Breathe To Listen Goal 2018 on Belle Meets World Blog

If you read my recent post about how I tackle New Year’s Resolutions, you’ll remember one of my top success tricks is to focus on one thing per month. Today I’m sharing my January 2018 goal with you, and I’ll do so each month to increase accountability for myself and to encourage you to choose something for yourself, too. Some months will focus on beauty or style and others, like January, will focus on personal traits. Would you like to join me?

This month’s goal is harder than it seems because I have a pretty major flaw. I interrupt. As in, I’m a hardcore interrupter to the nth degree and I don’t let people finish their thoughts. Part of this is because I don’t always prioritize listening. Instead, I’m eager to get my own thoughts across because they pop up fast and furious in my head.

For those of you who hate interrupters, let me assure you that when we interrupt, it  comes from a good place. We are likely so excited to be in a conversation that we NEED to share.

There is a major downside though. The people you love don’t feel like you are listening, especially during important conversations – like arguments or major life decisions you need to make together. New people you meet might pick up on it and find it to be a turn-off if they feel the convo is one-sided.

How do I know it’s a problem? A few people have told me when I’ve asked for feedback (professionally and personally). One thing I WILL listen to is suggestions for improvement that I know I can work on – and this is one of them.

SO, here’s what I’m doing – and it’s ALREADY WORKING. I found this article in The Wall Street Journal, The Best Relationship Advice of the Year, and in it was the suggestion to BREATHE when you are talking to someone. By focusing on your breath, the person has the opportunity to complete their thought and you will likely be more tuned in on what they are saying. Simple, right?

Every time I enter into a conversation, I remind myself to breathe and start doing it consciously. In and out. It helps to calm any social anxiety I may feel and really does help my thoughts SLOW THE F DOWN while the other person is communicating.

Evan has already commented on the difference in my listening and even thanked me for it. I didn’t tell him I was doing this, so it must be helping! Woohoo!

Mini successes really help to drive me forward when working on goals, and they’ll do the same for you. Make sure to celebrate small victories as you pursue your resolutions this year, friends!


Image by Morgan Hayes Photography

  • Flynt Kohn

    Elise I love this!!! My January resolution is to be present in the moment.

    • Thanks for sharing Flynt! I was thinking about this and breathing through the moment would totally help you in this too!

  • Kristen McDaniel

    My goal for this month is to make time for myself. Even if it means waking up early or staying up a few extra minutes. I spend so much energy taking care of my family that I forget to take care of me.

    • I love this, Kristen! It’s so easy to forget to take care of ourselves. Getting up early is something I really want to try myself, as well so that I have a little time for me to get stuff done and then leave time in the evening for home, husband, and pets.

  • Robin Rue

    I laughed so hard when I read this because I will NOT tolerate being interrupted. I am that person that just gets up and walks away from the conversation completely when someone does that to me.

    • The funny thing is – interrupters don’t always realize they are doing it. Some probably do and don’t care, but I was an innocent interrupter in that it doesn’t come from a malicious place. Something that made me realize (aside from asking for feedback) is when someone said, “let me finish,” several times in one convo. And then I was jolted to reality. Thanks for stopping by Robin!

  • I interrupt too!! I sorta feel like I can’t help it. Haha. My goal for the new year is to do more for myself. I know that may sound silly, but I have a horrible habit of asking my kids to grab something for me from another room, when I’m perfectly capable of getting up and getting it myself.

    • I can relate to that goal. I ask my husband to do things I could totally do so I’m trying to just get my butt off the couch and get it myself! Thanks for the reminder, Joanna! Good luck with your goal.

  • Melissa Chapman

    It is a problem I suffer with and many people do. It is great to hear I am not the only one and there are ways to improve this, thank you.

  • Oh goodness I have literally been sitting on the subjecting of interrupting for weeks trying to figure out how to write about it. You did it so well. Making it a goal is a fantastic idea. I’m a terrible interrupter and I definitely need to work on it.

