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Dysfunction Interrupted-How to Ring in 2019 with Emotional Success

You are most likely thinking about your New Year’s goals and hoping that 2019 will be a better year than last.  You are probably hoping to be more successful, wealthier, happier, thinner, bigger or in better shape overall. You may have wished for these things for many years and not been able to achieve them so far. It is not unusual.  The reason most people don’t achieve their goals is that they don’t prepare themselves the right way. You may not  know where to actually start the process of correcting what is holding you back. You cant achieve something with the wrong tools.

Here are what I consider to be the most important steps for achieving emotional success and reaching your goals for life:

  1. Get to the bottom of your limiting beliefs.  If there is a little voice inside your head saying you can’t achieve your goals then you won’t. Period. Most of these limiting beliefs come from dysfunctional family or caregiver patterns that you were raised in and took on as truth. They are ways of looking at the world that are restrictive and negative, allowing no room for hope, change or joy. An example of this is that if you believe your ideas are silly or unimportant, you will never believe you should act on them, no matter how much you may want to. This is depressing and anxiety provoking.
  2. Decide what exact dysfunctional patterns have been caused by the limiting beliefs. Do you suffer from helpless feelings, indecision, depression, anxiety, chronic disorganization, financial problems, poor relationships or the care-taking of people who drag you down? Make a list of every dysfunctional thing that you think you do. Don’t be discouraged if the list has several things on it, this is normal. Hardly anyone who is struggling with emotional success has just one issue, but fixing one has the great result of helping to fix them all, these skills build on each other.
  3. Now that you have a list, devise a plan for each. Do you need instruction from several sources or can just one source help you? For instance, you may need help with organization but you don’t need a psychologist to do this for you. There are many organizational resources out there that are not as expensive and don’t use up your insurance benefits.
  4. No matter what your list, the first resource you need is one that can help you with the limiting beliefs. Start there so you don’t get overwhelmed. Correcting these will go  a long way toward correcting other emotional ills. Once these are eliminated you will be freed up to make plans to reach the more specific goals such as weight loss, fitness, achievement and so on that may be on your list.
  5. Set a realistic timeline. These problems are not going to all disappear in January. It is likely you have been suffering from them for a while so give yourself some time. This reduces the anxiety you may start to feel about change. Some change will take place in your mind very quickly and feel really good, and that will provide motivation to continue. View 2019 as the year of positive changes!
  6. Now act on it!! All of the above information is no good to you unless you commit to doing something about it. Find a resource such as a psychologist, coach or therapist that can help you with the limiting belief part. You can do this online or in person locally or you can purchase self-help books and courses to work through on your own. If one isn’t working, try something else, it is important not to give up. You will find what works for you. Remember to focus on this first and let the rest fall into place. One of the biggest reasons people fail in reaching their goals is that they become overwhelmed. Overwhelm is bad.

If you think you may be going through life making poor life decisions and repeating dysfunctional patterns that are holding you back and keeping you unhappy, visit us at and use our free resource-

How to Break Free from 12 Dysfunctional Thought Patterns … and a handy chart to help you track your progress

You may also take the Dysfunctional Patterns Questionnaire and see how these are affecting your life right now.

Feel Good For Life!!

Dysfunction Interrupted-How to Ring in 2019 with Emotional Success

Audrey Sherman, Ph.D.

Dr. Audrey Sherman is a licensed psychologist, coach and the author of the book Dysfunction Interrupted-How to Quickly Overcome Depression, Anxiety and Anger Starting Now. Her expertise is in defining, describing and transforming dysfunctional behavior and thought patterns learned in childhood or beyond that keep you anxious, depressed, angry, stuck in unhappy and unproductive relationships, jobs and more. Dr. Sherman developed the Dysfunctional Patterns Quiz and other free resources to help you determine the effects of these on your life. She works with individuals, conducts live and online workshops and trains others in her programs. To learn more about Dr. Sherman, you can visit her website.

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APA Reference
Sherman, A. (2018). Dysfunction Interrupted-How to Ring in 2019 with Emotional Success. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 3, 2020, from


Last updated: 30 Dec 2018
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.