La Coop P.A.- General and Forensic Psychiatry - Boutique-Private Psychiatric and Forensic Practice in Tampa-Clearwater-Florida


January, 2014- My goal setting tips for making the most out of your New Year!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!! This is a great time of year where we get to reflect on what we have done in the past and aspire for more in the future. The new year gives us a platform for making new dreams a reality, or getting a chance again to work on those things that we didn't complete in past years, but want a second (or third) crack at it with wiser eyes!

As a part of each new year, I like to focus myself with some goal setting. This helps me to actually pin point all of my energy on the things that I really feel are going to make a real difference in my life. You can do this any time of the year, but I like to personally capitalize on the motivation that the new year brings.

Below, I am going to give you a step by step plan to get that list of goals down. It will be up to you, of course, to take the next step and actually achieve each of the things that are important to you. The goals go from big to small. You have to give yourself a chance to get pieces of things done and be proud of each little accomplishment along the way and I feel that this technique is best for doing that.

On your mark...get set....GO!!

Until next time!

Dr. L

Why set Goals ANYWAY?

I find, at least with my patients, that they have so much talent and so many things that they want to do that they are spinning their wheels and going in many directions. Doing that expends all of the energy that you have and then doesn't allow much forward progression. Because of this they lose steam because they don't see actual change fast enough. I think that goal setting is great because it hones your energy on what is truly valuable to you (not someone else close to you), and because all of your talent is focused on one direction - it propels you forward faster. By clearly defining your goals, you can measure and take pride in the achievement of each one. As you check off those goals, your self-confidence will rise, as you recognize your own ability and competence in actually achieving the goals that you've set.

Setting Personal Goals

Step One
Create your "big picture" of what you want to do with your life (or over the next 5 years), and identify the large-scale goals that you want to achieve.

This can be anything that you want to be. If you need more help with this, you can go back to my newsletter from January 2013 about making a Personal Mission statement. This will help you to see yourself in a broader light.

I like to pull mine out into categories so I don't forget things:

  • Professionally- Are you where you want to be? What do you want to achieve specifically in your career at this point? How do you define achievement? Title, salary, more responsibilities?
  • Financially - How much do you want to earn? Can you ever make that in what you are doing now? Do you need more education, training, more travel, etc."
  • Education - Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? Is this to move ahead in your career or for personal fulfillment? Can you afford it? Do you really need more education or is this a place to avoid putting yourself out further in your profession?
  • Family - Do you want to be a parent? If so, how are you going to achieve that? Does your lifestyle accommodate that stated goal, or is this something that society expects of you?
  • Physical - What are your actual goals? To lose weight for appearance or for health? I have a patient that wants to run a marathon by age 30. I have another patient that wants to climb in his chosen sport of Jujitsu and possibly make it a career.

Step Two
Next, you break these down into the smaller and smaller targets that you must hit to reach your lifetime goals. Now, don't' get bogged down in the LIFETIME thought process. Let's just say of those lifetime goals - which ones do you want to make steps toward in this year. What is practical now in your life?

Once you got those goals for the year down - break those into lists of smaller time frames (one-year plan, six-month plan, and a one-month plan) that are sequential and build upon one another. Each of these should be based on the previous plan.

Step Three - Now, you're getting somewhere!!
Create a daily To-Do List of things that you should do today to work towards your goals for this year. Keep in mind, some of this early stage of the goal may be to actually research what you need to do to reach the goal. I find that a lot of my patients have lofty goals, but no realistic view of themselves or the goal they want to achieve. For example, I have a patient that we have now honed his career choice into Computer Science (he's in college now) and now he needs to find out what he is going to really do in the field. He needs to do some research maybe in a summer internship or an actual job in the field to see what he likes and what he doesn't like. He is also taking classes, so with each one of those - he's getting exposure as well. Also, with each professor in the field that he sees and works with - he can assess what things he likes and dislikes about their styles and maybe pick their brains to see what they see that he's suited for.

Step 4
Finally, review your plans and make sure that they fit the way you want to live your life. Remember, these are YOUR goals - not anyone else. If you are close to someone that wants to help you and they have suggestions that's fine, but these are YOUR goals and they need to suit you. If they don't, you'll surely wind up either not achieving them or not feeling the accomplishment that goes along with you doing what is truly inside of you.


This coming month, just want to remind you all that I will be in Colorado for my IVF treatment. Based upon the Virtual La Coop practice platform - this isn't going to affect you much. However, there may be a change in the hours of the appointments so that I may accommodate my treatment, but I will let you know personally if this will effect you in a session or via email. If you have any questions just email me!


Until next time,
Dr. L
LA COOP, PA - General and Forensic Psychiatry

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