What are your goals for next year? Christmas is right around the corner. Have you thought about what you want to be, do, and accomplish in 2022?
Your health, family, and business won’t magically improve themselves. You have to put in the work to create change. But the first step is knowing what you’re working for. How many times in your life have you worked hard on something only to realize later that you were working on the wrong thing?
It happens to all of us. It’s happened to me more times than I can count. It wasn’t until I found S.M.A.R.T goals that I started to make progress with improving my health and my life.
Granted when I was working to improve my health and overcome Multiple Sclerosis I had not heard of S.M.A.R.T goals. I just knew that I was overwhelmed by how ill I was. I knew I wanted an outcome very different from what the experts were telling me. I knew I wanted to walk, talk, feed myself, and most importantly be there to raise my children!
So, I focused on the ONE thing I could do today to get there. I started by eliminating all sources of wheat from my diet. Why? Because I had read that many people with Multiple Sclerosis have an immune reaction wheat. My first goal was to go a full week without eating bread, pasta, or bagels. It was hard. I still remember trying to figure out what I was going to eat that week. Like most people, bread and pasta were staples of our diet.
For that first week, when I made sandwiches for the kids I skipped the bread on my own. When we ate pasta for dinner I ate the sauce and made an extra veggie for myself. Bagels were the hardest. I loved toasted bagels with cream cheese. It had always been a treat to share with my kids. Once a week, my husband would buy freshly made bagels and flavored cream cheeses from a local bakery. We ate bagels and cream cheese while we cuddled and watched Saturday morning cartoons.
The second week was easier, and I thought I felt better. My stomach wasn’t as upset. I had experienced stomach cramping since I was a kid. I thought it was normal. For the first time in my life, those intestinal cramps faded. I felt less brain fog, and less tired.
At the end of the third week, I decided the improvements were all in my head and decided to challenge what I thought I was seeing. That Saturday morning I ate 2 bagels with cream cheese. I enjoyed every single bite, and the whole time was talking about how I’d probably be fine. I remember telling my husband there was probably nothing to all of this, and that the whole idea that flour could be upsetting my stomach was ridiculous.
Yeah. I spent the next two days either in bed with excruciating stomach cramps or in the bathroom. It took me almost a full week to recover. I have never been in so much pain in my life –and I birthed 4 babies without medication.
I learned a valuable lesson that day. One that has stayed with me through the years of healing, setbacks, and more healing. That lesson was to trust God, trust myself, and ignore the negative people who said I couldn’t do it. After the first week, I knew that I felt better. After the second week, I was convinced that avoiding wheat was something I should do for the rest of my life. During that third week, someone in my life told me they thought it was all pretty stupid. She spent over an hour telling me that by avoiding wheat I was depriving my kids and making things difficult for my husband. She told me it was all in my head, and that I was acting like my needs were more important than anyone else in the family.
What she did was plant seeds of doubt that changing my diet was my path to heal. Her words caused me to doubt that I could heal at all.
And, I allowed doubt to win. Instead of standing firm in what I knew to be true for my body, I gave in to the doubt and negativity of someone close to me.
Thankfully, my body gave me almost immediate feedback. It became obvious that changing my diet really was part of my path to healing. And it all started with a single S.M.A.R.T goal.
Join me in my subscription group The Chronic Illness Toolbox. Together, with other members, you’ll learn how to identify, set, and achieve your health & wellness goals. You’ll learn what works for your body so you can set the right goals to help you on your path to better health. Make 2022 the year you take control of your health!