I was reading recently that most New Year’s Resolutions fail. Most of them fail by January 12th in fact. And the number one reason for them failing? People not being real.
Recovery is a long process. It is also not linear. And it will be longer and plagued by more set backs when individuals are unrealistic about the goals they set for themselves. Doing so not only sets yourself up for failure, it also sets you up for negative feelings that feed the negative feedback loop that is so commonly responsible for prolonging episodes of mental health crisis.
And it is definitely a trap I have fallen into in the past (and, lets be honest, the present). Often I set goals that are not only unrealistic, they are notably vague, which is another problem. For example, I might say that I want to be in better shape, but what does that mean? Does that mean being able to run a 5k without stopping? Does it mean being able to bench press a certain amount. Similar to be unrealistic, being vague is a recipe for failure.
One of my big problems is time management. I plan how long everything will take, but often leave no room for error. And if any of you have ever managed to do everything you plan in exactly how long you plan, please tell me how you do it. Do you know wizards? Are you wizards yourself? Because inevitably, whenever I plan out my day, I leave no room for error, or else get side tracked on things that don’t really matter, and suddenly I’m down a minute here, a minute there, and before I know it I’m running 5 or 10 minutes late, cursing myself for getting into this routine because I wasn’t realistic enough with myself.
So let’s be real. Me, you, and anyone else you might be on their own recovery journey. It is okay if your goal is as small as making your bed, because that is something tangible that you can accomplish. And if you are like me, that is something you often don’t accomplish that you easily could. For me, it could be setting extra ten minute buffers into my day so that when something inevitably takes longer than I thought, I have a way to absorb those delays without becoming delayed myself.
But what about you? If you care to, I would love to hear about what are small, realistic goals that you set for yourself that help with your recovery.