New year’s resolutions are essentially a moot point to the chronically ill.
Sorry, I already am loaded up on short-term and long-term goals right now. I am already adjusting my lifestyle. I am already increasing my exercise. I am already doing an infinite amount of things for pain and my health… what more do you want from me?
I mean really.
Yet, every year I think to myself why not add on Another goal.
We do have enough goals. Instead just consider reflecting on the goals that you have established for yourself. Consider things like:
- Do you have too many? It is easy to be overwhelmed with all the things we Should do when it comes to our health and therefore we pick too many damn things, such that we fail at a lot of them. No progress gets made and we feel horrible. Because we have too many goals outstanding. What is it you want to accomplish? Break it down. Choose the important one. Go for it first.
- Pacing. Sometimes we give things up too quickly because it takes time to achieve things with a chronic illness. We feel like we should get it done Now. And that just does not happen. Things need to happen in their own time. If your goal is particularly taxing slow it down, ease up on it, decrease your pace… as you get into it you will adjust. Always start slow. Until you adjust. Even with things like meditation. It is hard to get into the habit of doing it. Set aside a couple minutes at a certain time of day you find comfortable and start with some relaxation breathing. Once it becomes habit increase your time.
- Give it time: It takes about three months of a consistent new activity for it to become habit. Three months of not smoking. Three months of consistent exercise. Three months of whatever for it to become an ingrained habit After you are consistently routinely doing it. So give it time to build up to consistency and then get to that routine part.
- I find it particularly helpful for long-term goals to piece them up into short-term goals and work on them in fragments so I know I am achieving part of my aim. Like step one: 10 minutes of yoga. Do that for three months. Step two: 10 min of yoga and 20 min walk alternating days. Do that for a few months. Step three: begin stationary bike aerobic exercise starting with base amount I can do… which turned out to be 10 min. Increase over six months. That sort of thing. The long-term goal is to exercise, but you break it up by starting slowly with what you can do and slowly increase it with activities you can do…. getting more and more comfortable. Changes in diets can work the same way, eliminating certain things first, continue on from there once you are comfortable with that.
- Just review the goals you have. And figure out for the new year which are the most important ones you would like to continue with. Which are secondary. And which are least important. Put your main focus on your primary goals. Discard the others, or put less focus on them, or longer pacing for them.
We can have other resolutions of course. Any resolution we want. But I think we have enough health goals to keep us occupied the whole year and then some. It is simply a good time to review those goals. See what is working for us. What is not. What we might want to charge. Or even just change our approach to a goal. Look at it in a new way. Make a new plan about how we might handle it.