Thursday, December 28, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Setting Goals While Chronically Ill

It's been a busy holiday week, but I wanted to take a moment to share some past posts all about setting goals. I'm not much for resolutions because they tend to be temporary and/or huge changes that are almost impossible to achieve. I go for a longer-term process, with a handful of lifetime goals (things like "Be as healthy as I can be" and "To nurture and enjoy strong, fulfilling relationships"). Then, each year, I set (or review) objectives to help me meet each goal and set specific, measurable targets for each objective. This allows me to take baby steps, all aimed at achieving the life I want long-term.

You can see my Lifetime Goals, with some examples of objectives and targets in this post on My Progress in 2016 and Goals for 2017.

This article I wrote for the ProHealth website, Setting Goals When You Are Chronically Ill, describes my goal-setting process in more detail, with additional examples, and explains how to adapt a goal-setting process when you are chronically ill - for instance, one of my objectives is to rest more!

Here are more examples from my own life in my Progress in 2015 and Goals for 2016 post.

You'll notice I focus heavily on measurable targets - I learned when I used to work in management consulting that what gets measured, gets done! This post on My ME/CFS Improvements in 2014 explains the simple process I use to track how I feel and how much I exerted each day - besides giving me a way to measure improvement, this tracking approach also helps me to see which treatments help, since it can be difficult to see cause and effect with our complex illness.

My goals cover all aspects of my life, but if this talk of improving my health sounds like fantasy to you, be assured that there ARE many effective treatments out there for ME/CFS that can help to improve your symptoms, overall condition, and quality of life - the problem is that most doctors don't know enough about ME/CFS. It's up to us patients to educate ourselves and then ask our doctors for help in specific areas. There are even some things you can try on your own, if you can't find a doctor who will work with you. This post on Effective Treatments for ME/CFS summarizes the treatments that have worked best for my son and I over the past 15 years. We are both pretty high-functioning now.

It's almost that time of year again - I always look forward to the start of a new year and the chance to revisit my goals, objectives, and targets. Happy New Year!

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