My kids are already in their 2nd week of the school year! I know, my Northern friends, we folks in Georgia start early! Please note that we do end our school year earlier than most. My kids are usually out of school before Memorial Day. Not sure why our nation has to shift our school year based on the region of the country we live in. It just is what it is.
Time for personal goal setting and reflection
In my eBook, The Savvy Sandwicher’s Survival Guide: How to care for YOUR health while caring for others (now available to my community members), I have a chapter where I dive into dreaming big and setting personal goals. I call this chapter ‘Be a goal digger’! In this chapter, I share one idea that works for me which is to revisit personal goals when my kids return to school. Most Americans set goals as part of their New Year’s Resolutions. I used to, too. However, I found that once I got past New Year’s Eve and Day, I was in a post-holiday fog. I had just emerged out of a crazed compacted time period where I was indulging more and moving less and frankly just wanted to get my Christmas decorations packed up. After the holiday festivities, I just need to catch my breath. I want to get back on track with my life but I don’t want to necessarily lay down new tracks!
When back to school season rolls around, my entire family is switching up routines and schedules. So…it makes sense to find the pockets of time where I’m going to insert my healthy me time. Quiet personal reflection time also tends to be more of an option while the kids are at school. I suggest using ‘My Big Dreams’ worksheet included as a resource in the Happy Healthy Caregiver Community to get your dreams flowing. In my ebook, which is also in the community, I share a few of my big dreams and also share my ’50 before 50 list’. The ‘Big Dreams’ worksheet gets you to brainstorm around the four areas in the image below.
A simple self-assessment
So what does your current state of self-care look like? My sister sent this tool to me recently. It’s called the Caregiver Self-Assessment Questionnaire and she found it on the PBS’s Caring for Your Parents webpage. It’s a great tool to incorporate into your back to school reflection because it helps you evaluate if you are taking care of yourself – the caregiver. I took the quiz and my ‘yes’ score totaled to ‘8’ which was on the fringe of a being in a high degree of distress. Yikes! I’m lucky that my answers to the questions about sleep and physical health are positive. I gave myself a ‘7’ on current level of stress (1 is the lease amount of stress) but I feel like I could give this question a different score each week – sometimes each day! I definitely don’t feel like I’m a ‘7’ consistently. Right now, there is a lot of juggling of tasks and activities going on. I just feel tired of the pace and often crave just being still. Not to mention that the past few weeks I’ve been off my routine with vacation, the one year anniversary of my dad’s death, mom’s hospitalization (she’s home now!) and my kid’s starting a new school year. For the overall health question, I gave myself a ‘4’ (again, 1 is the best score). I’m definitely focused on overall improvements and have formed some great healthy habits over the past year. I’m truly proud of what I have accomplished amidst so much crazy.
I love how this PBS quiz gives you specific action items you can take if your score falls within the high degree of ‘distress’ category. By all means, if you haven’t seen your doctor in over a year, finish reading this blog post and make your appointment. Identifying areas where you can ask for relief is another great next step. Seeking support from others via a group may also provide a healthy outlet. I certainly hope you are finding some relief and encouragement from my blog and social media accounts. I know I find comfort and support by just knowing I’m not the only person in the world feeling the squeeze based on caregiving responsibilities. I also love that PBS and other respected organizations are promoting the importance of self-care and giving us permission to not feel guilty about caring for ourselves.
It’s as easy as 1…2…3!
Since I’m the teacher sharing knowledge, I want to end this post with some specific homework so that you can apply what you have learned:
- Decide when you are going to do your annual goal review and planning. Schedule this session on your digital calendar.
- Write down 1-3 personal goals for the current month. Schedule a monthly goal review session on your digital calendar.
- Write down your 1-2 personal goals for the current week. Block out time on your calendar for the activities related to your goal.
Once you complete these steps, I have no doubt you’ll be able to raise your Personal Development grade up to an A+ and I look forward to celebrating your success!
“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.”
– Jim Rohn