I believe setting and achieving goals is important for all of us, especially while enduring health issues. Instead of having a to-do list for every new day, I like to view it as a goal list. Every evening, I think of what I would like to accomplish the following day. If I look at the items as tasks, they seem daunting; but if I approach them as goals, I feel satisfied once they are completed. This simple change in perspective can make a big difference. Day-to-day objectives can be as simple as cleaning the house, going to doctor appointments or running errands. Then there are the longer-term goals.
When dealing with a new health hurdle, it may temporarily inhibit us from doing things we once enjoyed. It is good for our mental well-being to put those items in the forefront of our long-term goals. This way, they are not taken away from our thoughts. We may not be able to physically complete them in the present moment, but they stay with us in a positive place where we look forward to doing them once again.
I surprised myself a couple of weekends ago by achieving a goal I’ve had my heart and mind set on for several years. A goal that I did not think would be attainable until maybe next year. Being out in nature is my happy place. It is a therapeutic, peaceful escape and rejuvenating for my soul. I love the solitude and enjoy the special views that one can only see by walking in the great outdoors. In the past, Noah and I would go into the canyon behind our home almost every evening after work and on the weekends. We would walk on the trails by the American River and talk about our day and how much we love where we live. It was a large part of us.
Following my disk herniation, almost three years ago, this mutual pastime was taken away from us. Noah and I would then go on drives to try and fill the void and enjoy the beauty that surrounded us. Health challenges come with acceptance. Even though I accepted that I could not get to my happy place in nature, I always held on to hope that it would not be forever. These thoughts kept my goal fresh in my mind as I focused on the day it would come true.
Well, it finally came true. I have been walking at the park the past several years but a few weekends ago, I decided I didn’t want to wait any longer to trail-walk with Noah. Sometimes we have to push ourselves to see what we are capable of. We set off on a weekend walk like old times and I did better than I expected. I had to heat and ice my back a lot after our walk, but I did it! I experienced firsthand all of the wonderful feelings I had reminisced and longed for the past couple years. I saw beautiful scenery I had missed and stood with Noah at the spot where we got engaged. Setting this goal and keeping it in my main focus provided motivation for me to continue to get stronger. Achieving this objective has provided confidence and hope for what the future has in store for me. We must never lose hope or sight of our goals.
What goals do you have and which ones have you accomplished?