Check up time- How are those Resolutions ?
We all know those New Year’s resolutions that talk about eating less, moving more, taking better care of ourselves and doing what we can to improve our health. Doing any and all of these things is important for everyone, but especially for people who live with chronic disease, such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS). If you’re like me, we also know how hard it can be to turn those good intentions into actions. Those goals can quickly slip away without our thinking much about it.
Each day through the holidays was a challenge – I try not to dwell on how I failed at consuming less and moving more. The past is gone and I can’t change it now even if I wanted to. But that’s the crux of the problem for the future – how do I make myself WANT to change? I enjoyed most of the moments of the holidays and the days since then, and I wouldn’t have wanted them to be much different.
I read the articles about moving and MS. I read the articles on the benefits of improving fatigue by cleaning up my diet. I even write articles about the things I have read and try to encourage all of us to do better. But why is it always ‘maybe tomorrow’ with me and not something I am embracing today?
Perhaps if I weren’t pushing myself to work Monday through Friday, I would have more time to work on improved behaviors or at least more time to find excuses. As it is, when I get home, find something for dinner and sit down, I am done for the day. Sure I will spend some evening time to read and write, but that’s not the same as doing something good for my health; that’s just exercising my brain if I manage to stay awake.
We’re now well past a fort-night beyond New Years and I would love to see a show of hands from all of you reading this if you have stuck with any of those good thoughts you had on January 1. Uh-huh! Just as I would anticipate I’m not sensing a great flurry of you raising a hand to signal your success.
We all know we can make resolutions at times other than New Years day... it’s just that changing calendar is a convenient reminder to look back to where we have been and take a step toward changing those unwanted behaviors. There are tips from the American Psychological Association in Making your New Year's resolution stick, and on how to increase the odds of our being successful with change. The APA offers a very succinct tip list that includes these five bits of guidance that really don’t need further explanation:
Change one behavior at a time
Talk about it
Don’t beat yourself up
Ask for support
Maybe by the first of April I will be ready to look back and make a new resolution. Or better yet, in place of making new resolutions for the remainder of the year, perhaps I’ll continue to work on implementing those good ideas and plans I had last year but never materialized. Would you like to join me in trying again?
Wishing you well,
Do you celebrate your MS Anniversary?