As an expert on helping people make positive changes in their lives I’m also a firm believer in practicing what I preach! I’ve been successful with personal behavior changes such as overcoming an eating disorder and quitting drinking as well as accomplishing professional goals like opening my own practice and publishing a book. I want to help YOU be successful with your short term and long term goals to help you achieve your dreams and not lose steam. Keep your blinders on though because there will be people who will discourage you along the way and you may experience a ton of rejection and set backs. But, I promise if YOU have the will there is always a way and you can live a life beyond your wildest dreams.

The chaos of Christmas is hopefully starting to slow down. Carve out some time and reflect on 2017. It wasn’t all good or all bad. Reflect on highlights and low lights accross categories-relationships, financial, career, health. What do you aspire to let go of, maintain, or accomplish? Be specific. If you want more peace and serenity, you need to do something practical daily (and not just in January but 365 days the entire year) to achieve this. Maybe you set an intention of meditating for 5 minutes 2 times a day.

This time of year can be full of hope if you use it correctly. I use this model not necessarily to set resolutions but as a perfect time to reset, have a fresh start, and get momentum going.

Don’t set yourself up for failure by over committing to a lengthy list. I suggest keeping your goals between 3 and 5 items.

  1. Write it down! Invest in a journal for weekly check in’s. Keep track by creating a weekly agenda on Sunday night roughly hour by hour. Process the work you’ve done at the end of the week and identify what you struggled with. Make adjustments and repeat 51 more times.
  2. Draw a vision. Make a collage every quarter of the year that inspires you and put it next to your bed so you see it when you start and finish your day.
  3. Find a mentor who has achieved something you are striving for. Follow them on social media, ask them to coffee and find out how they did it!
  4. Partner with a friend to hold yourself accountable and motivate each other to achieve your goals.
  5. Read, Read, Read-articles, blogs, memoir’s, self help, empowerment, business journals-anything that inspires you. (Watch you tube videos or listen to podcasts if reading isn’t your preference.)
  6. Reward yourself for your success. Maybe it’s a massage 1x a month, or a weekend get away, or signing up for a class you always wanted to take. This is called positive reinforcement.
  7. Flood yourself with positive mantras and gratitude lists. Positivity begets positivity. Put post it notes in your car, on your mirror, the fridge, your screen saver, drink coffee out of mugs that inspire you.

“Seize Your Life” by Jasmine Stringer

8. Move at least 15–30 minutes a day. Dance, walk, cycle, swim. It will keep you grounded. I’m not suggesting weight loss or dieting-it’s against my core values. If you strive to “get healthy” consistency is key. Love your body inside and out. It takes work.

9. Clean house and surround yourself with people who motivate you and support your vision. Purge relationships that create negativity.

10. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun and laugh your ass off.

GO GET IT GIRL!! YOU got this.

Originally published at


  • Kelley Kitley, LCSW psychotherapist

    Media Mental Health Expert

    Serendipitous Psychotherapy, LLC

    Kelley Kitley, LCSW owns SERENDIPITOUS PSYCHOTHERAPY, LLC on The Magnificent Mile in downtown Chicago. She's a sought after international women's mental health expert, author, and has appeared in over 100 national publications, podcasts, live news, and radio including WGN, NBC, The Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, Dr. Oz, Dr. Drew, Access Live, and TODAY. Kelley is the author of the award winning best selling book, ‘MY self: An autobiography of survival' and TEDx speaker: 'I show my scars so others know they can heal.'