Check out part one of this post here.
Over the last 24 hours I’ve been thinking about what my life would look like if I were where I want to be. In each area, it would look something like this:
Health (physical): exercising each day, eating three meals & snacks each day, taking iron tablets, keeping up to date with my b12 injections, having regular iron transfusions, sleeping at least 5 hours each night.
Health (mental): being motivated enough to get up each day and achieve something, be able to do what I want, when I want – without my mental health being an obstacle.
Relationships: being comfortable with others, being able to be open with friends about what is going on for me, feeling comfortable expressing (and accepting) love.
Education: attending classes, completing necessary readings and assignments, continuing into Honours and Masters in Psychology.
Employment: continuing working in the positions I’m currently in, feeling satisfied with what I am contributing to the world, earning enough money to be independent and comfortable.
Community: actively volunteering, feeling useful, feeling as though I am making a meaningful difference.
Leisure & relaxation: resuming sailing, seeing friends regularly, practicing mindfulness, baking, travelling, bushwalking.
So – that’s an indication of how things would be if they were ideal at the moment. Employment and community are pretty much the only thing I’m satisfied with at the moment. This impression is quite dissonant from how things actually are. There are quite a few things that could change within each category, but it’s not exactly realistic to attempt to entirely change my life immediately – that would just set me up to fail. So I’m going to make a couple of small, SMART goals for each area that I feel isn’t where I want it to be.
SMART goals are something I learnt about during some hospitalisation or another – they’re a framework for setting goals which we are more likely to achieve than grandiose, unrealistic ambitions. You can read more about SMART goals here, but basically they are goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
– write a meal plan incorporating regular meals for the next two weeks, and do my best to follow it.
– buy syringes & do b12 injection for this fortnight.
– for for at least 4x 1hour walks each week, for the next two weeks.
– journal daily to get an idea of what I’m feeling and be better able to identify patterns and triggers.
– attend psychologist appointment next week.
– contact (text/call/facebook/skype) at least one friend a day for the next two weeks, telling them something I love about them.
– email a friend and explain that I have been struggling.
– write a realistic daily to do list in order to catch up on lectures and readings that I have missed.
– organise notes to study for an exam I have next Wednesday.
Leisure & relaxation:
– go for a bushwalk this weekend.
– resume crocheting the blanket I abandoned.
So, that’s a start. Steps to getting myself back on track.I’m going to print off these goals and stick them on my mirror, along with a daily checklist to tick off whether I’ve accomplished what I intend to. This will be difficult – at the moment it’s an effort to get out of bed, brush my teeth or open my mouth to speak to anyone and it feels like I’m trudging through knee deep mud – but I’m not going to get anywhere by staying still. I’ll check back in after a week to see how I’m going with these goals, again in a fortnight, and then perhaps reassess and make some more goals.