I find it difficult to set goals at the moment. Even though long term ones remain the same, get my condition under control, go back to work, be able to live independently etc, I am much more accustomed to setting realistic short term goals. I know none of the above are going to happen overnight, and if I keep thinking they are achievable in the short term then I will only let myself down.
Everything takes time. I should know this as its took me a long enough time to get to the positive stage I am at now but I still have a long way to go in overcoming my disease. So, I have been thinking about realistic short term goals. This involves setting myself little challenges that can be achieved and anything on top of this comes as a bonus. These are things like talking a walk to the shops, which then gradually increases to a walk around a shopping centre and then a trip to the Christmas market, for example. Yesterday I accomplished something I mentioned I feared a few weeks ago, a successful trip around the Christmas markets in the beautiful city of Bath! Now it wasn’t a marathon walk through the crowds, just a casual stroll around at a slow pace which I found difficult at times. However, preparation was the key. I had a swollen knee before we left the house so I strapped it up, took some painkillers and dressed appropriately (for a change) to brave the freezing cold weather.
The knee strapping definitely helped, and the fact I was with very sympathetic people who ensured I was ok when walking was encouraging. I think I was also concerned about becoming tired. I haven’t spent a day recently where I haven’t had to sleep for a couple of hours in the afternoon. But it seemed the exercise and some fresh (cold) air did me the world of good. I did get tired, but a coffee break and deep breaths pulled me through. And funnily enough I had a great night sleep as I was so exhausted after the long day. I haven’t had to sleep during the day today either, which is a great achievement for me.
One of my current short term goals is to get a little exercise daily, working up to when I can return to swimming (which I haven’t been able to do for a long time) and when I can do at least five minutes on my exercise bike without my knees wanting to explode. For some this may seem pathetic, but those of you who do suffer with RA should know how precious these little challenges are to me. Gone are the days where I could do and plan things effortlessly. Everything has to be well considered.
So that’s one of my goals for this week. Another is to not take two hour naps every day, so keeping myself busy and alert is essential. I have a truck load of coffee being delivered tomorrow...