Goal (ɡōl/) noun
Definition: The object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.
Dream (Drem\) Noun
Definition: Something that you have wanted very much to do, be, or have for a long time.
In less than 24 hours the clock will chime and wherever you are living, the calendar will turn to 2016. The week leading up to New Years is often filled with a review of the previous year as well as a time of planning what you would like to do, change or plan for in the upcoming months. We often revert to one of the following standard resolutions: I will lose 20 pounds, I will eat better, I will save money, I will travel more. And more often than not, the resolution doesn’t come with an accompanying plan to achieve this goal; or at least not one that is well laid out and obtainable. And, once Feb. 1st rolls around and you haven’t lost 20 pounds and the cookies have not been replaced with a crisper bin full of veggies, you lose faith and return to the status quo of the previous year.
But maybe it’s not the resolution itself that is lacking but more in the weak execution that is keeping us from reaching these. I have heard it said, that “a Dream is a goal without a plan and a deadline”. Let 2016 be the year that not only do you have a dream but you turn it into an achievement.
Steps to Take:
First, break up your goals into manageable parts. If you truly want to lose weight, then set out a plan to lose a certain amount of weight each week or month versus just putting out a number. Saying that I will lose 5 pounds in the next 30 days is much easier to acheive than 20 pounds. If after the first week you have only lost ½ a pound, all is not lost and you still feel that within the next 3 weeks the remaining 4 ½ pounds can be reached. If you have set 20 pounds as your benchmark of success and not attached a date to this, you feel defeated thinking that you have 19 ½ more pounds to go.
Second, put a plan in place to achieve the goal. Losing weight does not happen on its own. To achieve any weight loss you need to eat less and move more. So part of your goal would have to include increased movement or exercise and change in type and quantity of food you are consuming.
Third, don’t feel as if you have to do this alone. Join a group of people who have set a similar goal. There are numerous on-line options as well as community groups in your area. Meetup.com is an online option to find like-minded people in your area that want to do similar things, whether that is eating healthier, exercising by way of hiking, biking, walking or just forming a support group. Most of these groups have no fees to join and are located in close proximity to where you work or live.
Choosing Your Goal:
One thing many of us do when setting goals is that we limit ourselves to one big one. We put “all our eggs in one basket” and all our resources go towards this one resolution. I suggest that this year you diversify a bit; start a goal of the month club. The nice thing about this membership, is unlike a gym membership that has a yearlong contract, this membership is flexible and adaptable.
January you may choose a goal that is health related. Your goal could be that you will lower your blood pressure. Your plan would be that you take your medications as prescribed, check your blood pressure and document it daily, and add 5-15 minutes of movement into your routine daily. Now you have a goal and a plan and at the end of 30 days you and your doctor can see the results.
If you need some help to achieve this goal, then add in the support of a Professional Home Care Agency caregiver who can remind you on your medications, shop for and cook healthy meals and be your standby assistance when you are doing your exercise program.
In looking towards February’s goal maybe you want to focus on a more emotional and family related goal. Maybe this is the year that you choose to send out handwritten valentines to all your family and friends. Your plan will need to include shopping for note paper or cards, organizing your address list, purchasing stamps and getting to the mailbox. This activity would be extra special if you include a grandchild or a few friends.
You may decide to set up all 12 months’ worth of goals on your calendar at the beginning of 2016 or maybe you choose a new month’s goal the last week of the previous month. Both way you have something to look forward to and something to plan for.
What Experts Say:
Clinicians at MindHealthConnect.org.au share that “Having goals is a good way to focus attention on the things that are important. It allows us to create a vision of how we would like our life to be. People tend to increase the amount of time and effort spent on an activity, and develop effective strategies when they have a goal to achieve.”
Ready, Set, Goal!
When the clock strikes midnight on January 1st we receive 365 days that are open for what we do with them. This year choose to make them count in whatever way you decide to creatively inject some new fun, improved health, increased community engagement, and enriched relationships into each one of them.
SYNERGY HomeCare is happy to help you achieve personal goals this new year. Would you like to get out of the house more to connect with friends or family? Has limited mobility slowed down the progress you were making in your garden? Maybe you'd enjoy some company to share the experience with? We'll even keep you motivated by tracking how far you've come for those bigger goals, which can be incredibly helpful in those moments you feel like completing the task is out of reach.