Setting Goals (with Lisa Trendle)

19/08/2019 by Lisa Trendle

Setting Goals (with Lisa Trendle)


Hello Fellow MS’ers,


I thought I’d impart some of the knowledge and wisdom learnt along the way in my MS journey.  I thought I’d kick it off by talking about goal setting, not that I’m an expert by any means but it’s one of many life lessons learnt along the way.

If only I knew at the time of my MS diagnosis, what I now know, life would certainly have been much simpler.

The quote Fall seven times, stand up eightcould indeed refer to myself.  Every time I put on a particular work uniform, down I’d go and fall on the carpet floor. After the second or third episode it was not much fun.

“My advice is, if you have fallen short of what it is you want to do, is to dust yourself off so to speak, regroup and get back to the path of your dream, because it will be worth it.”


At the time I was diagnosed I felt I was in ‘no-man’s-land’ and with no real direction to head towards. Fast forward almost 18 years and a hive of knowledge and wisdom and a few goals of my own achieved.

“No man is happy without a goal and no man can be happy without faith in his own ability to reach that goal.” L Ron Hubbard.


This is why I’d like to share some information about goals. The simple principle of goal setting is the ancronym SMART:


S – Simple, M – Measurable, A – Achievable, R – Realistic, T – Target



  • First things first, set your goal
  • Write it down, stick up notes, tell your support network.
  • By keeping it simple you can work out little baby steps, to set you on your way.
  • Work backwards from your goal (for me i.e. 6 weeks until race day).
  • Write out a plan (in my case training sessions for 6 weeks including mock races, sprints and practice every race I’ve entered for race day including dives, starts, finishes, turns etc).


  • Have tiny steps to your goal.
  • Say, 2-3 weeks in, see how far you have come and what you need to get yourself there.
  • Keep working on your goal and step up to the next level to get you there, whatever it may be – and only if you need to.
  • Remember! Less is more, and listen to your body.


  • Make your goal achievable.
  • Breathe, sleep, eat and feel it – hunger for the success of the goal outcome.
  • Don’t put added pressure on yourself – if at first you do not succeed, try again.
  • We are only human, and sometimes external factors are beyond our control and hinder our progress i.e. lack of rest/sleep, we may have not fuelled our body correctly, we may have set the bar just a tad too high this time or our MS may have flared up.
  • Give yourself a pat on the back for having the courage to step outside your comfort zone and do something out of the ‘norm’.


  • Is it realistic?
  • Nothing worth going for is ever easy but it’s worth it. I promise.
  • It gives you drive and hunger to want to do better and accomplish what it is that we wanted to achieve.
  • Yes, we have MS, but we are a unique breed and seem to move mountains to get to where we are going to, and I’ve met a few of you over the years and continue to be inspired by what you have achieved.


  • Mission accomplished.
  • You did it.
  • Be proud of who you are and what you have achieved.
  • Savour the moment.
  • Don’t let anybody tell you, you can’t do something.
  • It may not be the ‘normal/conventional’ way to do it, but with some adaptation it can be done.


Finally, self-belief is an incredible gift we can give to ourselves. Remember, you are ‘BUF’ – Beautiful, Unstoppable, Fearless and ‘FEAR’ is simply –  Feel Everything And Rise.


Until next time, Cheers,


Lisa is a fantastic MS Ambassador who lives positively with MS. Lisa competes in the Queensland State Swimming Championships and has won 6 golden medals. Lisa has been referred to as a trail blazer for her club and for others with disabilities to get classified and compete.


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