Sponsored: Setting Goals vs. Resolutions with Chronic Illness

setting goals

Setting goals vs. resolutions with a chronic illness is vastly different for me in mindset and outcome. I look at a resolution as a long-term picture of where I want to be. However, goals can be broken down into steps I need to take to resolve an issue. My goals have a specific purpose while my resolution is a firm decision to do or not do something.

This year, I am not making resolutions. I’m making goals and a commitment to myself. I will not let my migraine define me and will aim to take steps towards better health. I will measure my health using my own standard of wellness. Staying positive and open-minded while being gentle to myself is the goal. Realizing that I will have steps backward, I will remind myself that it’s a process and not a concrete resolution.

APPROVED USE
Aimovig® (erenumab-aooe) is indicated for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Do not use Aimovig® if you are allergic to erenumab-aooe or any ingredients in Aimovig®. Please see additional Important Safety Information below.

New Year's Resolutions vs Goals with chronic illness
New Year’s Resolutions with Migraine

The problem I have with resolutions is that expectations for these drastic changes are often set way too high. I know very few people that set resolutions and meet them. How many people do you know resolve to lost 10 pounds in the New Year? The gyms are packed, the motivation is high and by the time March hits, all resolutions are melting away with the winter snow. The whole “all-or-nothing” approach is not realistic for someone with chronic illness. My illness doesn’t fade away with the change of
seasons, it’s something I live with year-round.

How can I lose weight with chronic illness? I have to factor in my medications, lack of activity, and deal with pre and post migraine headache cravings that can derail resolutions. Resolutions seem to be an all-in mentality and unfortunately, I can’t count myself all-in for much. My chronic illness takes that away from me.

I once set a resolution that I would spend less money in the New Year. However, I still have to factor in my health care expenses to avoid sacrificing my health. So while it may be difficult, I will view my lived experience as expertise and only focus on goals under my control.

Setting Goals

The S. M. A. R. T. acronym for goal-setting is a popular term that refers to goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. I don’t think goals should be rigid, they should provide a direction to achieve the desired outcome. It takes intention setting, planning, preparing, and taking realistic actions. I want to set goals that aren’t too easy, but aren’t so difficult that I’ll want to give up. I will push myself only when it’s in my best interest to do so.

IMPORTANT SAFTEY INFORMATION
Aimovig® may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Allergic reactions. Allergic relations, including rash or swelling, can happen after receiving Aimovig®. This can happen within hours to days after using Aimovig®. Call your HCP or get emergency medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction: swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, or throat, or trouble breathing.
  • Constipation with serious complications. Severe constipation can happen after receiving Aimovig®. In some cases, people have been hospitalized or needed surgery. Contact your HCP if you have severe constipation.
  • High blood pressure. High blood pressure or worsening of high blood
    pressure can happen after receiving Aimovig®. Contact your healthcare
    provider if you have an increase in blood pressure.

Please see additional Important Safety Information below.

High blood pressure. High blood pressure or worsening of high blood
pressure can happen after receiving Aimovig®. Contact your healthcare
provider if you have an increase in blood pressure.

Specific Goal Setting

Before I set a specific goal, I try to visualize what the end result will feel like. What will my life look like while I am working towards my goal? What will my life look like when the goal has been reached? How will I feel throughout the process?

A specific goal that I’m setting is to see a new doctor so I can better understand my condition. Now that I have learned what therapies work for me, I am going to get a second opinion on my migraine with a new neurologist. I’m not replacing my old one, just searching for new answers and perspectives. There are a variety of doctors and routes you can go to for treatment and each one will create a learning experience.

Measurable Goal Setting

Whether it be a big goal or a small goal, it needs to be measurable. I ask myself how do I get to my goal? What will I do, mentally and physically, to achieve my goal, remembering that my health affects both? Does reaching my goal require additional resources like money, time, other people, or physical requirements that may be limited?

