The views expressed here are those of the author and may not be those of The Hope and/or its sponsor Kibow Biotech.
People who are chronically ill have a lot on their plates. They often juggle treatments, medication schedules, doctor’s appointments, and pain. But, that does not mean they can’t or shouldn’t make New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, people with chronic illnesses should use these six simple tips for making and keeping their resolutions.
- Be Realistic and Practical
The best way to succeed is by picking a goal that you can actually succeed in! Make a pro and cons list to a few goals that you have in mind. Include commitment level in this list and pick one that is within your means.
- Make it a team effort
Having one or more people commit to a goal increases your success rate. For example, if you want to go to the gym on Mondays and Thursdays, find a friend that is willing to take on that responsibility with you. You can lift each other up and (maybe more importantly) hold each other accountable.
- Create a plan
There’s nothing like a well-formulated plan to help you stick to your goals. It takes the guessing work out of the equation. Plus, you don’t have to make as many choices during the day. Without a plan, you are likely to experience decision fatigue. Because we make so many choices during a given day, we are more likely to make bad ones as the day progresses. Because it happens to just about everyone, there is no need to feel bad about it, just plan for it.
An easy way to keep track of your goals is through journaling. While the practice may be challenging to get into, it is one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable and track your goals. Try to be as specific as possible. Write what happened on your good days and the bad. These notes can be used to formulate and achieve new ambitions in the future.
- Accept that you’ll make mistakes
Why do we feel the need to be hard on ourselves or punish ourselves after making a mistake? Mostly because we think that the error was our fault and the only way to do better and learn from the mistake is by “punishing” ourselves- usually through negative self-talk.
“We begin to believe, on an unconscious level, that ‘I am the problem. When I feel rejection or failure, it is my fault, and I must punish myself.’ Our resulting self-attacking behaviors, therefore, do not reflect our desire to feel pain; much to the contrary, they are our hope for fixing the pain by sufficiently punishing its cause – our selves.”
This negative attention we pay ourselves doesn’t work, though. If anything, it isolates us and chips away at our resolve. This type of response to a mistake makes making mistakes terrifying instead of an acceptable and regular part of life.
- If at first you don’t succeed try again!
There is no hard-fast rule that says you can only make changes to your life during the new year. You may get a few days, weeks, or months before realizing that you’ve got to make some adjustments to those changes. And that’s completely okay! Be flexible and understand that as you transform, your goals and plans will as well.