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Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year - Fresh Start

     I think my favorite part of the beginning of a new year is that feeling of a fresh start I get each time the old year ends and the new one commences.  Despite it being the dead of winter in Vermont there is still a feeling of lightness as a new year is launched!
     I do not often indulge in the practice of new year's resolutions as that seems to be an exercise in futility and frustration to me.  For those of us with chronic illnesses, making predictions of what we hope to accomplish over a year is not very productive or even positive from my perspective.  It is as silly to me as seeing a fortune teller and hoping it comes true!
     How can we say in January what we can or will be doing months from now?  Just cannot buy into that one.  On the other hand I am not suggesting that setting some realistic and doable goals are not a good idea.  On the contrary I think it is a wise and wonderful way to start each new year!
     It is a time for me to reflect on a variety of issues around my RA management.  For instance, I like to consider my exercise goals/plan and work towards that but without the "pressure" of a "resolution" which for me seems so intense. I think when setting goals it is important to remember the pitfalls which are not unlike what I think is negative about resolutions.  
     When determining what goals you would like to implement it is important to not make them so big and challenging that you cannot accomplish them.  In the same token, setting up too many can be just as damaging.  Limiting yourself to a few items that you want to really focus on will make success a lot more likely!  I also think it is important to be specific so that you are not so vague that you cannot even determine if it is successful or not.  In addition I like to write down my goals just like my daily and weekly and annual work tasks so that I can have the satisfaction of checking them off as I accomplish them! It is so satisfying to check that box when you achieve that goal or get that task done.  Plus it is a bit of a pat on your own back which is very encouraging and serves to keep you going with your goals.
     Feeling success is a key part of continuing improvement and overall management of RA.  Not only do I use this new year as a time for setting goals relative to exercise, etc. it is also a time to reconsider your overall RA status and the treatment options you have chosen.  It is wise to check in periodically with all of aspects of your overall management of RA and the beginning of a new year is a great time to do it!  I wish everyone a happy, healthy and joy filled new year!

Nan

1 comment:

Wren said...

Good, solid advice, Nan! Here's wishing you and yours a very Happy New Year, too. :oD