SMART Goals

Transitional Friday: Setting SMART Goals

Last week, we discussed 9 ways to set realistic goals, but left off with SMART goals.  So what are SMART Goals?

SMART Goals

  1. S=Specific—a specific goal  {ex.I will lose 20 pounds by the last day of November}smart goals 2
  2. M=Measurable—a concrete way to measure your goal.  {ex. I have 3 months to lose 20 pounds.  That’s about a pound and a half a week.}
  3. A=Attainable—Decide how to reach this goal and the steps that need to be taken to achieve the goal.  {ex. I need to exercise five days a week for 45 minutes and each 1500 calories a day}.
  4. R=Realistic—Is this goal achievable?  Is this something I can achieve? {see #5 above}
  5. T=Timely—Set a timeline for reaching this goal.  Otherwise you are less likely to reach that goal.  Thing of the goal being tangible.  Often if we can see, taste, smell, hear or feel the goal, we are more likely to achieve it.

 

How do you set realistic goals?  Do you use the SMART goals?

goals 2

create

Creative Thursday: 9 Ways to Discover Your Creativity

I’ve often had people tell me, “I’m just not creative.”

Perhaps, that person isn’t a musician, dancer, artist or writer.  However, that person most likely still has some creative flair.  Often it’s just discovering what the passion is and taping into it.

I’ve seen these same people become excited about designing a room, throwing a party, or working on various crafts.  All of these are creative outlets.

So, how can you recognize your creative side?

  1. Passion—notice the things you are passionate about, such as designing a room, throwing a party, putting together an outfits, looking at floral arrangements, cooking, gardening, etc.

    Where is your passion? How do you experiment?
    Where is your passion? How do you experiment?
  2. Enjoyment—what are the things that you enjoy doing?  How can you experiment and put a creative flair to the hobby?
  3. Experiment—be willing to tap into the left side of your brain.  Step out of your comfort zone and experiment with a craft or hobby you’ve always wanted to learn.  What do you have to lose?  You may discover a new passion that was lying dormant.
  4. Unconscious Behavior—what are some things that you do unconsciously?  This could include singing in the shower or car, doodling in a meeting, dancing around your house to your favorite songs, acting out stories, telling yourself or your children stories you’ve made up, etc.  How could you take any of these behaviors to the next step and turn it into a hobby?
  5. Dreams—do you have a secret dream you are too afraid to admit?  This could be to perform on stage, be a speaker, appear in a film, show a piece of art in the studio, etc.  Ask yourself if you can realistically sing or create art, can you learn to and take baby steps to realistically reach your goal.
  6. Natural Talent—do you have a natural talent in an artistic field?  Be willing to take lessons and develop this talent, even if it’s for your own personal enjoyment.

    Give it a try and often the pieces will fall into place!
    Give it a try and often the pieces will fall into place!
  7. Divine Inspiration—do ideas and thoughts come to you, or do you feel inspired?  Be willing to take a chance and act on this inspiration.  My first book came about the same way, I was inspired by a story, but thoughts “I can’t write that.”  A little voice told me, “you don’t know if you don’t try.” I discovered a talent I didn’t know I even had.
  8. Be Quiet—take time each day to just be quiet, without outside distractions such as the television, radio, children, etc.  Listen to your thoughts and discover what may come to your mind.  Sometimes it’s in those quiet moments that our most creative thoughts rise.
  9. Expose Yourself to Something New—step out of the comfort zone and try something new.  This can mean attending a museum, theater production, reading poetry, discovering a new author, listening to a different type of music, writing a letter, taking a nature walk and taking photographs, taking a walk, etc.

 

How have you tapped into your hidden creativity?

 

elderly and pets

Caregiving Monday–7 Ways to Help Senior Adults Deal with Loneliness

Last week we discussed loneliness in senior adults.  This week I would like to explore suggestions on how to help senior adults deal with their loneliness.

