Since I turned 30 (many years ago!!), I have always written myself a set of goals for each forthcoming year. I’m a list person and love the satisfaction of being able to tick off something I have achieved.
I have lifetime goals of places I want to visit, which now we have three children are not going to be accomplished in the near future, but I hope when they are older, I will have the opportunity to visit the beaches of Hawaii, see wildlife up close on a safari trip and enjoy a cruise to the Antarctic.
Now I have to be more realistic, especially with two children that have additional needs. Some weeks it can be an achievement just to deal with the tantrums and meltdowns that occur in our house. However, it is still important to me to have my list of annual goals, so that I can feel as if I have personally accomplished something.
I have the ‘normal’ goals of losing weight and getting fit, which I may actually do this year, now I walk Ludo, our puppy each day. I will have to remember to cut down on my chocolate intake as well though!!
I want to take the children to London each month as there are so many places they want to visit. Now our youngest son is comfortable travelling on the train and he went on the underground in the Christmas holidays, which he thoroughly enjoyed, it will be easier to do days out. For some families, this may be something that is taken for granted as they can go out whenever they want, without having to plan in advance, but if I can manage one trip a month for the year, it will be a huge feat.
At home, I have a list of decorating jobs to do – not exciting I know, but I have already painted the kitchen this year and am feeling happy that I can tick off a goal from my list. This will also motivate me to reach my other goals. Small targets are good to have as they inspire you to go onto bigger things. This is particularly important for children on the spectrum, as they often give up if they can’t do something straightaway. By breaking their goal up into smaller projects, they will reach the first one quickly and be more motivated to reach the end goal.
I have craft projects that I want to finish, but my biggest goal is to turn my blog into a self published book. I haven’t got the faintest idea how to do it at the moment, but I will find a way and although I don’t expect to sell thousands of copies, I will have achieved a lifetime dream of writing a book. Last year I wrote a 30 page booklet on Sensory Processing Disorder from a parent’s perspective, which is sold at the support group I volunteer at, so I know I can do it on a smaller scale.
I always teach my children to believe in themselves and fulfil their dreams (fortunately our daughter has now changed her aspirations from wanting to be a toilet cleaner at the age of 6 to performing on the stage at the age of 11!!) and it is important that we remember this as parents. We maybe further down the road of the journey of life, but we haven’t finished it yet, so we should still aim high and at the same time we are being role models for our children to show them that they can achieve their dreams, no matter what their age or how long it takes to reach our goals. Nothing is impossible.