    • I think the first step is to admit you do it and then to figure out a way to work on it that is easy AND actionable. Hope this helps you and thanks for stopping by, Angela!

  • That is a FANTASTIC goal, Jennifer! Good luck in achieving it!!

  • Toyin Adekola

    Once you are aware of your flaws, it is always easier to overcome them. One of my goals for 2018 is to grow my online business and I further broke it down into monthly goals and daily tasks. This technique puts no pressure on me and I am progressing, even though it’s slow – yes to small victories 🍹

    • Good for you for breaking it down into monthly goals and daily tasks. That’s the best way for me to achieve my goals, too. Have a great day, Toyin!

  • Gonna try the breathing while talking tip! Love your shoes too by the way!

  • I know what you mean as sometimes I interrupt people when I am excited although if someone does it to me I find it annoying so I completely know what you mean. Just taking the time to breathe will truly help you to listen to others!

  • Reesa Lewandowski

    Oh gosh, I am an interrupter too. This is such a great idea to overcome it. Best of luck!

  • I just want to work on being a better self. 2017 was very hard on me but I did grow

  • I love that idea of focusing on one goal each month. It makes the goal easier to achieve. I think it’s really nice that you started with listening better. It’s all about self improvement!

    • Focusing on one goal a month has really helped me make major changes in my life – highly recommend this approach!

  • Neferteri P

    Such great advice! Remembering to breath and stay calm is key and listing really does go a long way! Great blog.

  • Keala Lang

    One goal at a time seems easier to maintain. I love it! I need to work on listening more too. Sounds like a good goal for me as well!

  • Beth Davidson

    Way to work on your own flaw! In my head I think I’m going to make meditation my January goal so I can calm down for five seconds… But I don’t see that actually happening.

  • Toya Ammon

    This is good advice and something to keep in mind while i’m in my next conversation thanks. Focusing on a single goal at a time is something i’m working on even more this year.

  • I also interrupt! I hear myself do it and I just cringe. I guess that is a real practical thing that I can work on.

  • serena

    Such great advice, remembering to breath is so important. I love the idea of tackling it in small little goals. It’s so important in the big picture of things.

    • Isn’t it?! I hope that learning to breathe through all life situations is going to be my 2018 theme!

  • Censie ‘Mumby’ Sawyer

    Great advice. I find myself interrupting my kids all the time. I catch myself but man, I know that is a bad habit! My goal for this month – remembering to take time for me! I want to read more.

  • Jewish Chick

    Hi, SAME issue. I always interrupt! I think I do it because I’m so engaged in the conversation and I tell myself always to SHUT UP until it’s my turn to talk!

  • Maria Katsulos

    OOOOOMG, I totally feel you. My friends are always like, “I wasn’t even close to done!” I might borrow this goal from you for 2018, LOL.

  • No lie, I am bad about interrupting as well. Not in a rude way, but sometimes I get so excited and just blurt things out and I end up interrupting. Being the youngest with 6 siblings though, sometimes I had to interrupt lol

  • Carolyn

    What an awesome tip and something that is so easy to do. I am going to try it because my husband says I interrupt sometimes. Thanks!

  • Jeanine @ sixtimemommy.com

    I don’t really have a goal for January, but this is some great advice. I think I just want to focus and get as much work done this month as possible. That could be my goal!

  • I should throw this onto my list of goals too lol I’m always getting yelled at for interrupting.

  • Brittany Muddamalle

    This is something I’ve been trying really hard to work on this year. I get so stressed during the day with my kids and life. Taking a second to breath is huge.

  • Love that idea – to keep the word listen in mind. I’m going to try keeping that in mind while I breathe!

  • Totally – it’s just because we are excited! Not because we don’t care about what the other person has to say!

  • Thanks for stopping by Louise!

  • Good luck Terri!

  • Yes, breathing is key to getting a grasp on so many things that are beyond our control 🙂

  • I’m an interrupter too and it drives my husband crazy! This is great advice and will definitely change the way I communicate. LISTEN first.