Setting Yourself Up For Success in the New YearJanuary 2, 2024
Setting Yourself Up For Success in the New Year
Welcome to 2024: a new year full of new possibilities. Across the world, people use this time of year to reset and reframe their goals both from a career and interpersonal standpoint. Just as it is for many individuals, this period of time is precious for caregivers. It allows them to assess their responsibilities and create new year goals that positively impact all aspects of their lives.
You’ve likely already created your list of New Year’s resolutions, but setting yourself up for success in the New Year extends far past putting pen to paper. Your mindset is half the battle.
Do your goals and your values align?
In the new year, it’s all too easy to fall in line with the resolutions everyone else is sharing on social media. However, it’s important to recognize that just because someone else has a certain goal, it doesn’t mean that goal works for your life. If you set a resolution that doesn’t align with your life or your values, you won’t complete them, or you won’t feel satisfied in their pursuit.
Take a moment to look at your list of resolutions to ascertain whether or not these goals align with your life. Instead of focusing on five days of exercise like some of your friends, you may instead set a resolution to go on three walks a week with your elderly loved one.
Move forward with a problem-solving mindset
Life is full of surprises—both good and bad. When an unexpected event arises and plans have to change, don’t allow it to disrupt your life. Instead of panicking, approach the issue with a problem-solving mindset. What can you do to make up for this disruption? Alternatively, what can be done to ensure this problem doesn’t arise again?
As a provider of elderly care, you are already fully aware of how no two days look exactly alike. Some days, you won’t be able to achieve as many of your goals and will have to focus on being present for your elderly loved one. Others, you’ll be highly productive from both a caregiving and personal standpoint. Instead of letting issues bog you down, you have to adapt to ensure care progresses as it should.
Set a system for accountability
Without something to hold you accountable, it’s easy for your less crucial goals to fall by the wayside. You’ll certainly remember to remind your loved one to take their medication, but doing the dishes might be forgotten about for a day or two. To make sure you are achieving all you set out to do as often as you can, create a system of accountability. This could be a journal you fill out each day, or even a friend who checks in with you.
That being said, it’s important to allow yourself some grace. If you had a difficult day caring for your loved one, it is okay to put off certain responsibilities. In addition, reward yourself when you hit certain milestones or feel you had a particularly successful day. This kind of forgiving attitude will lead to long-term positives.
Remember: forming a new routine or habit doesn’t happen overnight. Some say it takes roughly 21 days, while others report something closer to eight months. While the true number varies from person to person and task to task, don’t forget the process takes time. There will be peaks and valleys to navigate, some steeper than others. However, each day will be easier.
Get closer to success with the help of home care
As a family caregiver, you wear many hats. Between your career, your family, your friends, and your care responsibilities, it is all too easy to feel stretched thin. This can lead to feelings of caregiver burnout—a serious problem that impacts not only your mental health, but your ability to support your elderly loved one.
If you need help to provide your loved one with the best care, you’re not alone. Home Care Powered by AUAF has been supporting family caregivers and their families for over 30 years, and would be happy to do the same for you. Call us at (773) 274-9262 for more information on our programs.
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