Why Setting Goals Is Important

Why Goal Setting Is Important

We often enter the year with ideas of what we would like to accomplish.  You may have called them resolutions, but what they really are are goals – things that we want to work toward to make 2017 the best year yet. Don’t think goals are important? Think again - setting goals is a first step toward making positive changes, as long as they are specifically defined and measurable.

Here are 3 reasons why you might want to think about creating some goals this year.

Goals help us create a roadmap of where we want to go.

By setting goals we can actually design a path to accomplish what we set out to do. And setting small goals for yourself you can help you accomplish big things. For instance, if you’d like to be able to run a 5K by May, start off with a goal of working your way up to running 1 mile within a month.

They make us feel accountable.

Writing down goals and placing them where we can see them each day, or telling someone else about what we’d like to accomplish, can ensure that we’ll actually take the steps to do it.

They force us to think about what we really want in life – and help us get there. 

Taking the time to think about what your goals are pushes you to think about the positive changes you’d like to make.  

What are your goals for 2017?

The Importance of Resolutions

The Importance Of Resolutions

I’ve always been a big fan of making New Year’s resolutions.  I envision each year as the start of a new chapter – a way to reinvent myself, develop better habits, and enhance my life.  New Year’s resolutions make us more self-aware and encourage us to think about what it is we really want to accomplish and who we want to be.  And, if done properly they can create a roadmap for us to develop a more fulfilling life. 

Here are a few tricks I have learned over the years to help make my resolutions stick:

Be specific. 

Making your goal as specific as possible will help you to better realize what you want to accomplish, and make it easier to actually do it.  For example, if your resolution is to “exercise more”, make it more specific by saying that you will “go walking for 30 minutes 3 times a week”. 

Start small. 

We often set many lofty goals for ourselves at the New Year.  While thinking big is great, be careful not to overextend yourself.  Setting too many goals may actually be detrimental to us and encourage a greater likelihood of failing than if we just create a single attainable goal.

Write them down and create an action plan. 

A study done at Dominican University found that those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who didn’t.  Writing down your resolution forces you to be specific and encourages you to create an action plan of how you will accomplish it. 

Plan ahead for weak moments.  

If you plan ahead to set yourself up for success, you can help yourself to avoid them. Are you prone to hit the snooze button for a few extra minutes of sleep, instead of waking up and hitting the gym?  Put your alarm clock across the room to force yourself out of bed and have your gym bag ready to go the night before.  Can’t help sneaking a few M&M’s as you walk by the candy bowl?  Throw out the bowl and stock your fridge and pantry with nutritious snacks.  By eliminating your triggers, you help yourself avoid missteps.

Tell people.  

One of the best ways to hold yourself accountable to a resolution is to tell others about it.  And not just anyone, but those you trust to support you in your goals.  Even better – get them involved!  Invite a friend to go on weekly walks with you.  Ask your sister to join you at Weight Watchers.  Involving others in your resolution will make it much harder for you to break it.

Allow yourself to slip up.  

In fact, you should expect it.  Nobody’s perfect. Even with the best intentions, we all make mistakes and have weak moments. But don’t let one or two missteps cause you throw in the towel or lose your motivation.  Stay focused and get back on track. 

What New Years resolutions are you making for 2017?

How Your Spouse Can Keep You Honest

How Your Spouse Can Keep You Honest

When you first met your spouse years ago, you were enthralled with how they made you feel. Seeing one another and spending time together was really all you needed to feel giddy, happy, and complete.

Life continued its course, your relationship progressed, and with the years came successes and challenges. Honesty, with both with your partner and yourself, likely played a huge factor in how you tackled those challenges.

Tackling your incontinence deserves the same level of honesty you’ve used in other situations. The person you chose to spend the rest of your life with is your best mirror and they will have the most insight into how to keep you accountable with your care and how to help you live a full life. To leave them out of the conversation about your health is taking away one of the best assets you will have in managing your care and moving away from embarrassment and secrecy.

We believe honesty is the best policy and asking for help is a good thing. We also believe that those who are most close to you can be the biggest supporters in your life. Use that insight and commitment to your advantage and ask for help in every day things. Practicing this in other aspects of life will trickle into your health, too!

Here are five ways your spouse can keep you honest:

1. Pick a designated time during the day or the week when you give one another one piece of positive reinforcement and one suggestion for improvement.

Example of positive reinforcement: “You were so helpful this week doing the laundry while I was at coffee with my friend.” OR “I think John really appreciated your phone call to him this weekend—great job reaching out!”

Example of a suggested improvement: “Next time you call me on your way to work, could you please say ‘I love you’?” OR “I felt like you didn’t really want to help me rake the yard this weekend. Next time I ask for help can you be up front if you’re in a bad mood?”

2. Choose a household item that can serve as a reminder to you that you need to check-in with your treatment plan.

This could be a figurine, candle, or paperweight. Decide on a place for this item to be placed and ask your spouse to put this item in that designated place when they think you need to re-evaluate your treatment plan. Maybe you haven’t been taking your medicine as prescribed or you’ve avoided drinking water like your doctor recommended.

Let this object be a check in that your spouse can initiate.  

3. Swap household duties (within reason) with your spouse for one week and report back at the end of the swap.  Discuss ways you have both made assumptions about the other’s work or how you can display gratitude for their help more often. 

Pick a few chores that your significant other typically does and do them for a week instead. Report back to them at the end of the week and discuss the challenges of walking in their shoes for a week.

4. Designate a jar or vase on your dresser or somewhere in your personal space that serves as a compliment jar.

Ask your spouse to use this jar as a way to compliment you on areas of treatment you’re excelling in. Use the jar in the same way for areas of their health and life they’re looking to improve.

Read the compliments before going to bed every week or every month.

5. Give yourself a report card every season and ask your spouse to check your grading.  

Sketch a basic grading rubric with boxes for each area of life you’re looking to improve in (i.e. sleep, diet, exercise, downtime, community), fill out your own evaluation, and go over the details with your spouse. Discuss goals you can set to improve in the next season.

Tell us how you keep the lines of communication open with your spouse in the comments below.