I have been working on specific, small goals each month this year (instead of one or two large, vague and potentially unachievable New Year’s Resolutions). Lately, I’ve been finding myself in a rut of feeling a bit useless and that I’m not moving towards anything. When you have chronic health issues, I think this is hard to avoid at one time or another, and it can really hang around (even without health concerns, I think most people know this feeling at some point). I particularly feel it on uni holidays (which are on now) because I have nothing to focus on, and when my health is at a low or I have had some not so good medical results or news.

Because I am a list person and love to plan, specific goals are really good for me – anything that gives me a reason to cross off something on a list! In the past month or two, I have had various levels of success with my goals. My focus on them has wavered a little; uni got more than hectic with the final few assessments as semester one came to a close, and my health took a dip at the same time, so anything outside that bubble disappeared from my to do list, and even on holidays it’s been hard. Because it has been useful to have particular targets to reach, I really need to hit refresh and get back on track. Now that it has ticked over into the second half of the year, I want to check in! And I want to know how you are going with your goals!

Bookish goals:

During first semester, I needed to read ten books for my classic literature subject, so my goal was to read one book a week, primarily to keep up with that. I got through all ten as well as some other books I’ve been wanting to get to. I have read 25 books so far this year, and this week is week 25 of 2018, so voila! Although I have not completed one book a week as such, I have read on average a book a week! And taking into account that that is two books less than I read in the whole of 2017, I am very happy with how my reading is going (and 27 in 2017 was a great achievement for me!)! My overall goal for the year is not to read one book a week; it is to read 28 books (27 in 2017, 28 in 2018…), but I think we can safely say I am going to smash that! 52 books is unrealistic for me to aim for, so anything above 30 is going to make me really happy.

Writing goals:

I am still really struggling to find a groove with my own personal writing. I have lots of ideas buzzing around but I haven’t fully decided how to go about putting some of them onto paper, which is stopping me from getting anywhere. I really need to just start! So my ongoing goal of doing my own, non uni-related writing each week is still standing. It is the main goal of 2018 that I am failing at and is one that I really need to hone in on in the second half of 2018. Keep me accountable, please!

Health goals:

I was doing really well with my step count goal and had increased it to aiming for 2, 000 steps x 3 times a week (and was in fact often going above 3, 000 steps). This has definitely taken a dive because of feeling unwell lately, so I am going to work towards incorporating this into each week again, and then increase it to 3000 steps x 3 times a week. I have been going well with doing clinical pilates and tai chi regularly, except weeks when I’ve just been too unwell, so I will keep working on that. I also plan to move from health recovery tai chi to a continuing class, which is more involved, so that will also contribute to building my overall fitness.

I am generally a mindful eater and am conscious of the importance of what I put into my body in terms of my health conditions. I have slowly slipped into eating more processed and sugary foods lately though, so I need to pull my socks up on this goal too! For certain health issues I have, it’s really important for me to focus on this and it’s not one to muck around with. So I will aim to keep to < 2 – 3 sweet treats a week, and minimal processed food.

I want to add a new category to my goals. Because I am struggling with feeling like life is passing me by and I am missing out on so much of what I so badly want to be doing, I want to add…

Life plan goals: 

This includes doing anything that will begin to add up and work towards discovering, creating and achieving something/several things that will help me feel like I have a point, that I’m contributing, that I have something to offer. I want to be able to list two things at the end of each month that are building blocks for this. Some ideas I have so far for this are: entering my writing into competitions/prizes/submissions, updating my resume…(ok, ideas have run dry….any suggestions?!).

I might not check in every month as I have done before, but certainly will do a couple more times before the end of the year to see how my goals are going. I feel more positive now that I have refreshed them and reminded myself of what they are and how important they are. I would really love to know what your goals are or if you’re making any new ones. Do you have any ideas that you think I should add to my list? Is there anything you would like me to help you with? Keep positive and don’t forget that we are all allowed to slip up or not quite get to where we planned to be at a certain time, as long as we keep reassessing and trying as hard as possible!

Happy planning!

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