An abundant and happier life can be yours, but you must identify and release the obstructions that keep you from the wisdom and wealth you want. Christy Monson, a successful family therapist for over thirty years, has written Becoming Free to help you achieve your goals and find deeper happiness in your life.
Becoming Free is a step-by-step book to help you to shed your armor, expand your optimistic thinking, and enhance your ability to give and receive. Once you become free of the armor you’ve built around you to protect yourself, you’ll find the abundant life you have always sought.
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About the Author
Christy Monson received a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from UNLV and established a successful counseling practice in Nevada, counseling families and couples her entire career. She is the author of two young adult novels and one picture book, Love, Hugs, and Hope: When Scary Things Happen, a picture book helping young people cope with significant tragedy in their lives.
Read an Excerpt
LONG TERM GOALS
I do not want to wait to see what happens without having a plan.
Aristotle defined our connectedness to goals. “Man is a goal-seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.” Become excited about the direction you want your life to take. Find a path that will bring you joy and happiness. Be the artist of your own painting.
WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT AND PLAN YOU BECOME
All of us participate in goal setting whether on a conscious or subconscious level.
We are shaped by our thoughts. We become what we think. Buddha
Even if you have never set goals, you still invite the things you think about into your life.
Goals that are not written down are just wishes. Unknown
I worked with a teenager, Samantha, who came to therapy for depression. She riddled herself with words like dumpy, chubby, heavy, and large—the words became part of her. She wasn’t even aware her thoughts contained such negativity. Samantha’s behaviors mimicked her thinking. Whenever she went shopping she bought clothes a size too big. Her garments fit loosely because she was ashamed of her shape. It was difficult for her to find friends. Her poor self-image had caused her to become what she thought about. For Samantha to change her life, she had set a long-term goal to change her thinking.
Look and listen to yourself. Be aware of your thoughts and actions. Do they serve you well? Keep the positive and release the negative. Proactively decide the direction you want your life to take so you’re not swept along with the daily tide of life.
TARGET LONG TERM OBJECTIVES
Goals don’t have to be set on January 1st. Be creative and willing to think outside the box. Look at your life. Is there a better time for you to set and evaluate your aims? If you are a student or a teacher, is fall a better time to assess your situation? If you own a business, you may want to set goals and marketing strategies before the holidays. What is best for you?
Individuals, couples, and groups can take vacation time away from daily routines to establish goals. I know a circle of friends who get together once a year to discuss the progress they have made toward their goals and to set new ones. Attending workshops or conferences is another great time to set priorities.
But life gets busy and complicated. We may be pulled in various directions. Many of us follow through with goals for a while, but then other things cloud our vision. What can we do to improve our consistency?
BE AWARE OF YOUR PATTERNS
We need to be alert to our mode of planning. Look at past calendars and journals. What do you like about the way you set goals? What would you alter? List the changes you want to make and put them in a prominent place where you’ll see them often. Review them at a specific time, like the first of each month.
Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal: my strength lies solely in my tenacity. Lois Pasteur
What distractions take you off task? Vacations, holidays, family visits, houseguests, time with friends. Your list could go on and on. Rather than looking at these as distractions, make them part of your long-term goals.
INVOLVE OTHERS IN YOUR GOALS
Include others in your objectives. If reading is one of your goals, read a good book with family or friends. Taking time for reflection can be personal, but it can also be done in a group setting. Goals concerning food lend themselves to a group effort. The philosophy of positive thinking can yield success if incorporated in a family situation, with friends or in the work place. Sharing goals with others give us additional support—and often facilitates friendship.
People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going. Earl Nightengale
Discussing your goals with those around you makes your commitment greater because someone else knows about it. Ask for feedback—others have good ideas.
BE FLEXIBLE WHEN YOU PLAN
A young, single client, Harry, owned a thriving catering business. He set personal goals for himself but felt frustrated because at times he couldn’t accomplish his plan. Some days he didn’t have time to work out as he wished. He also loved to read, which he cut out all together when business got busy. The business demanded his holidays. Religious celebrations in the spring, and summer weddings took extra effort. He loved his work, but his hectic schedule usurped his goal time. How could he be consistent? He struggled as he shared his dilemma with me, but he came up with a plan. He assessed the volume of business for each month and set his objectives accordingly. During the busy months he developed a short list of goals. For example, he kept his spiritual reading to fifteen minutes a day, and he spent his lunchtime at the gym. When work slowed down he spent an hour in spiritual study and meditation, and he completed a full-body workout at the gym.
Harry is in the busy season of his life’s work. As his business grows, he can add employees and restructure his time as he wishes.
Be open to change. It’s consistently part of life.
