We all do it. Hit the snooze button at least once instead of rising with our alarm. It’s a mechanism many of us use to grab just a few more moments of sleep. While we may drift off for a few seconds, more often we lie in a semi-conscious fog, simply not wanting to get up. Soon, ten, twenty, even sixty minutes are snooze buttoned away. Enough! Don’t hit the snooze button-let’s get up, address our sleep issues and enjoy more memorable moments.
Did you watch the Super Bowl? I am always impressed with the athleticism of some of the players. Their agility, strength, and speed inspire. But it doesn’t just happen. Years of practice, repetition and habits lead to the athleticism culminating in Super Bowl moments.
Becoming more physically fit is a priority goal for me this year and maybe for you too. The best method for us is also to create a habit. If you know me, you know I love discussing habits! Various lifestyle habits will be on tap here for the next few weeks and exercise is a great place to begin.
Whether we call them resolutions, goals, or 2019 to do list-it’s about wanting to do new things in a new year. But change can be difficult. This saying summed it up for me this week- “if nothing changes, nothing changes.” So, if we want to accomplish something new in 2019, something must change, difficult or not.
Welcome to 2019! The onset of a new year causes many of us to make a fresh start in some way or another. New projects, attitudes and goals abound. As our family discussed 2019 goals recently, our daughter reminded us to be specific in order to achieve them. I love how our children can be our best teachers!
Often, we have a great idea or desire to change but get stuck because we don’t know how to start, measure our progress, stay the course or finish well. This and other reasons cause many who make resolutions to never realize their goals. It’s said many will give up on a New Year’s resolution by mid-February. That’s not very inspiring.
My daughter’s comment reminded me of an acronym (you know how I love this memory technique) about goals. They should be SMART! For goals to be achieved, should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound. Let’s break down this great way to think about goals.
Specific-I have one goal that’s big and a bit of a stretch. I’d love to jump in, but because it’s so new to me, I’m not exactly sure how to make it specific and can’t measure if it’s not specific. Often big goals like this have a series of smaller goals and/or projects which need to occur along the way. In order to make it specific, I’ll need to make a series of smaller, mini-goals around the projects needed to achieve the larger goal.
For example, if a “better memory” is your goal-it can be made more specific by breaking it into parts like “I’ll remember new people’s names the next time I see them.” This smaller mini-goal may also need steps to implement such as identifying key memory techniques to use, being prepared to write things down, or practicing focused attention. Writing down all the steps will help dissect any big goal into small parts to make it more specific. It also will create a doable list of action items which will be easier to focus on and implement toward progress.
Measurable-In order to see if we are making progress, we need to be able to measure how well we’re doing. If trying to lose weight, stepping on the scale once a week is an easy way to measure progress. But what about something a bit more global like that “better memory”? Breaking it into remembering new names is specific, but how will it be measured? Be creative and address the actual goal. For this, it could be daily writing down the names of anyone new. Review them, use memory techniques and see how many you can recall. Make it measurable by taking a few moments each day and week to track your progress-you’ll be motivated to continue working hard as you see some progress!
Even when we make our goals specific and measurable, we are only beginning. We can still get sidetracked and lose our focus. Next week, we’ll discuss the ART of SMART Goals and the “ART” of how to stay on track.
Goals are often personal but many times a little accountability goes a long way toward progress. It helps us stay the course and encourage one another. A personal goal of mine is to encourage others in my life and that includes you! I hope you set some SMART goals and if you need a little accountability along the way, feel free to reach out to me, I’d love to encourage you!
I’m also excited about a training I’m taking by my friend Christa which begins next week. Join us and let’s keep each other accountable to our goals! Check out the details on the Move Forward Mastermind training here.
Let’s be SMART and get moving on our goals to make 2019 our most memorable year yet!
*Disclosure: If you purchase from links that I send, I may receive some kind of affiliate commission. I will only promote products that I personally use or recommend without hesitation. Thanks for your support.
The holidays bring their own certain kind of stress. For a person experiencing memory issues and those who love them, it can ramp up to unforeseen levels. This stress only increases memory problems and the correlating domino effect that creates. Caregivers feel it too, even more so than their loved ones at times.
Loving and caring for someone with memory problems can be draining, especially at the holidays, but there are ways to help. Here are a few tips to help those with memory loss at holidays or anytime:
- Manage Expectations. Don’t expect loved ones to remember every family story, holiday tradition or great grandchild’s name. It’s not that they don’t want to, or can’t remember some part of it, it’s that in that moment they literally can’t or it may take some additional time. Which leads us to…
- Be Patient! Older adults and especially those with memory issues need additional time to process, function, and remember. They may be able to recall that same memory, but they won’t if stressed or pressed to do so. Be patient with them and yourself in all things.
- Pick and Choose. Some traditions are great and always appreciated at holiday time. Others may create more stress than is needed or wanted this time of year and season of life. It’s okay to pick and choose the people, events, and timing to best suit your loved one’s needs and abilities.
- Redirection Helps More than Correction. If a loved one can’t remember, it’s helpful to redirect to another subject if the recall is causing stress. Correcting them or being impatient only creates more stress and anxiety for everyone. Eventually they may remember, but maybe instead we ask ourselves which is more important the memory or the person.
- Be Present. This is helpful for everyone. Those with memory issues often have good moments as well as bad. Being present in the good will allow all to enjoy that precious time (and create more positive memories for the caregiver and family in the future). Being present in the bad moments will allow all to feel valued and assist in being aware of any limitations or progression of symptoms.
Life with memory loss affects not only the person experiencing it, but all those who love and care for them. It’s not an easy road but still can be one full of memorable moments to be cherished. As a caregiver myself, I can testify to this truth. To that end, after a season of care giving and loss, I’ll be taking a brief break from the blog to fully be present with my loved ones this holiday season. I’ll be back in a few weeks with more memory wellness insights, tips and strategies.
Until then, I wish you all a blessed and very memorable holiday season full of love, hope, joy, and peace.