Last night the sparkly New Year's Eve ball dropped in Times Square, ringing in a new year; full of new tomorrows and new hope. 2019 is here, and this is a perfect time to stop and take reconnaissance of where you are currently in your life, and to resolve where you desire to be in the new year.
Now, I have to admit, I have a love/hate relationship with new year resolutions. I applaud the idea of improving one’s self, particularly, when it comes to initiating healthy life choices and being proactive with one’s well-being. However, sometimes it appears that the "new year resolution hullabaloo" of: losing weight/gaining muscle, making more money/giving more money away, eating less carbs/eating more protein, drinking less alcohol/drinking more water, reading more books/less time on social media...can be so daunting, that we forget to be present in our own lives in the midst of keeping up with our resolutions.
Moreover, for someone with lupus, setting resolutions or goals, can often seem like a somewhat risky concept to begin with. I mean, how do you set clear expectations for yourself when living with such an unpredictable variable such as lupus? How do you set goals for the new year, when you don’t even know how you will feel in the next hour?
This blog is not intended to answer all those questions, but rather, to help you navigate the things do YOU have control over. And how setting goals is not about meeting goals, per say, it's about trying your best to achieve those goals.
Theodore Roosevelt’s speech, “Citizenship in a Republic” is often referred to as “The Man in the Arena” disquisition. It was delivered in Paris, France on April 23,1910. Here is a famous passage from this address:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,
Because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;
Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…”
I share this to remind you that any goal, any resolution, any desired destination, is about the effort, about being intentional with your life... not about the end result. It’s about the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and about whatever you are doing, daring greatly in those endeavors. That is what is MOST important when making your goals clear in the new year.
What is also important is setting yourself up with tools to help you succeed. The Journal Management Review in 1981 developed the acronym SMART to help you with this:
If you set a goal or resolution, make it clear. If it is a weight goal, for example, be specific. “I’m going to lose weight” is vague. However, “I desire to lose 10 pounds in 6 months” is specific and will help you stay on track.
Logging your progress in a journal or in your phone might better help you stay on track with sticking to that particular resolution. For example, if you desire to quit smoking. Journal how many cigarettes you have given up for the week.
This is an important one. If you have lupus or a lupus overlap, it is important to be realistic. Don’t set yourself up to fail. For example, if your resolution is to participate in a 10K, but, you have never done any “K” before, maybe you are being a little overly ambitious. How about resolving to walk or jog everyday for 10 minutes?
Is this resolution really meant for you? Or are you trying to please someone else? Is this the right goal for you at this time? These are important questions to ask yourself. Is it self-deprecation or shame causing you to make this decision?
Similar to “achievable,” set up a realistic timeline toward reaching your goals. Keep focused on every success, and remember you are not competing with anyone else’s timeline.
So, before you write any of your resolutions/goals down in permanent ink on your vision board or journal, ask yourself these questions:
Is this resolution/goal specific?
Is this resolution/goal for you or to appease someone else?
Is this resolution/goal actually resolvable?!
Here at More Than Lupus, me and the rest of the team hope you have a healthy and joy-filled new year. Moreover, in 2019, we truly wish that even in the midst of your lupus, you acknowledge that there are no “small victories” and that every step you take moving forward, is an achievement and a victory.
Whatever goals or resolutions you set out to accomplish in 2019, know that:
“the credit belongs to you...”
The man in the arena.
Happy New Year!
**All resources provided by this blog are for informational purposes only, not to replace the advice of a medical professional. Kelli encourages you to always contact your medical provider with any specific questions or concerns regarding your illness. All intellectual property and content on this site and in this blog is owned by morethanlupus.com. This includes materials protected by copyright, trademark, or patent laws. Copyright, More Than Lupus 2018.