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Set New Year’s Goals You Absolutely Achieve, Part 3 of 3: Amp Up The Love, Calm The Fear

So you’ve gathered positive energy and prepared mentally for success, and, with written S.M.A.R.T. goals in hand, you’re ready to go after the goals you want to realize this year!

What’s next?

In this moment, you feel energized for triumphant outcomes, however, you may also wonder, will you maintain your enthusiasm from start to finish?

Rest assured, you absolutely can!

New goals. New endeavors, New challenges. What do these have in common? Mixed feelings! Positive and…negative, and that means a few doubts and fears.

Rejection. Failure. Inadequacy. It’s only natural for some fear or doubt to appear. In fact, some degree of fear is the rule, and not the exception. It makes sense. The question is not whether you will feel fear when you start a new venture; the question is how you will respond.

It also makes sense, therefore, to take steps to ensure you maintain the momentum you need to achieve your goals. A few emotional mastery tools are in order!

To ensure a successful finish follows a great start, you need to know how to respond masterfully to the emotion of fear, and at the same time how to energize high-energy states, such as enthusiasm, in challenging moments along the way.

Emotional mastery allows you to soar as if no possibility of failure exists, yet also to look any obstacle in the eye with courage and fortitude. How?

It works to amp up the love, and calm the fear.

When you follow your heart (instead of fear), you can avoid the crippling effects of fear, and also find fear can be another asset towards your success.

First, a few tips to calm fear.

1. Feel your fears. Feel your fears, and learn to see them as action signals that inform your choices…that’s the way to go. The biggest mistake is to avoid, deny or numb fear. In other words, do any thing but feel it. We come by this habit honestly. Going for quick fixes at the slightest discomfort are a widespread practice.

This isn’t new information. You’ve done this before in past situations. You have felt fear. You thought about running. You didn’t. Why? Your love in the situation kept you strong. You took action instead. As a result, you conquered or shrunk the fear down to size. Good work!

What’s new is that this is now a science. It’s been studied. It’s a formula. And, it works every time.

2. Appreciate “reasonable” fear. Some fear is reasonable. It is good fear to have. It’s the kind that keeps you on your toes. It gets you to say “No” to going out so you can study for an upcoming test. It helps you prepare for that presentation to best deliver your message. In other words, it helps you do your very best.

Reasonable fear is only a problem when it is mistaken or personalized as inadequacy, weakness, etc.

3. Talk back to unreasonable fear. This fear is the scariest. It consists of existential or core fears, such as fear of rejection, inadequacy or unknown, and the like. They are unreasonable as they are not logical. It may hurt not to be liked or to make mistakes or not do as well as hoped, for example, it should not block or impair our daily functioning, however.

Emotions are caused by thinking patterns. To identify fear inducing thoughts, spend a day noticing your inner “self-talk.” List these in a journal. Next to each, give several reasons why the limiting belief is false. Then, list one or more energizing thoughts to replace these with in the future.

Second, a few tips to amp up the love.

1. List your purpose for achieving each goal.

The fastest and most satisfying path to fulfill your goals is to not only clarify what you want, but also know your purpose. Your reasons are the fuel that sustains the momentum you need to reach your goals. It adds the passion you need to carry you when you face obstacles or challenges along the way, which are also inevitable, by the way.

2. Imagine yourself reaching your desired outcome.

One of the key attributes of successful people is the habit of imagining themselves reaching their desired outcome. They start with the end in mind. You can do the same. Just imagine the future outcome you want as clearly and vividly as possible. See the picture. Hear the sounds. And, when you do, feel the positive feelings and act as if you have already achieved it. Practice this several times a day, especially at the start and end of each day. Make sure these moments are enjoyable as possible. This releases the chemical Dopamine into your blood stream, which stimulates the reward centers of the brain—to turn it into a new habit.

3. Celebrate your every positive effort.

Set an intention to celebrate every effort. Feel free to exaggerate and make this a big deal. Wouldn’t this be dishonest, you say? If you’re like many, you have spent years exaggerating your faults, lack, worries, mistakes or failures. Now is your chance to train your brain to consciously enjoy learning “new” habits and letting go of old ones!

Use your journal to jot down your celebrations each day. For example you may write:

  • “I feel so happy and vibrant when I exercise.”
  • “It’s freeing to not worry about getting approval or what others are thinking.”
  • “I love how alive and great I feel after vigorous exercise.”

Are you ready to make a commitment to realize your New Year’s goals? It means taking 100% responsibility for your success, and getting comfortable with taking actions to do what is in the highest interest of your vision and goals in life — even at times when you may not feel like it.

What will it be for you?

If your answer is, “I’m going to amp up the love, and calm the fear,” then start celebrating!

Set New Year’s Goals You Absolutely Achieve, Part 3 of 3: Amp Up The Love, Calm The Fear

Athena Staik, Ph.D.

Relationship consultant, author, licensed marriage and family therapist, Dr. Athena Staik motivates clients to break free of anxiety, emotion reactivity, and other addictive patterns, to awaken wholehearted relating to self and other. She is currently in private practice in Northern VA, and writing her book, What a Narcissist Means When He Says 'I Love You'": Breaking Free of Addictive Love in Couple Relationships. To contact Dr. Staik for information, an appointment or workshop, visit, or visit on her two Facebook fan pages DrAthenaStaik and DrStaik

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APA Reference
Staik, A. (2011). Set New Year’s Goals You Absolutely Achieve, Part 3 of 3: Amp Up The Love, Calm The Fear. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 18, 2020, from


Last updated: 25 Jul 2011
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