We all know the feeling of setting a goal and failing miserably.
It almost makes one not want to bother at all.
Air Force Reserve Brig. Gen. Kathleen Flarity, a research nurse scientist at UCHealth, acknowledges some days are better than others when it comes to crossing a goal off your list. She likes to offer the much-repeated advice: “You don’t achieve any of the shots you don’t take. How many times did people who achieve great things fall down? They get back up and go again.”
Flarity was recently featured on UCHealth’s new women’s health and wellness podcast “evre,” pronounced “every.” She joined host Gloria Neal on the episode titled “Believe and Achieve” to offer a bit of cheerleading to listeners who might be struggling with the whole goal thing.
As a commander in the military, Flarity knows a thing or two about getting stuff done, and helping crew members achieve their own goals. It’s just intuitive for her — she’s one of those rare New Year’s people who sets intentions and follow through every January.
“I choose meaningful, realistic goals,” said Flarity, a Colorado Springs resident. “I figured out what I need to renew, reenergize and repassion to bring my best self to those I love and lead — something professional, something personal and something relationship.”
Goal setting is one of the many topics Neal plans to dissect on the podcast that debuted this year. Other tasty subjects include husbands, wives, kids, hot flashes, hormones, postpartum, insomnia, stress. Whatever women are talking about with their friends, Neal wants to take it to the airwaves.
“Chances are there are other women sitting around talking about it, regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomics and status in life,” said Neal, who also is director of public affairs for Mayor Michael B. Hancock in Denver. “The podcast is growing because of that voyeuristic nature. Women feel like they’re listening in to two girlfriends chatting at a table.”
Each 35-minute episode will feature Neal and a different UCHealth expert dishing on topics such as getting better sleep, identifying stress and anxiety, debunking health myths and how to survive life’s unexpected U-turns. Eight episodes are already available. You can find the podcast on Spotify, iTunes, Google Play or go online to uchealth.org/extraordinary/evre-health-fitness-day-every-woman/podcast-series.
“I’ve been on retreats with girlfriends who are CEOs, but we’re all struggling through the same things,” Neal said. “Titles and money go out the window, and what remains is that common thread of I’m struggling through that, too. That’s what I try to tap into. That’s real life.”
And part of real life is failing, especially when it comes to goals. Flarity advises us to stop declaring monumental intentions. Set realistic goals instead, and tell them to trusted others, who can help support you.
“Instead of a marathon, say a mile,” she said. “We pick goals that are ultimate goals instead of step goals to get there. Pick small meaningful goals to get there. It’s tough. But once you achieve one, it helps you move forward and helps you with the next one and the next one.”
Each episode ends with five healthy takeaways from the featured expert. Among hers, Flarity wants listeners to make self-care a priority. If you’re too focused on one thing, you risk burning out.
Self-care for her includes a regular dose of exercise. It’s one of those things women often tend to throw to the wayside when days fill up with caring for others. Exercise can get labeled as optional, when it’s one of the most nourishing things we can do for ourselves, along with getting enough sleep and eating well. This is also a time to practice setting small goals.
“I need to exercise. I need that every three days,” Flarity said. “And instead of saying that’s optional, I make it a priority. I know it makes me a better person.”
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