Goals, a good start to the year


We are coming to the end of this year, I have covered all kinds of topics. The Value Of Hugs, Food and drinks to enjoy small celebrations during the pandemic all while having Raving Squirrel Brain.

It might be time to plan to set New Year’s resolutions or focus on our goals. I have been one to set goals in many aspects of my life, I try to do this in early January. Like my gingerbread truck idea from my last post, some things just don’t get finished… or started for that matter. 

One method for goal planning is Vision boards/Dream boards. I have not done this form of year start goal setting but I have had friends do classes in this form for many years. They really like it.

What is a vision board?

It is a place one puts up pictures or words to create a visual reminder of what you hope to stay focused on achieving. My grandparents would put a picture on the fridge of what we wanted to work towards, They wanted a new car, so they found a photo of want they wanted and put it on the fridge, then they would set goals to be able to achieve the vision. The difference in definition between vision and goal. Vision; the act or power of anticipating that which will or may come to be. Goal; the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.

Other differences between vision boards and goals. Visions are limitless. Goals are very specific steps to get to completed end results.

What I have done in our family is grab tea and have a group meeting, we took the time to make a list of obtainable goals. We took different aspects of our lives and put different ideas under them. Headers we used: Reading, relaxation, relationships, self-care, financial, materialistic things we wanted to purchase, learning goals, household repairs or upgrades and free time achievements.

My list would have an amount of time I would like to spend reading each week, writing notes to friends, what time I would try to be in bed (did not mean I would always be able to sleep at that time, but I would stick try to stick to the time I set). I would break it down to how many notes I wanted to write in one month. This year my list will have try to have my blog out every week around the same time, finishing listening to my podcast story, learning a new talent and taking supplements at least 3 times a week. I would like to say daily but I did outline small obtainable goals, this is me.. Three times a week might be real.

Photo by SevenStorm JUHASZIMRUS from Pexels

No matter what research I have done for this post the same theme that keeps coming up is acronym S.M.A.R.T.

SMART goals are: 

  • Specific (clearly defined)
  • Measurable (assessable and quantifiable)
  • Achievable (able to be reached)
  • Relevant (appropriate)
  • Time bound (able to be prioritized)
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

What is the science behind why goals work? We are wired to accomplish things and tasks. When we set goals if gives our brain something to focus on and be able to achieve. Just like having a treat releases dopamine receptors setting goals and achieving the goal can have a similar effect.

When reading about the science of how setting goals affect your mind and the chemicals that are released into the body when we set and accomplish goals, I read about how they use goal setting with people that have cancer and MS even how it can have mixed effects with people that have ADHD.

Setting goals when you have a chronic condition can really change the mindset from one of doom and distress to hope and accomplishment. Setting small obtainable goals is very personal. One person’s goal might be to run every day, for someone that is struggling with low energy, mental health or long term health condition it could be “I will have a glass of water this morning”. All goals are important. Don’t get stuck in the rut of “My goal is too small”. Sometimes we need to take a small step to move at all, sometimes we don’t move as far as we want.  Make goals you would like to get done in the year, break them down in to month to month or day to day if you need to. Small successes keep building us to the long term goals. You are worth it!  Setting goals when living with a chronic condition. Here are strategies for setting goals when you have MS, ADHD or Cancer. Please be kind to yourself, it is very hard to manage balance.

Feel free to share your goals with me. I hope you have a positive New year. I hope we all can get relief from the pandemic in the year to come. 

Photo 1 Photo by Polina Kovaleva from Pexels

2 thoughts on “Goals, a good start to the year”

  1. I always make a bucket and goal list at the beginning of the year and make different categories and put at least 5 things in each . Years I didn’t write a list I felt my year went by and there was little direction . years I made them I felt more inclined to try and make these happen.

    The different categories are :
    Adventure ( 5 things to do or try . Any trips, a new or fancy restaurant, rock climbing or maybe a pottery class . Coffee dates with friends and if you can’t meet in person how about a video coffee date.)

    House hold items ( things to fix , buy or do for the house . Maybe you want to paint a room or organize a closet . Maybe it is get rid of things you no longer need , like or fit into .)

    Personal care ( 5 reminders of how to care for yourself: maybe you love to read , to write , paint, or listen to music. Or maybe it is a task you can do everyday . For me it is make my bed before I leave the house. Maybe you learn new ways to take care of yourself ie meditation or maybe take it is just simply a reminder to take medications.)

    Personal health ( 5 ways to better your health. Some of these will be a challenge as it is making new habits for yourself.) On my list I have Dance and home workouts that start with 5 minutes of low impact then work up to longer and more frequently.

    To pay off or to save for . ( 5 items You want to save for or pay down that Debt . Make these realistic goals . One of mine is put away $100 a month so $1200 over the year into my savings for a trip I want to take in a few years . The amount does not matter but try and be consistent.)

    Learning/ school ( 5 things you want to find out more about maybe it is learn to do new recipes or a new cooking style . How about a new language or skill for work ? If you are in school maybe it is specific grades or learn new study habits . )

    Last category is Random . Sometimes things just do not fit into a specific category . If there is different categories you want add to your list do what is best for you .

    The 5 rule is something I have used for a few years now , if there are more things of course add them but at least 5 per category this is a great place to start . one of the 5 rules that can fit into any category is :5 items on the list you know by the end of the year you can cross off . Being able to cross items off always feels . One year I knew I was going on a specific trip and once went I crossed it off .
    I hope my algorithm to making a year bucket and goal list gives you a place you can start and be able to write your own bucket or goal lists . If you think of more things in the year or you got to one goal and now have more, add them. It is not a race, some things are constant reminders for the whole year .
    Place the list somewhere you can reference it often and when you can include others in the activities and you might just find things you like to do together .

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