If you’re having trouble reaching your goal, read through the examples of problems listed below and consider the areas where you are having trouble. You may want to rethink your strategy – make a new plan and start again. Whatever you do – DON’T GIVE UP. A GOOD PLAN NEVER BREAKS, IT BENDS!
- Be patient! Changing behavior and seeing results takes time. Don’t despair if your plan doesn’t work right away. The goal is progress, not perfection. Stick with it!
- If you are having trouble reaching your short-term goal, break it down into an even smaller goal. Slow progress is much better than no progress at all!
- Examine the barriers to reaching your goal. Some barriers are out of your control and some aren’t. Try to find ways to manage barriers that you can control, and ways to work around barriers that you can’t.
- Identify the specific instances where you had trouble sticking to your plan. What happened? What external factors led you off the track? How far off track did you get?
- Don’t be afraid to change your plan. If your plan isn’t working after giving it a good try, make some changes and keep trying.
- If your plan still isn’t working, start over with a new plan. Make sure that this plan accounts for the barriers that kept you from reaching your goal with your last plan.
- After repeated attempts with multiple plans and you still aren’t making any progress, re-examine your long-term goal. Is it what you want? Is it realistic? Is it worth the effort? If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, you may find that a smaller or different goal is better for you. Don’t think of this as a failure – think of it as a learning process.
After you have evaluated your progress toward your second short-term goal and considered the areas where you may have struggled, it’s time to establish the long-term goal you’d like to continue working toward as you move forward on your own. Remember, this is the larger change that you’d like to see in your asthma symptoms after meeting several smaller goals over the course of a few months.