New Year Resolutions When You Have Chronic Illness

New Year Resolutions Behcets
New Year Resolutions Behcets

Somehow, it’s a new year! I can’t believe how fast the past year has flown by. It was like a blur to me. So many days of pain, depression and suicidal thoughts that I became a master at acting a role to mask the darkness that was swallowing me. On the bright side, the severe pain has reduced. However, I am still struggling with depression, fatigue, moderate pain etc. the usual…

As the New Year begins, there is pressure looming to make new year resolutions, most of which are usually unattainable goals. It is, therefore, important to remember that you should always make goals that align with your reality. For us the chronically ill, our life is unpredictable, to say the least. This makes new year resolutions quite a challenge, because, if you can’t plan for tomorrow, how are you supposed to plan for a whole year? In fact, I have trouble planning for the afternoon when I wake up in the morning. For example, I woke up today feeling great, but three hours later, I had to take three different pain killers just to get through the day because the daily pain had reached a level that was making it hard to even sit.

So, this year, I have one main resolution: To stay alive!

It was a tough job trying to stay alive last year between battling the illness, side effects from medicine, depression, and suicidal thoughts. That is why it is my target this year. If I can live each day, I will make short achievable goals along the way until the year ends.

A few things to consider when making new year resolutions are:

  1. Do not give in to peer pressure by making goals to impress others.
  2. Ask yourself, what matters most to you? When you set goals based on things that matter to you, you will have the drive to follow through.
  3. How does the resolution factor in the long-term plan of your life? Your goal should play a part in moving your life into the main direction you would like to go. That way, there is no wasted energy pursuing goals that add no value to your dreams/ vision.
  4. Always make a plan on how to work on your resolutions. Without a plan, you will find yourself lost and unable to even remember what it is you intended to achieve initially.
  5. Recognize your limitations, and then make resolutions with these limitations in mind, so that you can plan a way around them, or plan how to eliminate them. For example, for chronically ill people, fatigue and pain are constant companions, so, when setting goals, it is good to factor in low energy as a limitation. For example, I hope to resume regular exercising this year. However, I know that some days I will barely be able to get out of bed. As such, instead of resolving that I will exercise every day of the week, I will target to first attain 3 days of exercise a week, then build on it.

All in all, I wish you all good luck this year. May you see your dreams come true with each passing day!

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