into it when you feel ready.

Change perspective

When trouble or difficulty arises, it’s easy to get discouraged. That last ten pounds won’t come off, another article is rejected, or you’ve had a financial hit to the new business. Discouragement can lead to despair — no bueno! Try looking at the obstacles through the lens of possibility. See your challenges as opportunities for new growth or a change of direction. If you throw the towel in, you’re done.

So now that you’re aware of some old tried-and-true ways to make your any-time-of-the-year resolutions stick, what the heck are you waiting for — go achieve your goals!

Back at you: What have you tried that’s helped you to turn a resolution into a reality

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Rita Schulte LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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