As caregivers, we know how easy it is to get caught up in all of the daily tasks and responsibilities we have. Not only are we working to meet the needs of our loved ones, we’re also trying to meet a wide range of other demands – from family obligations, to career responsibilities, to our own personal care. 
 
Sometimes, it can feel like we’re just spinning our wheels, that we’re not really making progress or accomplishing anything. Setting goals can help us gain the traction we need to start moving forward again. 
 
But it’s not enough just to set goals. It’s also important to develop a plan to make sure we keep working to attain those goals. If we don’t, you can bet that something else will come along that will require our attention, and before we know it, we’re spinning our wheels once again.
 
Having a goal and a plan is a HUGE part of self-care. If we don’t make self-care a priority and an ongoing goal, it probably won’t happen.
 
And like any goal, self-care requires an action plan – a list of steps you must take in order to ensure that you stay focused on taking care of yourself. The first step in that plan could be as simple as setting some time aside each day just for YOU – to take a walk, read a book, enjoy a hobby, work out, do some deep breathing/meditation, or perhaps participate in a support group.
 
Finally, whatever your goals might be, it’s always good to evaluate them based on the acronym SMART.  The best goals are:

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Achievable

  • Realistic

  • Timely

And when you think about it, the SMARTest goal you can set for yourself is to be good to YOU.