• Resolutions, Routines and Rewards…Five More Goal-Setting Tips for the HSP

  • If you’re an HSP frustrated with the lack of forward movement toward your goals, ask yourself which two priority goals are important for you right now. You can accomplish them with less stress and fuss by using these goal-setting tips for the highly sensitive person.

    Information is not as important as application; the only useful suggestion is the one that you apply. With that in mind…

  • 1. Choose routines over resolutions.

    When it comes to to-do items like eating better and exercising more, many resolutions break down in a few weeks. Often it’s better to create an activity that can be sandwiched within an existing routine. For example:

    -If I’ve brushed my teeth at bedtime, then I’ll floss before I turn out the lights

    -When I leave work, I’ll swing by the gym on the way home.

    -Because I’ve chosen a healthy meal to cook in the evening, I’ll set the recipe out as I clear breakfast, assembling the cookware, utensils, and non-perishables. I’ll remember that there is a great meal waiting at home, nearly ready to go.

  • 2. Reward yourself.

    Choose intervals (every X steps or Y hours) or identify plateaus (one stage is finished, and the next soon to start) and celebrate. A reward can be an activity you love or an inexpensive but tangible and meaningful item.

  • 3. Remember: the steps to meet your goals may be small, but the results big.

    Break that big job into tiny pieces. Notice any forward progress; don’t dismiss or minimize it. Allow for disappointments and delays. They will happen, even with the best of plans.

    Sometimes a goal has to be re-thought, but delays do not necessarily mean to stop. They are part of the journey, and don’t mean that you are failing. Give yourself permission to be human, says positive psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar.

    The next two suggestions can help create and keep a strong foundation for your efforts.

  • 4. Unclutter.

    For the HSP, uncluttering applies as much or more to activities than to closet cleaning or work bench clearing. You may not do well if your calendar is chock-full with no down-time. An activity, an interest, or a committee membership may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but is it still?

    From the closet, garage, or elsewhere, do clear out the remnants of projects or hobbies that went nowhere. Unless you’re sure you’ll go back to them, it’s time to recycle. Even this small step can give you the sense of getting things done.

  • 5. Now and then unplug.

    As an HSP coach, I know that spending time in nature benefits many HSPs. Mountains. Lakeshore. Woods. Backyard or balcony garden. Pick the one that truly relaxes you and spend as much time there as you can.

    Without time to rest and rejuvenate, it’s too easy to get overbooked, overstressed, or overtired. It’s good to keep some “excess capacity,” to operate within, without drawing on your energy reserves. If you deplete those reserves, it can take longer to restore them than you might like.