This year I’d like to track my migraine more consistently. I have gone through phases throughout the years on track because it is defeating me. Seeing the number of my migraine days and symptoms in writing daily is a reminder to me of where my chronic condition is at. I am currently taking Aimovig® (erenumab-aooe), and over the last year, I have felt improvement from my medication and want data to show me how I’m doing. However, my experience with Aimovig® is my own and people may react to medications differently. You should always discuss treatment options with your doctor to choose the
the best option for you.

How are Goals Achieved?

Slowly. Take one day at a time. Setbacks back are inevitable so don’t beat yourself up if you take a step or two (or a hundred) back. Think about the little things that can be done each day to get you closer to your desired goal. Not every day will look and feel the same so results won’t either. Keep the steps as simple and practical as possible. Some days my goal may be to get out of bed to yoga for an hour while another day my goal may be to get out of bed to brush my teeth. Both are physical goals; both are attainable but on any given day my results can be different. If movement is my goal, success won’t be
based on calories burned or miles run.

It will be based on how I felt that day and what I did with that energy. How did I take care of my mind, body, and soul? I want each day to feel better mentally and physically realizing that not every day I will be a winner. I will celebrate both the big and small achievements of my goal and will rest when I need to– without judgment.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
The most common side effects of Aimovig® are pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site and constipation. Please see additional Important Safety Information below.

Chronic Illness Goals

Applying all of this to chronic illness may feel impossible but it’s not. We are all human, we are not perfect, and that’s ok. Finding a support buddy for accountability and health check-ins is a good idea. Find someone to lift you up when you are down and push you further when you are able. I will practice asking for what I need and won’t apologize for being honest about my struggles.

It is important to remember that it is not your fault. Your goals may not be met and will be out of your control. The only thing you can control is how you react to the year you’ve been dealt. Take each day as an opportunity and accept that not every day will be giant leaps forward. If brushing my teeth is the best I can do, I need to be okay with that. Maybe tomorrow will be yoga.

Timely Results

Keep going. Don’t set a rigid timeline for accomplishing what you want to accomplish. As long as you keep going with an open and honest mindset, you are making progress in the right direction. Change takes time. Chronic illness doesn’t allow life to go as planned and being gentle with yourself and understanding you disease is important. This year is a marathon, not a spring and I look forward to the small and large changes that I can and will make.
*This post is part of a collaboration between myself, Amgen and Novartis. I have been compensated for my time.

APPROVED USE
Aimovig® (erenumab-aooe) is a prescription medicine used for the preventive treatment of migraine in adults.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Who should not use Aimovig®?
Do not use Aimovig® if you are allergic to erenumab-aooe or any ingredients in Aimovig®.
Before starting Aimovig®, tell your healthcare provider (HCP) about all your medical conditions, including if you are allergic to rubber or latex, pregnant or plan to become pregnant, breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

Tell your HCP about all the medicines you take, including all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.

What are the possible side effects of Aimovig®?

Aimovig® may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Allergic reactions. Allergic reactions, including rash or swelling, can happen after receiving Aimovig®. This can happen within hours to days after using Aimovig®. Call your HCP or get emergency medical help right away if you have any of the following symptoms of an allergic reaction: swelling of the face, mouth, tongue, throat, or trouble breathing.
  • Constipation with serious complications. Severe constipation can happen after receiving Aimovig®. In some cases, people have been hospitalized or needed surgery. Contact your HCP if you have severe constipation.
  • High blood pressure. High blood pressure or worsening of high blood
    pressure can happen after receiving Aimovig®. Contact your healthcare
    provider if you have an increase in blood pressure.

The most common side effects of Aimovig® are pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site and constipation.
These are not all of the possible side effects of Aimovig®. Call your HCP for medical advice about side effects.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Click here for full Prescribing Information and Patient Product Information.

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Sarah Rathsack

I tell stories of My Migraine Life. Living life through Migraine consists of advocacy, treatment, prevention, and searching for health and happiness in a positive honest way. My kids, husband, dog, family and friends motivate me to make a difference in the Migraine World.

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