Wednesday, 5 January 2011


When I was first diagnosed with cancer I wrote a list of all the things I was doing and had changed in my life to create health. It acted as a motivator and as a form of reassurance that I was doing things differently - and if you do things differently it stands to reason that you get different results. I wanted my body to get a different result - I wanted my body to get rid of the cancer and embrace a healthy state of being. That list has changed over the years. Many things on it are so second nature and part of my life that I have forgotten that I didn't always do them. I can't even remember some of them. It's also true to say that I fell off the wagon a little last year when I was helping to look after my father-in-law, and it is very difficult to go back to doing some of the things as religiously as I was once I've stopped doing them. Juicing , for instance. But it's the start of a new year, and I'm back on track and going for it.

I have read a lot about goal setting. There seems to be a lot of research on brain science going on at the moment and it's all fascinating stuff.There are numerous people writing books on the subject, and I have pulled out a few pointers that seem to be keys for me - newly found, or re-learnt ancient wisdom !

  • Firstly, make the goals easily achievable. That means underestimate what you can achieve. It's easy whilst thinking about what you need to achieve to be lulled into the belief that you are motivated, energetic, and superman, and that you can meet your targets, all your targets, in no time flat.This is rarely the case and the best of us have bad days and setbacks. If you make your goal easily achievable then you have far fewer setbacks, far less sense of failure, and less demotivation. So my goals are ones that are easy to exceed, then I can give myself a pat on the back. I've not just achieved, I've surpassed myself. And I'm likely to sustain the effort past January 10Th !!

  • Secondly, plan for the long term. That means that I'm not just trying to get from A to Z in the shortest time possible. A to Z is a long trip. Why overwhelm myself ? I'm going to take it one step at a time, and I will plan with a long time frame in mind. So it might take a few months - maybe years - but I'll get there and I'll enjoy the journey - I'll enjoy the scenery as I go. After all it's not the destination that's important, but the travelling and the sights and experiences on the way - the living of it. So I plan with a destination in mind, but not a destination that I'll never reach, and a time frame, but one that is long term and achievable.

  • Some people suggest starting a project with a specific goal and where you want to be , and then decide on a target end date. The plan is to then break down the time between start and finish into steps - perhaps weekly, perhaps monthly - whatever suits - and determine what needs to be achieved by each step. Like stepping stones you eventually end up having achieved all that needs to be done in order to reach your end goal and Viola, you've got from A to Z . I've tried this before and I think that whilst it is appropriate for some goals, it's just not right for all goals. Certainly not with a health goal in mind. Having an end date for my project of health has burdened me in the past with expectations ( I wanted the tumours gone !! ), and not everything in life conforms to expectations. And disappointment is DEMOTIVATING !!! There's no room for demotivation in my quest for health, so I simply plan with an open ticket - a no fixed date termination. I suppose that's to do with the nature of my goal which is life and its enjoyment.

  • Keep the goals simple. Life is complicated enough. My tick list is simplicity itself, and it is visual and easy to read.

  • Concentrate on the positives and what you are achieving, and not on failure. After all, it's what you do consistently that matters, not the little blips. And I have found that concentrating on the negatives makes them bigger. You get more of what you concentrate on. It's something to do with how the brain works, and all those chemicals we are constantly shooting round our bodies. Don't ask me the specifics because it's a little complicated and time consuming ! Just trust me on this - from a girl who can see the glass half empty at least as easily as half full.

  • Reward yourself with praise and acknowledgement of what you have achieved. Let's look at what we're doing well. And let's re-frame our difficulties and acknowledge them as challenges. And they are just part of the journey, part of the scenery, and they change over time. Things I thought I could NEVER do - like juicing and drinking six 250 ml bottles of vegetable juice daily ( just not presently ! ) did become part of my daily routine - and will be again. But when I first read about the Gerson Treatment I thought that there was never going to be any way to even attempt it because I struggled to make juice at all.

There's loads more I've read and learnt, but this post wasn't meant to be a manual on how to set goals. Suffice to say this is how I manage my goal-setting. This is what I do to keep myself on track.

So for the first week of the New Year, these are the items on my tick list







  7. BLOG




At the bottom of the page are the following




These are easily achievable for me, and a good place to start. They are part of my daily routine, and it's good to have a row of ticks. It's also good not to have a bunch of other things on the list with no ticks at all ! It's a small list this week which I'm happy about. It's about a new beginning, and it's about keeping it simple. I'll go through and explain why and how I do these things in the next few posts, and rest assured I'll be adding in other things as time goes on. Join me if you feel up to it. Obviously not everything is appropriate for everyone else - you wouldn't be wanting to take Arimidex if you didn't have to, and Essiac Tea isn't essential ( it is sometimes recommended for cancer patients and it supports the liver, but there are other ways to do that and less expensive ways also ! ) I am documenting my own idiosyncratic health promoting lifestyle improvements, but most of them would benefit anyone. Who could argue with making laughter and fun a priority. Making love and connection a priority. And anyone who has cut out dairy, meat and/or caffeine will heartily endorse the health and energy benefits of doing so.

My list will end up a long one, but that's because I like a compelling reason to believe I have changed myself - my body chemistry - my circumstances. The definition of madness is to continue to do the same thing over again and expect different results. My tick list is visual proof that I have changed some fundamental circumstances. I'm hoping to step it up a notch this year, and I need all the encouragement I can get. My tick list has served that purpose in the past and I believe it will continue to do just that. So although it may seem daunting, it only takes moments to fill it in and I get a big kick out of all the gold stars I award myself, and the visual reference it gives me.

1 comment:

  1. Hey
    i just read your tick list
    is it going well so far ?
    i read this and it made me feel warm and connected

    thumbs up and much love :)