By Carla Schick
Aren't goals wonderful? They give you purpose and hope. They make you feel productive. That thing you thought you could never do suddenly becomes attainable when you set goals, or milestones, to help you achieve it.
And speaking of goals, the New Year is right around the corner and many have started to write down their goals for the coming year. Do you plan to lose a few pounds? Start a savings account? Improve your mental outlook? Some of these resolutions are easier said than done, especially for those in the immune globulin (IG) community.
If your plan is to cross a few things off your resolution list in the coming year, how can you do it without tiring yourself out? The key is to be S.M.A.R.T. - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-phased.
Here's a top-10 list of S.M.A.R.T. goals to get the ball rolling:
- Read or listen to inspirational teachings for 15 minutes a day
Reading or listening to something positive can provide comfort and hope.
- Learn how to use a different app on your smartphone once a week
This is a fun little idea to help pass the time, especially during an infusion.
- Start a low-impact exercise program like stretching, walking, swimming or Pilates for 15 to 30 minutes each week until you can build up your endurance for longer workouts
Slow, low-impact physical activity is a great way to get moving and lose a few pounds at the same time.
- If you're a blogger, try to write one blog per month
Blogging is a wonderful way to vent and share with others. And it doesn't always have to be about your illness. You can write a book review, tell a story or post a picture and ask people to share their comments.
- Watch all the Academy Award Best Picture movies
This goal can easily take a year to complete, especially if you start with movies from the 1920s.
- If you're a scrapbooker, aim to finish five pages a month
This is yet another fun activity you can do during an infusion. Not only does the time pass by faster, you'll have something to show for it!
- To improve your diet, replace two side dishes each day with fresh fruit or vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are such a nice, healthy substitute to fried foods or candy bars. Plus, if your goal is to lose weight, this can help!
- Open a savings account, and contribute $5 each month
Every little bit helps. And when you have the opportunity to contribute more, do it. Before you know it, you'll have enough money to take a vacation or buy that new techno device.
- Learn to play your favorite instrument by practicing for 10 to 15 minutes a day
Learning to play an instrument is therapeutic. It can improve your mental state and give you a little occupation. So take guitar, piano, clarinet or drums lessons. Your enlightened mind will thank you.
- Try to get out of the house at least twice a week
A change of scenery and a little fresh air does wonders for the psyche. Even if you're running an errand or sitting in the park, think of it as a mental reboot.
Whether you plan to get healthy or become more productive, goals are a great way to help you feel engaged and accomplished.
What is one S.M.A.R.T. goal you can set for yourself?