Be Smart About Your Goals

goals

Goal (noun): the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result or the destination of a journey.

The new year brings many things including the desire for many to make changes in their lives. We often hear about making new year’s resolutions. Resolutions always sounded like something congress does when they decide to make or change laws. It doesn’t really sound like a goal the word resolution.

To be successful about your goals you have to be SMART, not smart. Goals need to be:

S – Specific – Drill down to the most specific description of your goal. State exactly what you want to do.

M – Measurable – You need to have a way to measure your progress. Without measuring how do you know anything has changed?

A – Achievable – If you have no chance of success why would you start? Your goals have to be something you can actually do. If your goal is change someone else in your life, it is not achievable.

R – Realistic – Your goals need to be realistic meaning can you do what you want in the time you have specified for achievement. If you have smoked for 40 years is it realistic you can completely quit in 4 weeks without relapsing?

T – Timely – There has to be an end date of achievement for your goals. A goal that goes on forever is just a plan or a wish. The destination of a journey.

If you are thinking of making goals for the new year, really take time to think about them in terms of being SMART and also in terms of what you want your result to be. Consider all the areas of your life – mental, physical, spiritual, relationships, career/school, etc.

Also remember that if you start a goal and find yourself struggling, remember you can set a new timely end to your goal and hit the restart button. Some goals are daily, some weekly or monthly, and some are for life. An every day goal can be restarted every day. Make sure you pay attention to the successes, however small, they are important.

Happy New Year!

Until next time,
Deborah

The Kindness Present

two woman hugging each other
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Of all the gifts to give or receive this holiday season, kindness is by far the greatest. Everyone is fighting a battle, even during the holidays. Everyone needs kindness, everyone.

Many people during the holidays are grieving lost loved ones. It is a time of year that reminds us of the people (and animals) who are no longer here with us. Grief can be overwhelming for many during this season. Even if they do not show it outwardly, they still carry it on the inside. An ocean of sadness and emotional turmoil. These people need kindness.

Other people struggle with chronic physical and mental illness and the holidays can increase these issues. Stress can increase these issues and the holidays for all their joy are often filled with stress. A little kindness can make these things seem less overwhelming.

Still others struggle with life/work stress, family relationship issues, financial issues and more. All of these things can impact emotions and physical bodies leading to stress reactions, anger, sadness, and substance use. A little kindness can let them know they are not alone.

There are people who do not have anyone to spend the holidays with for so many reasons. They are alone. They are lonely. One act of kindness could change their lives.

Even if you have family to spend the holidays with and you don’t struggle with many of these other issues, there can still be holiday stress and family dynamics that aren’t perfect even in your own celebrations. Show kindness to your own family AND to yourself. It is important, it is necessary, it is needed.

Kindness isn’t about money. It isn’t about things. It can be as simple as a smile, a word, a hug to give the kindness present this season. Remember everyone is struggling with something right now maybe even you and your present of kindness can make all the difference – to them and to yourself.

The Gift Of Giving

adult birthday birthday gift box
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

‘Tis the season of gift giving. Buying, wrapping, giving, and receiving. We spend so much time searching for the perfect gift and so sometimes so much money. But the best gift we can give is the gift of ourselves.

Christmas brings out the spirit of giving, but giving of ourselves is something we can do all year long. Most all of us live in places where there are other people and it provides us with the opportunity to give to others all the time.

The opportunities are endless. Some take a bit more time than others but all give to others. The only cost is your time and a bit of your heart. Here are some possible opportunities to give of yourself. If you do not have these exact things where you live, I am sure there are things that are similar.

* Volunteer at the food bank or other similar food distribution place. Many people are in need of food all throughout the year in our communities. Help these places to serve them.

* Adopt a family or children through your local family and children’s services or reach out to child protective services. Offer your time as a mentor or collect and donate clothes, toys, and other items to help kids in need.

* Organize a hat and mitten tree donation through your school district at all the schools. There are a lot of kids that are in need of these items during the colder months of the year.

* Organize a gift card drive for at risk and homeless students in your schools at various times throughout the year. Gift cards for food and clothing as well as personal care items can help so many.

* Organize a coat and sock drive for your local homeless shelter or other homeless adult services. Having a coat or a good pair of socks can provide much needed warmth and protection.

* Visit nursing homes or assisted living facilities. In almost every town there are places like these with elderly people who are alone. A few minutes of conversation is sometimes the best gift of all.

* Volunteer at charitable organizations. Seek out the charitable organizations in your town and find a spot for yourself to give to others.

These are a tiny fraction of the opportunities available for giving of yourself. It does not have to be a big thing or an organized thing. It can be one thing done for one person that makes all the difference. And it can be done all year long. Practice the gift of giving of yourself and you will also be given to in gratitude and love.

Until next time,
Deborah

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