It’s summertime here in the Northern Hemisphere and for educators, this is the perfect time to focus on self-care.
If you’re like me, however, you make plans, set goals, and about halfway through the summer you notice that you haven’t even started your self-care routine.
One of the problems I have run into in setting goals for my own self-care is that I make my goals way too ambitious. I look ahead to summer and think that I’ll have plenty of time to get my routine in place, but I often become overwhelmed before I even start.
This is where a Growth Mindset (and EFT) comes in handy, because I have learned another way to set goals that helps me to prioritize AND achieve those goals. In fact, I use this strategy with my clients, too!
SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Let’s take a closer look at how we can apply these principles to our self-care routine:
- Specific: To effectively set goals, we need to be specific about what we want to achieve. Rather than setting a vague goal like “I want to practice self-care,” we should identify a specific area of self-care we want to focus on and select an action we will take to help us get there. For example, “I want to prioritize healthy eating habits by eating more vegetables each day.”
- Measurable: It is important to set goals that can be measured, as this allows us to track our progress and celebrate our achievements. In our example of prioritizing healthy eating, we can make this goal measurable by stating that we will eat 5 servings of vegetables each day. This allows us to easily track our progress.
- Achievable: Setting realistic goals is crucial to avoid disappointment and maintain motivation. This is where I often faltered. Consider your current circumstances, commitments, and abilities when setting your self-care goals. If your schedule is demanding, setting a goal to eat 5 servings of vegetables every day might not be feasible. Instead, start with something more achievable, like one vegetable with every meal.
- Relevant: Goals should be relevant and aligned with your self-care needs. Reflect on what areas of your life need attention and what practices will enhance your well-being. For instance, if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, setting a goal to incorporate daily EFT or meditation sessions can be highly relevant to address these issues.
- Time-bound: Setting a timeframe for our goals provides structure and helps us stay on track. It creates a sense of urgency and accountability. Instead of saying, “I will prioritize sleep,” set a clear time-bound goal like, “I will prioritize sleep by going to bed before 11 PM every night for the next month.”
Setting SMART goals for self-care not only helps us prioritize our well-being but also ensures that our efforts are practical and productive. Here are some examples of SMART self-care goals you can consider:
- I will drink at least eight glasses of water each day for the next 30 days to ensure proper hydration.
- I will engage in physical exercise for at least 30 minutes, three times a week, for the next month to improve my physical well-being.
- I will practice mindful eating by avoiding distractions and savoring each bite during meals for the next two weeks.
- I will spend 15 minutes each day writing in my journal and will include 3 things I’m grateful for. I will do this for the next 20 days.
- I will dedicate 15 minutes each day to a hobby or activity that brings me joy and helps me unwind. I will do this for the next two weeks.
Remember to break down bigger goals into smaller actionable steps and consistently assess your progress. It’s okay to adjust and adapt your goals as needed. Self-care should be a flexible practice that caters to your individual needs.
Prioritizing self-care in our lives is essential, and setting SMART goals can be a powerful tool to assist us in achieving and maintaining a healthy self-care routine. By being specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound in our goal-setting process, we set ourselves up for success in creating sustainable self-care practices that positively impact our overall well-being.
Stay tuned for my next blog where I will share how to use Emotional Freedom Techniques to help achieve those goals.
If you would like to work with me on setting and achieving your self-care goals, simply click the button below to sign up for a Complimentary Chaos to Calm Consult. Let’s do this together!