Setting Goals Amidst a Cancer Diagnosis

As we step into the new year, it’s a time of hope and renewal for many. A time when aspirations are high and resolutions are made. But for those navigating a cancer journey, the path forward may seem daunting and uncertain. How does one set goals amidst such unpredictability? Is it even possible to set goals in uncertain times?

I remember when my second cancer diagnosis came in December of 2008. As January approached, I found myself reading about setting goals and new year resolutions in magazines and newspapers. I felt disconnected. It seemed like everyone else’s life was moving on, but I was stuck in this life as a cancer patient, with rigid treatment schedules and the terrifying uncertainty around possible side effects and outcomes. Thinking about the future was scary.

However, I also know that it’s possible to set meaningful goals even during a cancer journey. It’s about finding a sense of purpose, a direction to move towards, even when the road ahead is shrouded in fog.

Here are some tips that helped me and that I would like to share with anybody going through a similar situation:

Firstly, don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, think about what goals are meaningful to you right now, in this moment. What are some goals that will give you a sense of purpose, a feeling of motivation to keep on going?

Secondly, it’s important to remember that your goals don’t have to be grand or ambitious. They don’t have to be about achieving big milestones or making drastic changes. They can be simple and personal, like maintaining a positive mindset, eating healthier, or spending more quality time with loved ones. The key is to choose goals that resonate with you, that align with your values and priorities. Goals that give you a sense of purpose and direction, that motivate you to keep going, even on the tough days. Remember, every step forward, no matter how small, is a victory.

Navigating a cancer journey can be overwhelming. There will be times when you stumble, when you fall short of your goals. And that’s perfectly okay. It’s okay to adjust your goals, to take things slow, to give yourself grace. Remember, this is your journey, and you get to set the pace. You get to decide what steps to take, and when to take them.

Support can make a significant difference in your journey. Whether it’s from a trusted friend, a family member, or a professional, having someone to share your fears and hopes with can be invaluable. They can provide guidance, encouragement, and a listening ear – resources that are crucial as you navigate your cancer journey.

As a cancer coach, my goal is to educate, support, and inspire individuals affected by cancer. I believe in the power of resilience and transformation, and I’ve seen first-hand how setting goals – no matter how small – can provide a sense of direction and purpose, even in the most uncertain times.

So, as we step into this new year, I encourage you to embrace the journey, to set goals that resonate with you, and to remember that you’re not alone. Each step you take, no matter how small, is a step towards progress. And remember, progress, not perfection, is what truly matters.

In the face of a cancer diagnosis, it’s easy to feel lost and overwhelmed. But remember, you are not alone. There are resources available, people who want to help, and steps you can take to regain a sense of control. Setting goals, even small ones, can provide a sense of direction and purpose. It can give you something to strive for, something to focus on, other than your diagnosis.

And remember, it’s okay to adjust your goals as you go along. Your journey may not be a straight line, and that’s okay. What matters is that you keep moving forward, one step at a time.


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