Photo by Sarah J on Flickr

Photo by Sarah J on Flickr


As the year comes to an end, I pause to reflect on things: work, writing, church, family and life in general. What am I doing, and what does it all mean? What’s next? Is this all there is?


Those of us with a chronic illness, like bipolar disorder, tend not to set too lofty a goal or look too far into the future. Deadlines and goals come and go in the wake of our mood fluctuations; the highs and lows often derailing the best laid plans.


Setting Goals

But, I think that setting some goals, forming a support circle and working towards something that has meaning for us, may be a good thing. Last year, I completed my doctoral dissertation; the culmination of four years in Grad school. It was painful but I’ve learned that I have a high tolerance for pain and a lot of grit.


It was also very stressful, and so I self-medicated with food and shopping sprees, getting myself into a lot of hot water. So, now I find myself at 51, overweight again (yes it’s been a lifelong battle), unhealthy physically and sadly out of shape financially. I am a single mom with three daughters who are all pursuing post-secondary education: one in graduate school herself, one in beauty school and one, a junior in college, searching for a new major.


Photo by mt23 on Flickr

Photo by mt23 on Flickr

I’m going to set two lofty and high-level goals for 2015, and I need some help in staying accountable.


Running Like a Mother

I’ve always wanted to run. Yes, just run. Yet, even as a child, I would hyperventilate trying to make one trip around the track, so exercise has never been my friend. But my goal for the end of 2015 is to run a half marathon. This means serious training for me because as of now I can barely walk a mile without getting shin splints!



Secondly, I need to get my financial house in order, starting with no more eating out fast food, and building a budget and sticking to it. This may be the hardest goal yet. In fact, these two goals have been the bane of my existence for years. I will need to enlist the help of friends, perhaps a trainer or coach and someone with financial acuity.


Are you with me?

Last of all, I will need help and encouragement. I will on occasion, post my progress and setbacks, hoping you out there will share your experiences and wisdom with me, encouraging me to make progress to become healthy. I hope, too, that you will set at least one goal for yourself in this new year. Living with purpose, especially when you don’t feel well a lot of the time, is essential. Share your thoughts, goals and encouragement with me. I’m counting on you!