Schedule regular outings if possible for your senior adult
Schedule regular outings if possible for your senior adult
  1. Visits—schedule regular visits with family, friends, church {or society/community} members, etc.   Ask friends to visit your senior adult on a regular visit, but remind them your loved one tire easily.  Ask them to not stay for more than an hour or two. If you have a large family nearby, maybe everyone could take a day each week for a short visit.
  2. Schedule outings—schedule regular outings for your loved one {if they are mobile and able to go}.   Find friends already going, ask a neighbor or search for a senior transport company for transportation.  This could be a community {especially if they are in a retirement community} outing, to church, to the theatre or movies, to concerts, or to other activities s/he enjoys.
  3. Senior Action—this is a great resource for senior adults with numerous activities and often you can arrange for transportation through your local senior action center.
  4. Adopt a Pet—if your senior adult loves pets, adopting a dog or cat might be a great idea for companionship.
  5. Music—lifts spirits and helps combat the loneliness.   Find or make CDs of his/her favorite songs that can be played.  Also, inquire at church or in the community about an individual/group that can come sing for your loved one {if homebound}.

    Pets are great companions for senior adults
    Pets are great companions for senior adults
  6. Discover a passion your senior adult loves and have them teach someone else—this could be a neighbor, grandchild, caregiver, etc.  However, it makes them feel useful and needed.  Along with the fact that they are doing something they love.  It doesn’t matter if it’s gardening, cooking, sewing, putting together puzzles, working on model cars, etc.  If your senior adult is physically unable to do the task themselves {not able to bend or stand for long periods} they could sit in a chair and give directions.
  7. Teach technology—if your senior adult is still mentally able, teach him/her how to Skype, email, text, etc.  this is a great way to maintain contact with children, grandchildren, siblings and friends.   If your loved one is mentally unable to understand the setup, possibly you or a caregiver could set things up for regular visits.  This is a great way to maintain contact for family members that do not live nearby.
goal

Transitional Friday: 9 Ways to Set Realistic Goals

We’ve been discussing the importance of our choices and overcoming failure.  I thought it was important to discuss setting realistic goals.

So how do you set realistic goals?

  1. Write your goals down—look at the big picture for each area of your life {ie…career, finances, weight, relationships, spiritual walk, etc}.  Write down where you would ideally like to be in one year, five year, ten years, fifteen years, etc.goal
  2. Break the goal down—now break that goal down into smaller portions that are easier to maintain.  List the steps you need to take to reach this goal.  This could be anything from go back to school, to paying off a bill, to exercising each day for weight loss.
  3. Set Deadlines—set a deadline to reach the first part of your goal.  Once you’ve reached that goal, look at the next step and set a deadline to reach that goal.
  4. Schedule Time—schedule time for your goals.  I struggle with my weight and getting healthy.  I do much better when I schedule in time to exercise and what I will eat for the week than when I leave it up in the air “to get around to.”
  5. Be Realistic—have you set goals that can be honestly reached?  If you can’t carry a tune and want to be a pop singer, you may want to search for another dream.  However, if you’re a great artists, with practice and lessons you may be able to move to the next level.aim for stars
  6. Set Goals you WANT to learn—don’t do something because you feel that you should or are pressured into it.  Work toward your dreams and desires!
  7. Develop a plan—there are often obstacles that creep up and derail our plans.  For me, that struggle is again with my weight.  I do best when I decide in advance how to deal with this obstacle.  I then have more will power and am better prepared to overcome this obstacle and bounce back.
  8. Use positive reinforcement—use positive reinforcement, instead of saying “I can’t do this,” tell yourself, “I can do this if I will dedicate one hour a day to this endeavor, etc.”
  9. Don’t forget SMART goals—this may be the most important and the most actionable of all of the goals.  Often you hear about SMART goals in business, job interviews, higher education learning, etc.  So what are SMART Goals?

How do you set goals?

Next week: What are Smart Goals?

do it

Creative Thursday: 5 Ways to Deal with Procrastination

procrastinate

 

 

 

 

I often find it too easy to procrastinate and put off both what needs to be done and has to be done.  These are a few things I have done that have helped me overcome procrastination.

  1. Self-Talk—often I just have to give myself a good lecture and remind myself that the sooner I get to work, the sooner I’ll be
    Schedule the tasks on your calendar
    Schedule the tasks on your calendar

    finished.

