Never Ending Resolutions
Resolution – it’s one simple word that can mean so many things.
In negotiations we often work toward a resolution that provides a satisfactory ending for everyone involved. Technology gives us so many things with screens to view and resolution of those images makes a difference in the experience – we want the higher resolution to get a clear picture.
There are many uses of the word resolution, but the one we might immediately think of at this time of year is the New Year’s resolution, intended to help us see our future in a positive way to help us gain satisfaction achieving a particular goal. There’s always the usual stop smoking, lose weight, and exercise more types of resolutions that ambitious people tend to make and a few lucky, organized and motivated folks achieve them.
Making resolutions in the dead of winter, to begin on January 1, makes little sense to me. There’s no better time in the calendar after the craziness of the holidays than to sit back with a good book, eat those holiday leftovers, and if I still smoked, enjoy one or two extra puffs. Forget self-restraint from the box of chocolates, they taste much too good to pause and see if they fit with any resolution I might have fooled myself into adopting.
Where does making New Year’s Resolutions fit into the pattern for me? I don’t make them specific to one day, January 1st, because I am always thinking throughout the year of things I should do longer, bigger or better - lose weight and exercise more are always on the list. The desire to learn a new talent, or other self-improvement skills can also make that list grow to an unrealistic set of goals.
So I try to pare down a list of resolutions specific to my health and Multiple Sclerosis and set realistic and attainable goals. My list continues to include:
Eat healthier and add some color to my food. It’s no secret I am not a fan of most vegetables , despite trying all of the cruciferous ones over and over, broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts make my taste buds revolt. I may grow them in my garden for the family, but fresh red tomatoes are off the list as well. My food plate is often void of color, and is mainly the brown of meat, potatoes and other starches. Adding color to my plates will add variety to my diet and make me feel better.
Walk further than I did yesterday. I often realize the day has slipped by and I have spent most of it seated with my computer, either at work or at home. I got myself a FitBit for my birthday – it is a gadget that monitors my movements and tracks my steps. Some days, like me, it barely gets a workout. Fortunately I get my money’s worth out of the FitBit because it also monitors my sleep, which I get a lot of each day.
Exercise more often fits in a different category than walk further. The need to exercise is something I have written about more than once- it helps not only my strength in dealing with MS, but also stamina and my mental outlook. I may be tired after I exercise, but it’s tired in a good way.
The good thing about these resolutions is there is no time line I feel pressured to follow. I just resolve to do better than I did the day before, and sometimes that doesn’t happen, but there is always a new benchmark for the next day. My resolutions always give me the opportunity to ‘do over’ if I don’t get it right.
I continue to resolve to be kind to myself – that can be the hardest resolution of all to keep. Learning to slow down and rest my body when my mind says ‘go!’ is a constant battle. Keeping on track with my medicines is another type of kindness, although I often think how nice it would be to not swallow another pill. Not succumbing to external pressures to perform and allowing myself to go with my natural rhythms is a skill that has taken years to learn and embrace. Of course, being kind to myself also includes not beating myself up if I have failed for a day or more to meet any of my other goals.
Multiple Sclerosis brings enough challenges and heaping on the pressures of making and keeping resolutions is one more obstacle I just don’t need. How about you? Do you have resolutions from January 1 that you are working on conquering or do you take it as it comes, one day at a time? However you face each new day, I hope it is done with the resolve to make it the best one, yet.
Wishing you well,
Does listening to music help lower the severity of your stress or MS symptoms?