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Setting Your Fertility Goals for 2008

Do you want a baby this year? I am convinced of the usefulness of setting goals in life. I don’t mean just sort of having some vague idea in your mind of what you want. I mean concretely thinking things over and converting these thoughts into words. Each year, I take time not only to come up with goals, but to commit them to writing. In fact, I don’t limit this activity to just each January 1st. I update my goals on a regular basis. Time and time again, I’ve shared this habit with friends who later told me that the more they got into the habit of writing down clear goals, the more that their lives gravitated towards their getting what they wanted.

The principles of goal-setting also apply when it comes to achieving pregnancy. There are two common ways of thinking I’ve seen among infertile couples. Both ways of thinking are common and normal, but I challenge you to ask yourself which type of thinking will do you more good in getting what you want? And then you can ask yourself which type of thinking is YOUR style?

Two common types of people are whom I call obstacle-focused thinkers versus goal-focused thinkers. One type is always thinking about the unfortunate and negative aspects of their situation. The other type is always asking themselves “what do I want” and “what will I need to do to get closer to what I want.” The contrast goes something like this:

OBSTACLE-FOCUSED THINKING:

It is so frustrating. My best friend just got pregnant with her third and I try to be happy for her, but it’s hard. It seems so easy for everybody else, but as for us, we’ve been trying for two years now. I’m beginning to think it’s never going to happen and I feel ready to just give up. Some people have told me that my weight might have something to do with it, but it’s not easy to lose weight for me. I try my best to eat healthy and I try my best to be more active, but each month, I end up actually gaining more. I can’t even bear to step on the scale. Yesterday, my period came for the first time in three months and I cried myself to sleep. Having a big home makes things worse when it is empty no kids. My co-workers tell me to just relax and it will happen, but that just adds to the stress. We tried going to Hawaii last winter and this summer we spent a week in Europe, hoping the change of scene would do the trick. Well, it really wasn’t all that relaxing and it obviously didn’t work. I wonder if my husband’s smoking is messing up his fertility as well. He keeps saying he’s going to quit but we both have stressful jobs and that makes it more difficult. I really wish someone would give me an answer of what I can do. I really don’t want to see any doctors or do anything unnatural. Besides, I already checked and my insurance doesn’t cover infertility. I’ve heard that in-vitro is expensive and there’s no way we can afford it …

GOAL-FOCUSED THINKING:

We were hoping to get pregnant by now, but it’s been over two years and nothing, so it’s time to try something different. I really wanted a baby without help, but I am not going to wait any longer. I’ve invested a great deal of time reading books, finding information on the internet and asking some people I trust. I realize that it would help me if I were to get in better shape. I will agree to make some sacrifices of eating slightly smaller portions and gradually, but consistently increasing my exercise level, because I know it will get me closer to having a baby and living a healthier life.

If it becomes necessary, I have explored ways in which I can advance in my job or even take on an additional part time position so that I can save up what it will take to pursue some of the more costly treatment options. I am going to forego my daily Starbucks and we will pass on that cruise this year. My husband was thinking of changing jobs anyway, but now he’ll be attentive to what insurance plans his next employer offers. Hopefully, we won’t need to spend a lot, as our budget is tight, but we will keep trying things until we reach our dream of having a baby in our home …

You get the idea. Personally, my heart is more saddened by people with the first mindset, and I feel a stronger longing to help them, but honestly, the people with the second mindset seem to get pregnant faster and more often.

Now ask yourself. Which one are you? Would it be worthwhile to try thinking the OTHER way in 2008?

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