ME, Myself and I: Goals and Planning

It feels like every blogger talks about goals and they are very useful in everyday life, things to aim for and hopefully achieve, and they probably do make any new project more manageable. I’ve always found that breaking things into smaller chunks, smaller goals really helps stop things from being too overwhelming, like when I’m working on an assignment I break it down into mini tasks and set myself a deadline for each in a timetable. I think I learnt this from my design GCSE where we had timetables with target dates and then a different colour for the actual dates.

Since having ME I have found that having small goals, something to aim for every day or on a regular basis helps a bit. A lot of my goals are small things that most people without a chronic illness probably wouldn’t consider actual goals, things like getting dressed every day (which I do fail at fairly often) or try to do a fifteen minute walk a certain amount of times a week.

I realised that recently I have ended up not bothering with ME and everyday related goals, I still have ones for my final big project, some for my jewellery making, blog and the website thing I help with at times but nothing that’s something to achieve on a daily basis so I decided to make some. These probably will seem a bit basic to some people but there’s something so satisfying about having a list of things to do and crossing them off one by one. I think that’s why I like to do lists.

I’ve also decided that one of my goals is to use my planner and mini diary more. I had such high hopes for those and yet recently they’ve sort of disappeared, it didn’t help that my pocket diary for in my bag decided to hide down the back of my drawers for over a month and I couldn’t find it. Now I have them both back and on my desk at the moment so tomorrow I’m writing everything in there. I’m going to buy some of the pieces of paper for the Filofax and write my goals in there, maybe some things to make it look better too.

Back to the more ME related side of this, it’s sort of turned into a life organising thing at the moment. I know that one thing with ME that makes it so frustrating often is how much I have to plan everything, to known in advance if we’re going out or staying somewhere so I can plan time around it. That’s one of the reasons I bought the planners in the first place, so I could have everything in one place and know if I have to book an appointment then I have these set days when I can because I want to rest before going to visit someone or will have to recover after staying somewhere.

This is also where some of my goals come in, I’m jumping around I know but there is a link. One of my main goals is to be more organised so that I can actually manage my time better and be able to do more. This isn’t something that I can cross off or is in any way measurable really but it’s definitely a goal. It’s probably a fairly common life goal for most people but it’s definitely one I’m hoping will help me get back a bit more control in my life and the weird symptoms that keep on appearing recently that are new. I think I may have got so used to having ME and knowing how I feel when I’ve done too much that these new things have made me feel a bit like when I was first ill and so I’m going back to how I managed it at the beginning.

Making goals, either everyday or longer term, was something that the ME specialists have said every time I’ve been to see them and I often have goals in my head that I know I’ll try to do. Sometimes having them in my head isn’t enough though as I end up forgetting them or I start out with good intentions and then they fall by the wayside as I get so used to them they seem less important. To try and make me keep to these goals I decided I would post them in here, though I will be honest and say these are just the ones I’ve thought of today so they will grow and I may make another post in a week or two with the ‘official’ list. I guess this could be the unofficial one.

Daily Goals:

  • Wake up before 11am (surprisingly hard on bad days)
  • Get up before midday
  • Get dressed

Weekly Goals:

  • Go for a walk at least three times a week
  • At least three blog posts a week
  • Tidy my room on the weekend, if not more regularly at least once a week
  • Make at least one item of jewellery a week until I’m properly starting
  • Go out at least once a week (shopping, etc.)

Longer Term Goals (before the end of the year as a rough timescale):

  • Start my online business properly (will start in September when my degree finishes)
  • Finish my degree! (Ok so this will happen anyway as my course ends but it’s nice to have it in here as a goal)
  • Increase my exercise so I can do more, though will do this gradually(probably with the Wii but still exercise)

As I said they’re just a very basic list, I will think of more things but I don’t want things to be too over the top, I’ve made goals in the past which weren’t actually feasible and it’s so disappointing when you realise you haven’t managed to achieve the simple goals for a while. At one time I did write down five things I achieved in the day which was a nice thing to aim for at the end of the day and have done the Project 365 thing in the past which was fun and a sort of mini goal for each day, something to aim for. I think that’s the main thing with these, it’s something to aim for, something to achieve in the day which can get a bit monotonous when you’re too ill to work. At the moment most of my energy is going towards my OU coursework but once I have finished it then I will be able to think of some better goals.

I’ll set myself the goal of reviewing these at the end of September so I can see what I can achieve when I have more energy. I’ll probably come up with other things to do and hopefully by then will have sorted out some of these new problems and will be a bit more stable health wise so I can have bigger goals.

That is another thing I’ve learnt, goals can be changed, can be reduced or increased as your health gets better or worse. What’s a simple task for someone can be hard and take all the energy of someone else so everyone’s goals are different.

I’m not sure if any of this will help anyone but it’s something I’ve been thinking about recently so thought I’d post about it. It’s probably a bit rambly and it did originally start out as just about goals but kind of turned into a sidetrack of planning but I think it still gets the point across, if there is one.

I hope you’re all as well as possible and enjoying the Summer (or Winter if you’re in the southern hemisphere)

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3 thoughts on “ME, Myself and I: Goals and Planning

  1. I really like this post. No need to apologise for your writing. There’s a wonderful immediacy in blogging isn’t there? I love your take on goals and planning. It’s so helpful in managing ME, I know, and I love your attitude of flexibility in goals so that you can change them when you need to. I could do with more of that attitude! Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks 🙂 I find that there’s a lot of times when I’ve had to be more flexible with ME so it’s ended up in all areas of life. I sometimes worry that the less structured posts are a bit long and rambly so thanks for saying that 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks of this post. It is really comforting reading of others who suffer from similar illness as me. I have CFS and it like a freight train hitting your life and shattering everything you thought you knew! I too think goals are so important to keep us going. I don’t know of you have heard of Dr Sarah Myhill. She works with people with CFS/ ME/ Fibromyalga. I am currently blogging about her treatment programmes to see if it can help me. It may be able to help you too? theantidoctor.wordpress.com xx

    Like

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