Anxiety – Goal Setting #1

If you suffer from anxiety and/or achievement addiction, this mini-series is for you! The posts aren’t really about how to set goals; they’re about how frustrating and confusing goal setting can be. So if you cringed at the very mention of goal setting in the title (which is my first response to goal-setting articles), you can now release those butterflies from your belly and read this post in peace! The Goal Setting Mini-Series goes a step deeper than the usual “how to” list: How can we set goals that honour God and don’t induce panic attacks?

Happy New Year?

Happy New Year! How did you spend New Year’s Eve?

My New Year’s Eve didn’t quite go to plan…

I’ve always found it oddly reassuring when fellow Christians are honest about their struggles. It’s in that spirit that I’m sharing my story with you!

How can we set goals that honour God and don’t induce panic attacks? Click To Tweet

A Forgettable New Year’s Eve

My husband and I opted for a night in this year – we were too exhausted to celebrate with friends, which is our usual tradition. After enjoying a tasty home-delivered Thai meal together, our “romantic” evening went awry: I was bowled over by an anxiety attack. A long, drawn-out one. It monopolised the rest of the evening.

So, it was a not-so-happy New Year’s Eve for us! My thoughts were racing. I couldn’t calm myself down. The tears just kept flowing…

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“What will I achieve this year?”

The start of a new year seems to be the time for goal setting, doesn’t it? An apt time to take an inventory of our personal achievements. Sometimes all those posts about New Year’s resolutions and goal setting can end up hindering rather than helping, don’t you think? They can urge us to place undue pressure on ourselves. Well, I certainly fell into that trap on New Year’s Eve!

Standing at the threshold of a new year, I was overtaken by a sense of urgency: What will I achieve this year? It wasn’t a negative feeling; it was a strange mixture of excitement, anticipation and frustration.

Excitement about some new opportunities that have just popped up: a chance to use my professional skills in 2017. Anticipation about a personal project that I hope to complete in early-2017. Frustration because I’m severely limited by my pacing regimen. I absolutely must limit my daily activity, otherwise my health nose-dives. (How do I know this? I’ve learnt the hard way: through trial and error – with lots of error!)

To be continued…

Read the next installment of my Forgettable New Year’s Eve story.

OVER TO YOU!

In the meantime, here are some things to reflect on:

1. Your personality:
Are you an achievement-oriented person? Do goals inspire you or make you freeze up?

2. Your story:
How did your own Christmas and New Year’s celebrations go? Were there any moment when you felt under pressure to be having a “happy” time, yet the reality was not-so-happy? How did you respond to these feelings?

3. Survey question:
Are New Year’s goal setting posts/articles with how-to lists helpful or not, in your experience? I’ll be interested to see what the general consensus is!

I invite you to share your answers with the Fruitful Today community! Click here to join the private Facebook Discussion Group. It’s a closed group, which means your responses won’t be visible anywhere outside the group (i.e. no unwanted shares on friends’ newsfeeds!).

Image source:
Weeping Woman (1937), by Pablo Picasso, Flickr, NichoDesign. View licence here

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