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Goal-Setting for Caregivers in the New Year

The new year is always a good time to set some personal, professional, or family goals. Most of us are more motivated during this time, as many other people are also working towards various goals and dreams. As a caregiver, you may be wondering where you can find any time at all to set a goal let alone actually accomplish one. At RISE Services, Inc. Arizona, we’re here to help you make that happen. We’ll be sharing a particular method for goal-setting, called SMART goals, that can help even the busiest caregivers.

Goal-Setting for Caregivers in the New Year

Why Set SMART Goals?

Setting SMART goals is a realistic way of accomplishing a goal. It allows you to be intentional with your time and breaks up larger goals into smaller, bite-sized objectives. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. There are several reasons why caregivers may want to set goals using this method:

  • You’d like to be more purposeful in asking for help or requesting respite care.
  • You’ve been meaning to set aside time for self-care but just haven’t had the time.
  • You’re thinking of making a career change and need help managing the various steps.
  • You want to learn a new skill or take continuing education classes to qualify for that next promotion.
  • You have a personal goal you’d like to meet such as losing weight or saving for a vacation.
  • You’d like to have a practical and valuable method for helping foster children or children living with disabilities break down difficult tasks into easy-to-accomplish steps.

Example of a SMART Goal

Let’s use “practicing more self-care” as an example goal. Remember, you can accomplish any type of goal — not just seeking self-care — using the SMART method.

  • Be specific about your self-care goal: “I would like to make a habit of spending 30 minutes a day practicing self-care.”
  • Choose how you will measure this goal: “I will write daily in my journal/calendar how I practiced self-care that day.”
  • Make the goal achievable based on your particular situation: “I will make a list of hobbies or pastimes I like, and choose one of those each day for at least 30 minutes.”
  • Keep the goal relevant: “Since my doctor told me I need to find ways to manage my stress, I will add relaxing activities to my self-care list like doing yoga, walking outside, or listening to calming music.”
  • Choose a deadline, making the goal time-bound, for when you would like self-care to become a daily habit: “I will practice 30 minutes of self-care each day for 30 consecutive days.

Tips for Setting SMART Goals

Now that you have a good idea of what a SMART goal is, let’s talk about a few tips that will make this process easier and more attainable.

  • Always write your goals down. This will give you something to look at daily and be a reminder of why you have set your particular goal.
  • After setting your SMART goal, include the steps you’ll take to accomplish it. You can use the example above as a template and then fill in the specific steps you need to follow in order to achieve your goal.
  • Get your calendar out and plan what you will do each day along with noting your goal deadline. This ensures that you will keep working toward your goal, little by little.
  • At the end of the week, review what you accomplished and how you felt, including what worked and what didn’t. This weekly step will let you know if you need to make any course corrections or if you’re headed in the right direction.

What SMART Goal Will You Set Today?

Maybe you already have a goal in mind and would like to get started. RISE would like to help in any way we can. If you need family support assistance, help with a child living with a developmental disability, or are looking to make a career change, contact us today, and we’ll be happy to help you get started.

Source: Terry, Bonnie. “4 Steps to Goal Setting for Kids.” Web article. Scholar Within. 02 Jan. 2023. Web. 09 Jan. 2023.