I dislike New Years goals because I feel a lot of my goals are things I can’t actually achieve. I’d love to lose weight (just like everyone else) for example but it’s impossible to do since I can’t do high impact exercise. I’d love to set a goal to get a full time job this year, but that won’t happen either. So I’ve set 5 realistic goals for chronic illness for the upcoming year. Just because my goals are smaller doesn’t make them less important are lesson their impact.
1. Spend less time feeling angry
I go through cycles of anger. I’ll think I have accepted my limitations and then a random chain of events will over time increase my anger and frustration. Eventually something will trip my real anger and I’ll come to my blog to vent about how unfair life is and how much people suck. My goal for the next year is the break the cycle. Anger can be a useful emotion but it doesn’t do me any good to be angry all the time. I need to focus on controlling myself instead of trying to control others.
2. Forgive more
Sometimes people are real jerks. I get lots of negative comments by insensitive people about my health. The truth is that some people just don’t know any better. Maybe they will change maybe they won’t but there is no point in me holding it against them forever.
3. Make small changes
I hate changes. I find them so overwhelming that I quit before I even start. This year I want to take change step by step. I’m not going to overhaul my entire diet, but I’m going to eliminate soda. I’m not going to stop taking prescriptions medication, but I’m going to work on using other strategies to deal with my pain.
4. Accept limitations
I am stubborn and I am a fighter. I don’t want to give up my active life. I don’t want to give up spending time with my friends and family. I don’t want to stop playing sports with my kids, I want to do everything that everyone else can do. This year I’m going to focus on accepting my limitations. I need to stop pushing myself to do things my body is not capable of doing even if my brain is telling me to just push through it. My body is sending my signals for a reason, it’s time to listen to it.
5. Try again tomorrow
I often get discouraged by how hard it is living with an illness. Sometimes I get depressed by the mistakes I make. Sometimes I want to scream and cry and shout “this sucks, it’s not fair!” When I get frustrated I’m going to let myself rage about the unfairness, and then I’m going to remember that I can try again tomorrow. Things probably won’t get better physically, but they can get better emotionally and physically as my soul becomes stronger.