Creating the Life You Deserve, in Spite of a Back Injury

Getting From A to B [After Your Back Injury]

If you’ve gone through the exercises we suggested in our last two posts, you’ve now hopefully clarified two key things:

  • What’s true now in your life, after your workplace back injury.
  • Your vision for what you want to achieve in the months ahead.

Now, it’s time to bridge the gap between planning and doing. Ask yourself these three questions, and write down the answers in a journal—and/or work through them with the help of a coach.

  1. To reach my goals, what is the absolute minimum that needs to get done? Often, when we think about goals, we assume that the pathway must follow some specific contour. But in making those assumptions, we give ourselves lots of extra work. For instance, let’s say one of your goals is to minimize your child care obligations (because of your hurt back) to 2 hours a day. You may assume that you’ll need to hire a nanny, and in order to do that, you’ll need a source of funds. And in order to get funds to afford a nanny, you’ll need a new source of income. And so on. However, if you focus on the goal instead of on the presumed path to the goal, you might find shortcuts. Maybe the absolute minimum would involve asking your sister to move in with you for a few months to assist with the child care. That would circumvent the need for the nanny/funds/second job.
  2. How can I succeed in spite of my injury? We covered this a bit in our previous post, but it’s an idea worth exploring in depth. Your back is hurt. Maybe you’re in constant paid due to fibromyalgia symptoms you developed after a grueling desk job. Maybe your lower back is in constant, shooting pain. Okay. That may be true. But if you want to (for instance) get back into your hobby of carving wooden figurines, you can find workarounds. Maybe the pain will prevent you from sitting more that two hours at a time. No problem. Adjust your workflow to accommodate. Maybe you need to invest in more ergonomic equipment. Etc. The point is, you can almost certainly benefit from thinking through how to succeed in spite of your limitations.
  3. Who can help me get to my goals? It’s impossible to do anything truly amazing in this world without support. Now’s the time to lean on good people. For instance, strong legal representation with your Georgia workers’ compensation case can make a world of difference. (The Smith, Wallis & Scott, LLP team is here to help at (770) 214-2500.)

Determine Your First Step—And Take It!

Break down your top goal into actionable steps. For example: maybe you want to become a social worker, and you need extra education to make this dream a reality. Start by researching a few local colleges with social work programs. Determine admission requirements for these schools. Gather high school or college transcripts. These simple steps will snowball into real progress.

Record Your Efforts

Every day, do at least one thing to take you closer to executing each long-term goal. You don’t necessarily have to make grand gestures. For example, if you’re saving for a down payment on a house, skip that Starbucks latte and prepare coffee at home instead.

Each day, record your successes and any areas in which you could improve. Read these daily entries regularly to determine whether you’re consistently making progress towards your goal, or whether it’s time to reassess.

Questions For Reflection

Reflect on these in your journal:

  • What holds me back from taking action and executing on the plans I’ve carefully drafted?
  • What motivates me most to pursue my dreams?
  • What simple steps can I take to make progress every day?