How to Focus on Yourself

Katy Kandaris, LPC
7/22/2022

Life can move really fast sometimes, and at other times, it can feel stagnant. 

No matter your circumstances, prioritizing your own wants and needs will encourage a more fulfilling life. It’s not selfish to take good care of yourself. In fact, it can be one of the more selfless things you choose to do.

Focus On What You Want From Life

In the midst of our busy lives, it can be easy to lose sight of what we truly want from life. In addition to this, what we want frequently changes. There is no roadmap to life or a foolproof plan. With each new day of experiences and introductions, our wants and needs change. 

A great starting point to help determine your wants and needs is to do some soul-searching; that is, make a list of what makes you happy, what you’re passionate about, and what you find rewarding. 

Once you have this list, hold on to it. Keep adding to it as you grow and change. Start to think about what has stayed the same and what you have left behind. Some of these things may recirculate or overlap. It can be helpful to “dial in” to the more consistent things you have listed. Think about how you can make more time in your schedule to devote to them.

Another important factor in this process is to clearly describe what you do not want your life to look like. This will help you avoid behaviors and lifestyle choices that will deter you from your desired life. For example, if you know that a standard 9-5 desk job won’t be fulfilling, you can better direct your life in a way that will avoid you from feeling stuck in that type of career.

This process will likely take some time. It may be weeks, months, or years before you see your life heading into your desired trajectory. Regardless of how long it may take, it’s so worth it to see your hard work and effort come to fruition.

How to Focus on Yourself With Goal Setting

To successfully focus on yourself and accomplish what you desire, setting “SMART" goals is a great place to start. “SMART” is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. The purpose of this method of goal-setting is to set personal goals that are clearly and carefully planned with trackable end dates. 

Establishing goals by using the SMART tool creates a framework that helps you hold yourself accountable. These goals can be big or small. For example, your goal may be to start cooking more meals at home. Or maybe your goal is to go back to school to get your degree. Whatever it may be, the SMART method will help you break down the goal into specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound components to determine which pursuits are worth your time and effort. 

Many times we shove our goals away, saying something like “I’ll start next week”. Yet “next week” often becomes next month, next year, or never. Making goals with end-dates can be such a game-changer. Your goal may be specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant, but if you never start or finish it, you won’t reap the benefits of accomplishing it. When it comes to achieving your goals, the sooner you start, the better.

How to Focus on Yourself By Creating Healthy Boundaries 

Do you ever find yourself thinking, “I care too much about everything”? This may be a sure sign of poor boundaries. 

Personal boundaries are physical, mental, and emotional guidelines we create for ourselves and relationships. These boundaries define how we like to be treated by others and help us honor our values. When healthy boundaries are set, you do not take responsibility for the emotions or actions of others.

Focusing On Yourself in a Relationship

Boundaries will empower you to put your foot down when someone or something is taking away your personal happiness, freedom, or self-esteem. You are not responsible for tolerating others’ bad behavior or emotional turmoil. 

Though it can be easy to cater to victimizing behavior, know that you don’t have to be responsible for resolving every crisis. Standing up to these individuals often gives them the wakeup call they have been desperately needing to change their behavior.

People with poor boundaries often give in to: 

  • Guilt trips 
  • Aggressive demands 
  • Victimizing behavior
  • Unrealistic expectations 

It is impossible to make someone happy 100% of the time. Know your limits to avoid being controlled by another person’s emotions. You will have far more energy to care about what truly matters.

How Focusing On Yourself Can Help Heal Your Relationship with Yourself 

Taking care of yourself, prioritizing your needs, and making firm boundaries are all a part of your personal healing and growing process. The cool part about healing your relationship with yourself is that you are simultaneously helping all of your current and future relationships. You will have a greater sense of self-worth when you bring the best version of yourself into a relationship.

When a person is in touch with their personal value, they often have greater success with relationships of all kinds (friends, family, romantic relationships, etc.). A confident individual will often: 

  • Speak up for themselves and encourage open communication in relationships
  • Compare themselves and their relationships to others’ less often
  • Take better care of themselves, mentally and physically 
  • Cut out those who take away from their personal happiness 
  • Be generally happier and more content

Mental and physical care looks different for everyone. This is because everyone’s wants and needs are unique to them. Insecurities can often hold us back from making the first steps into self-care. Remember, insecurities are a part of life. Everyone has them in some way or another. 

Take some time to be honest with yourself about what is in your power to change and what is out of your control. Talking with someone you trust about these insecurities is a great place to start. You are a powerful, strong, amazing person; you are capable of being the best version of yourself!

How You Can Start New 

Life is full of seasons where you both grow in some areas and outgrow others. Just because something worked for you at one point in your life, it doesn’t mean that it has to work for your current or future self. When you take the time to focus on yourself, you have more freedom to try new things and take leaps into exciting new opportunities.

Surround yourself with people who support and encourage your growth and be willing to do the same for them. Once you do this, you will quickly realize that those who drag you down have no place in your life.

Big or small, new habits, boundaries, standards, and self-focus will help get you moving in a forward momentum. Here at Inner Balance, our team is excited to support you during this journey. Contact us today to find out how we can help.

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Katy Kandaris, LPC
Owner & Trauma Therapist

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