Welcome to 2019. By now many of you are making wonderful progress on your New Year Resolutions, some have made and broken them, while others didn’t make any at all. I guess I fall into the latter group. It’s not that I don’t believe in them – if resolutions work for you go for it. But it seems to me as if they are pass/fail; all or nothing. And once you fail, it is difficult to get back on track or quite easy to stop working on them altogether.
I lean towards making ‘intentions.’ Intentions for me mean how I am going to approach my chronic conditions. It’s a mindset that helps me deal with them. My intention for 2019 is to Be Kind. More specifically, to be kind to myself!
Although I’ve been living with chronic conditions longer than without them, it is still frustrating, stressful and challenging. Sometimes (often times) the successful management of a chronic condition is done by baby steps. When you’re not where you want to be it’s easy to get frustrated and discouraged. So be kind to yourself. With patience and a long-term outlook, however, a lot of the frustration and discouragement goes away.
Give Yourself Permission to Fail!
None of this happens overnight. Changing your perspective, changing your attitude, developing patience, empowering yourself, it all takes time. It took me years. So be comfortable with being kind to yourself. I have found that one way to be kind, is to give yourself permission to fail. For instance, even with your best intentions, you may inadvertently ingest gluten. You may even decide that the gluten filled dessert was too tempting to resist. Or your blood glucose readings are not where you would like them to be. In addition, there will also be days when you find yourself feeling low and melancholy. But if you don’t always have a positive attitude about your conditions, or find yourself sometimes wallowing just a bit, that’s okay.
Do the Snoopy Dance!
Since I’ve given myself permission to fail, another way to be kind to myself is to celebrate my successes. Whatever your success may be! It could be that you visited a new restaurant, asked all the correct questions, and had an enjoyable meal with family or friends; you prepared a new GF recipe and nobody knew it was gluten-free; you hit your target A1c; or you shared your chronic condition with someone. Whatever! All this does is confirm that what you’ve been doing is working.
For me, I celebrate by doing the “Snoopy dance,” and if you’ve watched Charlie Brown specials, you know exactly what that means. Nothing celebrates success better than a good Snoopy dance. If dancing isn’t your style, then find your own way to celebrate. Shout out YES! Give yourself a high-five! Fist pump! Do something! The point is to find a way to cheer yourself on for your accomplishments. You deserve it.
As you decide on what you would like 2019 to be for you, do your best to look for opportunities to be kind to yourself.
Information on setting intentions can be found at https://psychcentral.com/blog/thrive-in-the-new-year-how-to-set-intentions-not-resolutions/