  2. Scheduling—often I will schedule the task into my day, so that I have no choice but to complete it.  I often outline my day {and often week} the night before.  Knowing what I have to do keeps me on task and makes me more productive. Often doing the most difficult or dreaded chores first thing each morning, helps me stay on track and more productive.
  3. Deadline—even if I’m not on an official deadline, I will set my own deadline.  This helps me to stay on task and complete the work that needs to be done.
  4. Getting Rest—I often have a habit of working until I crash.  I’m slowly discovering if I schedule in time to rest, then once I return I am energized and more productive.
  5. Break the project down—some projects are too large to be finished in one sitting.  I will break down the project into smaller segments.  Each day I will work on one segment and before I know it I’ve been able to complete the project without completely overwhelming and stressing myself.

How do you deal with procrastination?

do it

loneliness in elderly

Caregiving Monday: Loneliness in Senior Adults

loneliness in elderlyOne of the greatest complaints in senior adults is loneliness.   Particularly as they grow older, are limited in their abilities and/or stamina, become home bound and experience the loss of the majority of their friends.  I’ve heard GG*, Mrs. H, Mrs. B, Mrs. T, and Mrs. W {all women I worked for} all make these same statements.

As family and friends it is important to understand the limitations the senior adults in our lives face and to be understanding to their plight.  Often this loneliness leads to depression in our loved ones.  They often feel cut off and possibly abandoned by the outside world.

Often they just want someone to listen as they talk.  Some senior adults have no one to visit, while others may have a steady stream of visitors.   There are numerous factors that lead to this such as size of family, how long they’ve lived in the area, involvement in their church, community, society, etc.; amount of friends still living, age, etc.

What ways can you help your senior adult not feel so lonely?

*Name altered

 

Next week: Ways to Help Senior Adults Deal with Loneliness

Churchill quote

Transitional Friday: 9 Ways to Bounce Back from Failure

Failure success

 

 

There are times when no matter how much we try, we continuously face failure.  There have been several areas of my life, where nothing I’ve tried has succeeded.  I continue to face one failure after another.  Over time, this is enough to make anyone grow weary, frustrated, overwhelmed and even defeated.

So how do you continue to move forward when nothing is working?

  1. Don’t Give Up—if you are pursuing a dream, never give up, no matter how much defeat and frustration you receive.  I’ve heard some writers say that they received thousands of rejections before receiving a break through.  I’ve heard artists say that they worked for twenty years before making it big.  However, they never gave up.
  2. Keep Bouncing Back—this is much like never giving up, work through the emotions and bounce back.Churchill quote
  3. Evaluate—often I’ve had to go back and evaluate what worked, what didn’t work, and the why for each one.  Then I figure out what I can do differently and how to move forward from there.
  4. Be Realistic—often it’s easy to reach for our dreams without being realistic.  You will not become a concert pianists, if you refuse to practice the piano.
  5. Set Goals—often I feel like a fish at sea, but when I set goals and see where I’m going and what needs to be done to get there, I make much better progress.
  6. Be Open to Change—sometimes we need to be open to change, whether this is going in a different direction, taking a different approach, learning a different technique, etc.
  7. Never Stop Learning—continue to read, study and follow the experts in your field of interest.  There is so much that we can learn from these experts, including not on the subject matter but also what to do and not do.
  8. Be Open to Feedback—be open to accepting constructive criticism from others.  Yes, there is the occasional person{s} that wants to pull you down, however most people want to help you.  One critique method is the oreo method.  This starts with a positive, then adds what needs to be changed and ends again with a positive.
  9. Prayer—pray, seek God’s will and be willing to go in the direction in which He is leading.

Remember, you are not alone.  There are numerous examples of people that have failed before success.

Walt Disney faced numerous hardships before reaching success
Walt Disney faced numerous hardships before reaching success
  • Henry Ford had 5 businesses go broke before Ford Motor Company became successful.
  • Walt Disney faced multiple occurrences of being fired, bankrupt and failed businesses before succeeding.
  • Thomas Edison had over 1,000 unsuccessful inventions before inventing the light bulb.
  • Winston Churchill lost almost every election before being voted Prime Minister at age 62.
  • Before making it big in I Love Lucy, Lucille Ball was considered a failed actress and B movie star.
  • Vincent Van Gogh is considered the greatest artists of his time, but only sold one painting in his life time.

 

How do you bounce back from failure?  Who else has inspired you?