CHOOSE YOUR GOALS THOUGHTFULLY
Goal-setting can be difficult. I have a young friend who couldn’t decide on a major in college so he never set long-term goals. During his first two years of school, he floated from English to physics to business to veterinary medicine and finally law. He felt confused during this time and berated himself for wasting time and money on education.
As we talked about his situation, he was able to give himself permission to take time to decide what he really wanted to do. (Exploring the world as a young adult is a healthy developmental task.)
After some introspection, he reframed his lack of focus as a period of discovery. He let go of his guilt because he knew he’d be working in his chosen field for at least thirty years, and it needed to be something he loved.
He decided to study every possibility carefully before he set his long-term goals.
GOALS MAY CHANGE
What if your goals change? It’s healthy for you to amend your desires as you progress through life. Some of your goals at age 20 will not be the same at age 60. Enjoy the ride along the way and change when you find it necessary.
A young client worked towards a wonderful career goal. She had almost finished her education when she decided to marry and have children. However, she chose to complete her education and internship so she would be employable after her children were in school. She temporarily set her career goal aside.
As a young mother, my children seemed to consume me. When they became more self-sufficient, I returned to school and accomplished my goal to become a therapist. Now, as a grandmother, I’m able to pursue writing interests. I love this time of life and am grateful to have the opportunity to balance my time between family and personal goals.
A jet-setter friend loved to travel and circled the globe several times, but as she grew older, she came to love her flower garden and the quiet life at home. She adjusted her goals to fit her lifestyle.
PLAN YOUR GOALS BY SETTING A DEFINITE PRIORITY EACH DAY
As you set your goals, allow positive energy to flow through you. Include sitting, listening, laughter and contemplation as part of your productivity. Tailor your program to your needs—develop a positive blueprint in your life.
If you find yourself starting out great and then letting the goals fall by the wayside, get back to your program. Set a time of accountability each month to stay on track. Remember—we’re all inconsistent at times. Come back to the place you would like to be. Do it again and again if need be.
As the knight weighted down with armor, you are now in the process of removing the helmet so you can see to find your way. Take the helmet’s face mask off. Setting long-term goals is the first step in this process. Free your face of the armor, so you can think, see, smell, taste, and view the world in a way you never have before. Your constrictions will be gone. What blessings the Universe will be able to give you!
INTERNAL JOY IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS
Set yearly goals
Set monthly goals
Make a subheading for each month with specific monthly goals
Plan in holidays and work schedules as part of the goal setting
Set a time of accounting for yourself
Add service and care of others into your goals.
Include others in your goals
Ask for their feedback
Understand that goals may change
Put your list where you can see it
Be consistent in your efforts
If you slack off, focus back on your long-term goals.
Table of ContentsINTRODUCTION
PART A: BECOMING FREE
PRESCRIPTION FOR WORK ETHIC
LONG TERM GOALS
SHORT TERM GOALS
BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR LIFE CHOICES
THE GIFTS OF AN IMPERFECT LIFE
APPROACH TO SELF CARE
HEALING YOUR FEAR
FINDING PERSONAL POWER
DECISION-MAKING: RELEASING CONFUSION
DECISION-MAKING: TRUSTING YOUR OWN JUDGMENT
BEING HONEST WITH YOURSELF
YOU ARE SUFFICIENT: YOUR LIFE IS GOOD ENOUGH
ALLOW IMPERFECTION INTO YOUR LIFE
LETTING GO OF NEGATIVITY IN RELATIONSHIPS
FINDING POSITIVE THINKING PATTERNS
LISTENING BLOCKS; LISTENING AIDS
BRIDLING YOUR EMOTIONALITY
THINKING BEFORE YOU TALK
CONTROL VERSUS TRUST
POSITIVITY IN RELATIONSHIPS
FEELING FREE IN A RELATIONSHIP
PART B: PRACTICING THE PROCESS
KEYS TO SUCCESS
WRITING YOUR OWN SCRIPT
WRITE, WRITE, WRITE
LIVE YOUR IDEAL
THOUGHT STOPPING/ THOUGHT SUBSTITUTION
ON BECOMING NEW
COMMUNICATION: LISTENING AND REFLECTING
SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE HAVE
A HIGHER POWER
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is just like having an individual therapy session with Christy Monson. Pulling from years as a therapist and drawing from her client's personal stories; Christy helps us understand what we need to do to overcome fear, phobias, and personal traumas. She teaches us how to: *Set goals *Understand misconceptions *Approach self-care *Communicate better *Journal *Meditate *Have positive self-talks *and much more So many wonderful ideas in so many different areas! Each section ends with an amazing overview with ideas to journal, how to ask for help, and things to do for goals. "Just as a butterfly emerges from a tight constricting chrysalis to beautify the world, you can break out of old confining habits, find peace, and attract healthy relationships with Christy's step-by-step process." This is a book to be read, and studied, and applied! Every woman needs to read this book!