August is for setting goals. I developed that mindset during my first 47 years of life, 42 of which were spent going to school or teaching school. I left the classroom in 2003, but to me August still feels more like the beginning of a new year than does January. Therefore, it continues to be my month for setting goals for the upcoming fall, winter, and spring.

Many Different Dream readers are parents, so it makes sense for them to set achievable goals to make the most of the time when kids are in school. As parents raising kids with disabilities and special needs, we already live with extra demands and stress. We can’t afford to set unachievable goals that create more stress. These 3 criteria are key to setting goals that are achievable rather than stressful.

  1. Create goals that are within your power to achieve. For example, “lose 50 pounds” may not be completely within your power because of metabolism or a health condition, but “consume fewer calories each day by eating more fresh produce” is. “Spend 15 minutes practicing sight words with my child each day” is achievable. “Teach my child to read” may not be.
  2. Create realistic goals. Depending on your budget and time constraints, a goal to remodel your entire house to be handicapped accessible may not realistic. But a goal to purge unneeded clutter and rearrange your living room so a wheelchair can maneuver more easily is very realistic.
  3. Create beneficial goals. A goal to relax by a pool and eat bon bons sounds delightful, but in reality it could lead to skin cancer and diabetes. A beneficial goal could be to create a quiet corner at home to pray, relax, and sip a cup of tea.
If you’d like to set some realistic, beneficial goals that are within your power as a caregiver, these Different Dream blog posts might spark some ideas.

If you have suggestions for setting goals that are achievable, you’re invited to add them in the comment box. I’d love to hear from you!

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