Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Enough Talk About Resolutions

It’s January 5th and of course the hot topic on talk shows, radio programs and of course commercials is the notorious “New Years Resolution”.  I wonder if the polling organizations or the bookies in Las Vegas keep track of how many make resolutions and how many break them and how quickly.  We’re a nation obsessed by the New Year’s Resolution and yet what does it really mean?  Is there any accountability?  What happens when it goes in the trash with your 2008 calendar?

It’s 2009  and I hope you’re asking yourself “what does that mean to me”?  When facing a chronic or life-threatening illness the passage of time, especially with few problems is something to be celebrated.  These become the key factors in health promotion.  Taking stock of the things that make you feel better is not about a resolution, but a way of life.  It’s like all the diet commercials that are trying to spread the word about weight loss.  Very few if any really talk about establishing a “way of life” instead of a food regimen.

The truth is that when we make a resolution it becomes an absolute.  The moment we don’t adhere to the absolute it becomes null and void and is part of yesterday’s news.  We believe that not maintaining our commitment means we don’t care about our health.  So let’s put some reality back in play.  Why is that we have an obsession with perfection.  There is no perfection because we’re human.  Learning theory tells us that we learn by our mistakes.  We learn by making choices and then human nature, in most cases, gives us the opportunity to do a lessons learned.  To put it more simply…WE’RE TEACHABLE!.

I’d like to make a request of you.  If I have your permission, I’d like to request that you abandon perfection and simply try and do better.  When you try and do better it means your consciousness of your needs.  It punctuates the fact that you have an understanding of your body, what it needs, and what your part is in keeping healthy and that’s huge.  We can’t live our lives as if every decision is black and white.  We must live in the gray and for many that can be frightening or at least a new experience.  Oprah says, “When we know better, we do better”.  That means anyone facing a health challenge simply has to work on knowing better.  It means getting information that promotes health, or for some it may mean diminishing behaviors that compromise health.  This may be the time to pick one thing as your focus and as you gain momentum you can add more things to your health promotion list.

Your health is too important to have your decisions be “all or nothing”.  Ask yourself, “what’s the one thing I can do today to promote my health”?  If you ask that every day, whether you achieve it or not you’re on the right track.  It starts with the questions.  The questions are the springboard for remaining teachable.  My hope is that you take the upper hand in being teachable because if you don’t pay attention, the body will take the lead and last I read, cells don’t have create a pro or con list before they decide on their actions.  Let’s take the lead, remain teachable and allow every day to be an opportunity to promote health.