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Posted on 27. December 2012

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

By Carla Schick

Aren’t goals wonderful? They give you purpose and hope. They make you feel productive. That thing you thought you could never do suddenly becomes attainable when you set goals, or milestones, to help you achieve it.

And speaking of goals, the New Year is right around the corner and many have started to write down their goals for the coming year. Do you plan to lose a few pounds? Start a savings account? Improve your mental outlook? Some of these resolutions are easier said than done, especially for those in the immune globulin (IG) community.

If your plan is to cross a few things off your resolution list in the coming year, how can you do it without tiring yourself out? The key is to be S.M.A.R.T. - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-phased.

Here’s a top-10 list of S.M.A.R.T. goals to get the ball rolling:

 

  1. Read or listen to inspirational teachings for 15 minutes a day
    Reading or listening to something positive can provide comfort and hope.
  2. Learn how to use a different app on your smartphone once a week
    This is a fun little idea to help pass the time, especially during an infusion.
  3. Start a low-impact exercise program like stretching, walking, swimming or Pilates for 15 to 30 minutes each week until you can build up your endurance for longer workouts
    Slow, low-impact physical activity is a great way to get moving and lose a few pounds at the same time.
  4. If you’re a blogger, try to write one blog per month
    Blogging is a wonderful way to vent and share with others. And it doesn’t always have to be about your illness. You can write a book review, tell a story or post a picture and ask people to share their comments.
  5. Watch all the Academy Award Best Picture movies
    This goal can easily take a year to complete, especially if you start with movies from the 1920s.
  6. If you’re a scrapbooker, aim to finish five pages a month
    This is yet another fun activity you can do during an infusion. Not only does the time pass by faster, you’ll have something to show for it!
  7. To improve your diet, replace two side dishes each day with fresh fruit or vegetables
    Fruits and vegetables are such a nice, healthy substitute to fried foods or candy bars. Plus, if your goal is to lose weight, this can help!
  8. Open a savings account, and contribute $5 each month
    Every little bit helps. And when you have the opportunity to contribute more, do it. Before you know it, you’ll have enough money to take a vacation or buy that new techno device.
  9. Learn to play your favorite instrument by practicing for 10 to 15 minutes a day
    Learning to play an instrument is therapeutic. It can improve your mental state and give you a little occupation. So take guitar, piano, clarinet or drums lessons. Your enlightened mind will thank you.
  10. Try to get out of the house at least twice a week
    A change of scenery and a little fresh air does wonders for the psyche. Even if you’re running an errand or sitting in the park, think of it as a mental reboot.

Whether you plan to get healthy or become more productive, goals are a great way to help you feel engaged and accomplished.

What is one S.M.A.R.T. goal you can set for yourself?

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Comments (3) -

Mark Leventhal
9:10 AM on Saturday, December 29, 2012

Carla, I agree with your basic premise that goals are good for everyone. However, I think some of your "goals" might be appropriate only for the most infirmed PIDD patients. However I think you set the bar far to low for the majority of us. The latest IDF study, although a decade old, showed that over 60% of PIDD patients, self reported their health as good, very good or excellent.

Although your goals, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8 are good for anyone, I think your goal 10 does not represent the vast majority of PIDD patients. I have been on monthly IViG infusions for over 30 years. I was in the initial trials for IViG in the US.

My kids also have CVID as well as I do. I readily admit that we are on the lucky side of PIDD patients. My daughter is a junior in the nursing honors program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is going to spend next semester abroad in Israel, doing her Peds and OB/GYN rotations. She is taking a 6 month supply of Hizentra with her.

My son recently went back to college. He is working part time as a paramedic; is president of the student body and the assistant coach and chief scout for the woman's fast pitch softball team. He spent two years working at Apple as a "genius" doing teaching and technical support before he decided to go back to school.

I guess what I am saying is suggesting that getting out of the house twice a week is an appropriate goal for the universe of PIDD patients does not accurately describe our zeal.

When you say, "how can you do it without tiring yourself out" does not help any PIDD patient. I believe as most exercise experts do that pushing yourself is the only way to grow, physically and emotionally.

I would be glad to chat with you anytime, if you have any questions.

Mark Leventhal
9:17 AM on Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sorry I meant to say it is an inappropriate goal. Here is a corrected post.

Carla, I agree with your basic premise that goals are good for everyone. However, I think some of your "goals" might be appropriate only for the most infirmed PIDD patients. I think you set the bar far to low for the majority of us. The latest IDF study, although a decade old, showed that over 60% of PIDD patients, self reported their health as good, very good or excellent. Personally I think the general health of our herd has only improved since then.  

Although your goals, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 8 are good for anyone, I think your goal 10 does not represent the vast majority of PIDD patients. I have been on monthly IViG infusions for over 30 years and was in the initial trials for IViG in the US.

My kids also have CVID as well as I do. I readily admit that we are on the lucky side of PIDD patients. My daughter is a junior in the nursing honors program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is going to spend next semester in Israel, doing her Peds and OB/GYN rotations. She is taking a 6 month supply of Hizentra with her.

My son recently went back to college. He is working part time as a paramedic; is president of the college student body and the assistant coach and chief scout for the woman's fast pitch softball team. He spent two years working at Apple as a "genius" doing teaching and technical support before he decided to go back to school.

I guess what I am saying is suggesting that getting out of the house twice a week is an appropriate goal for the universe of PIDD patients does not accurately describe our zeal. It make me feel like one of Jerry's Kids and for me that far from a positive.

When you say, "how can you do it without tiring yourself out", it does not help any PIDD patient. I believe, as most exercise experts do, that pushing yourself is the only way to grow, physically and emotionally.

I would be glad to chat with you anytime, if you have any questions.

Mary Terranson
7:54 AM on Friday, March 28, 2014

Mark,
     I myself was very interested and thrilled to see Carla's S.M.A.R.T. suggestions. Yes, there May be 60% of you with good or great health. However, if you read the comments with an eye toward how CVID patients vary in ability, (hense the V in CVID), you will see that Many of us....indeed, at least 40% of us are pretty severly effected by CVID and our daily lives are a struggle to get through. I am happy you were able to receive IVIG for 30 years and as such, your chidren benefited from the knowledge and timely treatment. There is quite an audience for Carla's article. Please, do not forget us in a forum where we find comfort. I look forward to articles written to the less active,not by choice but because our bodies have been attacked long term without proper IG treatment. Please continue to address our population.
Mary Terranson

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