Caregivers' New Years Resolutions
It’s that time of year again, time to make a list of resolutions for the year ahead. Maybe you have done this a hundred times. I know that I have. I have written out lists that should be easy to follow, and I have written lists that I knew I would probably never accomplish. I have been excited about my resolutions, and I have had years that I would not even write down my resolutions because I just knew that I really didn't want to do what it would take to mark them off my list.
Wherever you are in the process of resolutions this year, I would like to encourage you to write down what you want to accomplish. There is just something about writing out goals and looking at them throughout the year. I think that the process of determining your priorities, thinking through your goals, writing them down, and planning a way to accomplish them brings some order to a chaotic life. Without a clear list of priorities, you could get derailed from ever accomplishing any of your goals.
Here are a few reasons to write down your resolutions.
- Thinking through your priorities will bring clarity to the goals that should be on your list. For example, if your priority is being a more active caregiver, taking on the event coordination of the local charity may not be the right thing to do this year. Once you have determined your priorities, it is easier to say "no" to doing too much simply because someone asked for your help.
- Writing down your goals provides a way to revisit them often, making sure that you are still on track. It is so easy to get off track and still believe that you are moving forward. Activity does not always mean progress. Remember that moving backwards is still moving. There is activity involved, just not the correct activity.
- The sense of accomplishment can empower you throughout the year. Have you ever had a resolutions list that enabled you to actually see things getting done? There is an energy added to life as you begin to mark items off of a resolutions list. After those first ten pounds are lost, there is a new push to finish off the next ten. It is really that sense of accomplishment that keeps us all moving forward. This is the same concept as completing the easiest tasks early in the day so that you have accomplished something quickly.
Now you are ready to create a list, but maybe you have no idea where to start.
Narrow down your list to only a handful of the most important things in your life. It is commonly known that if you try to do too many things at one time, none of them will be accomplished well.
Once you have a list ready, set goal dates to measure your progress. This will help to keep you on track. For example, if your list includes organizing the closets, you could create a goal target date for completing each closet. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, you could have a target date for losing the first 5 pounds.
I believe that the main idea for New Years Resolutions is to continue trying, to in a sense hit a reset button. The only way to fail is to quit trying altogether, and as a caregiver, you must do your best to encourage your loved one to never quit. What better way to do that than to be the example? I hope your New Years Resolutions will make you stronger, inside and out.
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