Setting Goals while Living with Chronic Illness – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

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As the new year approaches, many of us will make resolutions, but, it is important to always have goals in mind all year ’round.

Goal setting may seem like an insurmountable task when faced with chronic illness, but, having goals is a great way to cope with your illness.

Remember that it is never too late to reach a dream or set a new goal! You may have to take baby steps to reach it, or, take a different path then you may have had you not been dealt a poor health card, but, it doesn’t mean that your health situation has to stop you from achieving all you’ve always wanted to achieve. 

One tip is to be realistic about your goals, and to take realistic steps towards them. Start small, and build on that momentum. 

Take time to nourish your dreams! Illness or disability do not have to prevent you from reaching them. 

This month, I set the goals of going vegetarian and writing a novel for NaNoWriMo. So far, I have succeeded on both: I’ve been vegetarian for awhile now, and, I’m over halfway done with my fictional novel. My goal is 50,000 words by the end of Novemeber, and I’m currently at 29,237. Some days, I don’t have time to write, or I may not feel like doing it. So, I make sure to listen to my body, to not stress over it too much, and, to manage my time so that I can still stay on track.

Time management, and managing expectations are two great ways to also reach those dreams. Is your goal to stop smoking? To exercise more or drop a few pounds? To eat healthier? To learn a new language? To volunteer? To start knitting?

Whatever your goal is, set out a plan to reach it. Once you begin on that path towards your dreams, you’ll feel even more empowered and confident, and success will be yours. You may have some setbacks along the way, but remember that your condition is not an excuse to not at least TRY. You’ll feel so much better if you try….and if you fail, try again. Your goals are not going anywhere, and, often times, we are the only things standing in our way.

Be “S.M.A.R.T!” Your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-targeted. You can do it – I know you can!

Good luck! 

Stay Well,

Ashley Boynes-Shuck

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