Mastering Success: Setting and Achieving Smart Goals in the Face of Ataxia

Smart Goals - Mastering Success - Michaelmantz4

The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross

Life with ataxia, a neurological disorder affecting coordination and balance, can pose unique challenges.  It’s crucial to keep in mind, though, that a diagnosis does not define your potential for growth and accomplishment. One effective way to navigate the uncertainties brought by ataxia is by setting and achieving smart goals. Smart goals are objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, important, and time-bound and that provide a systemic framework for progress.

I am a big fan of setting goals. 

Maybe it’s my financial planning background, my lived experience, or a combination of many things. But before I start any project, I need to at least have a rough outline. This website/blog is a great example of complex goal planning. In one of my first posts, Choose Your Path, and in almost every article I write, I have a general idea of what I want to accomplish.

Now, I am not saying everyone must plan “grandiose” ideas. This is more about setting small goals for yourself. As Tony Robbins says it is about continuous improvement or “Kaizen.” Which are small incremental improvements every day.

And while I am thinking about this site and my goals. I want to thank everyone for engaging with us. Also, to the individuals and organizations that are allowing me to share their stories, with everyone, as I build out this platform. If you would like to be part of our growing community, feel free to reach out directly to me!

Specific Goals: Define Your Path

Setting specific goals is the foundation of success for anyone, regardless of your circumstances. For those of us living with Ataxia, defining clear objectives becomes even more critical. Identify what you want to achieve and why it matters to you. Whether it’s improving mobility, pursuing a hobby, or advancing in your career, having a specific target in mind provides a sense of direction and purpose.

Measurable Progress: Track Your Journey

Measurability is essential for monitoring development and maintaining motivation. Establish measurable benchmarks to help you gauge your progress and how far you still must go. These could be physical successes like being able to walk a given distance unassisted, exercising well, or even reaching cognitive milestones. Keep track of your successes and failures so you can celebrate your wins and modify your strategy as needed. 

Achievable Ambitions: Set Realistic Goals

While it’s important to dream big, it’s equally vital to set achievable goals. Consider your current abilities, resources, and limitations posed by Ataxia. To determine what is practical and sustainable for you, speak with medical personnel, therapists, or support groups. Achievable goals help you stay motivated and avoid the frustration of coming up short.

Relevance and Meaning: Align with Your Values

Every goal should align with your values and contribute to your overall well-being. Prioritize goals that are personally meaningful to you, as they will provide the intrinsic motivation needed to overcome challenges. Whether your goals are related to personal growth, relationships, or contributing to your community, ensuring they resonate with your core values will help maintain your focus and dedication.

Time-Bound Objectives: Set a Clear Timeline

Objectives with deadlines provide a sense of urgency and stop procrastinating. Break down your larger goals into smaller, manageable steps, each with a specific timeframe. This not only provides a roadmap for progress but also helps you stay disciplined and organized. Review your timeline frequently, making necessary adjustments based on your development and any unforeseen circumstances related to your Ataxia.


Living with ataxia may introduce unique challenges, but it shouldn’t deter you from setting and achieving your goals.  Smart goals offer a structured approach to success, allowing you to channel your energy and efforts effectively. Remember, progress may not always be linear, and setbacks are a natural part of any journey. The key is to remain adaptable, patient, and kind to yourself throughout the process. With determination, support from loved ones, and a commitment to your goals, you can navigate the challenges of ataxia while achieving personal triumphs that empower and inspire both yourself and others.

So, what are you going to do?

Share your thoughts and/or comments and join our community today. A place where we empower you to build a healthy lifestyle and raise overdue Ataxia Awareness. Experience transformative storytelling and share your story for inspiring positive change.

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