How SMART Goals To Help You Live With An Autoimmune Disease Every Day

50076706_MWhen you were doing homework and studying in school, chances are you had a teacher who taught you about making SMART goals. It may have been a while since you were in school and learned about SMART goals, so it’s time for a little brain refresher. SMART goals are specific, measured, attainable, result-oriented and timely goals that can help you make accomplishments. They’re guidelines to help you make sure you’re creating a goal that will actually help you get the results you’re looking for. And, believe it or not, these SMART goals can be helpful to those of us who are dealing with an autoimmune disease or chronic pain.

As you’re dealing with your autoimmune disease, there will be results that you’re looking for. They may be as little as trying to make it out of bed at least once a day, or they may be as large as finding a diet that works to help you feel better. Life with an autoimmune disease will require goals. It will require you to take steps to reach accomplishments. This is why it’s a really good time to take it back to your school days and really think about what it means to make a smart, realistic goal.

Let’s take you through the steps of making a SMART goal. You can use these goals to help you overcome the challenges related to your autoimmune disease.

When you’re thinking about a goal you want to accomplish, you need to get really specific about the results you want to see. You need to include as many details as possible in your goal. A great way to think about this is the answer the general questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? And how? If your goal can answer these questions, it is likely specific enough. For example, say you’d like to spend more time connecting with your children. An awesome specific goal may look like this: “I’m going to take 30 minutes at the end of each day to go into my kids’ room, tuck my them into bed, and read them one bedtime story each.”

Your goal can be Measured.

As you’re creating your goal, make sure it’s something you’ll be able to measure. This means that you’re able to identify what you’re doing to complete your goal. For example, if your goal is to spend time with your kids, you would want to be able to measure how often you’re accomplishing that goal. So are you going to read your kids bedtime stories for 30 minutes every day? Every other day? Once a week? This way, you can measure exactly when you were able to accomplish that goal.

Your goal needs to be Attainable.

Your goal needs to be realistic. This is especially critical for those of us who have an autoimmune disease. You need to be realistic about what you really can accomplish. It shouldn’t be what you hope to accomplish or what you’d like to accomplish. It needs to be what you CAN accomplish. This means that if you want to connect with your kids, you shouldn’t set a goal to be their PTA mom. You most likely don’t have the time or energy to do that! It’s okay if your goals seem small. You won’t be able to accomplish goals when there’s no realistic way for you to attain them. And it’s the small goals that truly make a difference in the end.

Your goal should be focused on a Result.

What is the result you want to see come from your goal? If your goal is to make memories with your kids, the result you’d like to see is a continuous connection with your kids, regardless of your autoimmune disease. So your result may be that you are still having face time with your kids every single day. Or you still feel like you’re included in their lives. The result could also be that your kids still feel like they can connect with you and talk to you about their lives.

Your goal has to be Timely.

There should always be a time element to your goals. How long do you want your goal to take? Maybe you’d like to spend every day reading stories to your kid for a month. Remember to be realistic about the time element of your goal. However, without a time element, there’s a chance that you won’t take the goal as seriously because it’s easier to procrastinate. It’s okay to set deadlines, even when your goal has to do with your autoimmune disease.

Even if your goals are small, make sure they’re SMART. Our goals should help us navigate our every day lives, even as we’re overcoming challenges related to our autoimmune disease.



About the Author
Katie Cleary is founder of  She lives with her autoimmune conditions and her family in Austin, Texas.

This post contains opinions of the author. is not a medical practice and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  It is your responsibility to seek diagnosis, treatment, and advice from qualified providers based on your condition and particular circumstances.  Camino Real Ventures, Inc., the company that makes available to you, does not endorse nor recommend any products, practices, treatment methods, tests, physicians, service providers, procedures, clinical trials, opinions or information available on this website.  Your use of the website is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


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