Slaying Fibro & Other Invisible Illnesses

Encouragement, Tips, and Ideas from One Slayer to Another

Hacking New Habits with a Chronic Illness

How many goals or resolutions have you made so far this year? Research shows that an estimated 95% of us will drop those resolutions by January 31st.

Hack Your Habits: Free guide from
That means that most likely we’ll both drop our resolutions and goals sometime in the next three weeks. That’s right. You and I will become like the majority of the people in the U.S.

Finally! We’re average!

Often times our abandonment of goals is because we choose to work on something that’s too big in scope. We get worn out or overwhelmed quickly. It’s even harder for those of us with a chronic illness, especially if we are in a flare. We have brain fog to deal with, pain that sidelines us, and far too many other symptoms to list. Overwhelm isn’t something we have the space for in our lives.

But, what if I told you we have a hack for that?

If we focus creating small, meaningful habits instead, can beat that statistic and make some real changes in our lives.

What are SMART habits?

Let’s get SMART. And, I’m not talking about being wise. By following the SMART formula, we’ll be making small, significant changes before you know it.

S = Specific / M = Measurable / A = Attainable / R = Realistic / T = Time-bound

We need to be specific in description of the new habit. Create a way to measure it – such as a checklist for the week. We need to make it something that we can attain, not something out of our reach (like me running 2 miles every day! Not going to happen!)

We also need a way to keep it in the realm of what we are capable of doing at this season in our spoonie life.

And, finally, we need to put a time limit on how long we will try to form this habit otherwise we run the risk of frustrating ourselves because we haven’t gotten it “soon enough.”

I’ve created a quick and easy worksheet that explains how to use SMART goals when establishing new habits with a chronic illness. I go in-depth with each step and give you an example as well as a checklist to use with your chosen habits.

Download Hack Your Habits (as well as all of my other member bonuses) FOR FREE HERE.

Make your goals reasonable.

Let’s go back to the idea that we make our goals too big. I believe that we should not limit ourselves because of our chronic illnesses. We are more than the sum of our diseases. If you want it, go for it. Just not when you are working on hacking some new habits for the year.

If you can dream it, put it on a dream board. I’m a big fan of those and will be creating one for 2016. But, this kind of dream isn’t good for establishing new habits. We need a goal that we can rock without stress.

Consider these things when choosing the habits you want to instill in your life:

  1. Take your symptoms into account. Don’t choose something that is outside what you can comfortably do each day.
  2. Give yourself time. Understand that it takes at least 21 days to create a new habit. But, don’t dwell on something that isn’t working either. Know when to adjust or cut ties with a habit that isn’t for you.
  3. Choose something that you can maintain. Putting on make up every day might be a good goal for some, but I just don’t like make up enough to wear it when I’m not leaving the house. This would not be the goal for me.

These ideas are just a taste of how easy it is to integrate a new habit into the life of a chronic illness slayer. To learn more and get my support step by step through a quick and easy worksheet with detailed explanations, CLICK HERE for free access to all of my member bonuses, including Hack Your Habits. It’s my gift to you because you rock.

What habit are you trying to instill this year? Will you use SMART steps? Tell me in the comments below!


Hack Your Habits -

About Stephanie Pitcher Fishman

Stephanie Pitcher Fishman is a writer of fiction and family stories who battles fibromyalgia and other invisible illnesses every day. She’s the author of Finding Eliza, The Widow Teal, and many genealogy guides in the Quick & Easy Guides for Genealogists series. You can find her author page at She writes about her experiences with fibromyalgia at

Taking care of yourself is not optional.

Feature Box

Slaying your dragon (aka your pain) takes a lot out of you. Those of us with chronic illness really need time to heal and care of not just our bodies but our mind and soul as well. Let me help by giving you my best tips and ideas in my eBook Self Care 10 Ways (When You Just Feel Like Lying in Bed)for FREE.

  • AlbaLnz α

    Hey Stephani! Great post. I’ve been actually working this morning on my 2016 goals, which I said I wasn’t making. But yesterday I came across Michael Hyatt’s webinar and he changed my mind. The SMART technique will do wonders and I hope we both can achieve our goals and not drop them too early.
    For me, this year I have:

    1. Create a stable daily routine: meditation+workout+reading+writing
    2. Guest post for Casey Neistat and write an article for the New York Times
    3. Make a roadtip around America with my SO
    4. Make at least 1.000$ with one of my eBooks
    5. Hit 1.000 subscribers on my email list

    I know, tough, but not impossible. It will take me hard work and I am resolved to do it! I would love to hear about yours =)

  • Nicole M

    I have conquered my first goal for the year. I haven’t had a soda since Jan. 1!!! Yay, Woohoo, Rah Rah! Lol. This month the goal is to drink 8 cups of water a day and walk 3x’s a week. Plus 500 words daily and finish editing my novella. Too much? Maybe, but I’ll conquer at least one of them!