New Year’s Eve has always been a good time for looking back to the past and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s the time of the year again to reflect on the changes I want (and need) to make and resolve to follow through on these changes in 2013.
I recalled how I was consistently blaming RA for spoiling everything in my life. More than anything, I had wasted some parts of my life on useless thoughts and fears that did nothing to improve my situation then. As I grow older and wiser, I realise that change is the only constant. In order to happy and move forward, I have to not only change myself, but action upon a clear set of goals and plan on how I can move forward in my life.
What I Have Been Grateful For
I have been grateful for what life has bestowed upon me ever since the chronic illness has entered my life. Very simple things like taking a walk, hitting the gym, running around the park with the kids are just some which have been taken for granted for people who do not live with a chronic illness. But for me, I’m feeling grateful each day that I am still alive and I can witness the happy faces of my family; and that life has presented me with another perspective that I have never truly appreciate before.
Happiness is in itself a kind of gratitude. Whenever I am appreciative, I am filled with a sense of well being and swept up by the feeling of joy. Rather than waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful, I notice little things that make me happy, and constantly looking for the good even in unpleasant situations.
Celebrating My Many Victories in the Past Year
I have had made important goals for the year 2012. First, I must focus on getting my health back, second, I must spend more time with my family and third, I must be happier, more positive and in greater faith than I used to be.
Despite living with a chronic illness, I take on my goals with strong determination. Even though I encountered setback after setback, it did not affect my motivation and will of accomplishing my goals. I must not fail. Failure is not even a choice, I told myself. I have to make it happen as long as I stay focused and action upon what I think is going to be right. When I have learned that I have been walking down the wrong path, the worst it gets is turning a different path, even if it means the road that leads to the destination can get longer than initially thought. But, with greater faith, I know I can get there and I will get there. The change is now and I am making it happen. Action empowers me to thrust forward courageously. With each thrust forward, I celebrate the little and the big victories along the way.
Looking Forward to Another Greater and Healthier Year
Life is good now; and will turn better next year. I achieved what I have aimed for in 2012 – I got my RA under control, I am off all meds most of the time, I lost weight, I spent more time with family and my loved ones, I become happier, younger and feel motivated, I eat more healthily and I apply my new-found health knowledge for my loved ones and share with others with RA and I form new perspectives of life and clarity of my values. For things that I should have done better, I take them to mean that I am heading in the right direction.
I’m going to achieve bigger goals in 2013 with an already changed perspectives of life. As I look forward to welcome a new year with challenges, determination and more victories to be celebrated, I am overwhelmed by what I am preparing myself to do to achieve what I have already started and to continue bringing them into my life, my family’s and others. In 2013, I am going to:
1. Start each day with expectation. If there is any big truth about life, it is usually about living up to our expectations. Therefore, I’m going to make each day my best by giving myself a positive first thought in the morning: “It’s going to be a wonderful day today”. You know what, the day is only going to get better.
2. Give myself time to plan and action. Proper planning and a course of action takes a lot of stress off the shoulder. I’m going to set realistic plan on what to achieve for each week, pick up one at a time and this way, it is moving me closer to my higher goals and purposes in life. Start by taking action, not just thoughts.
3. Continuing eating healthily and more exercising. I cheat on my diets many times during the year, I could have done better. I have not been exercising enough, and I could have done better as well. This year, I’m going to eat healthily – more Omega-3, no processed or sugary foods, more live foods and essential greens; and I’m going to incorporate routine exercises into my regimen; and really get very active. No more excuses of pain or ‘I can’t do it’. Never try and never know. Not only will I do that for myself, I am going to instill the values of healthy living into those of my family.
4. Be thankful and give more. I have learned over the past year to look at the good in people and living with happiness and gratitude. This year, I’m going to start giving more to people in need. Small acts of giving and offering kindness can really make people feel good about themselves and I hope I can convey my gratitude this way and probably make a difference in people’s lives.
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.
It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.
GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
5. Make sure I always have time for my family. Family is always my primary source of support, in good times and bad. They are always there for me; sharing my woes and depressing moments, soothing my fears and celebrating my victories regardless they are big or small. If there is only one thing that keeps me alive and pushing me to put my foot in front of the other, it is my family. And for reasons or even no reasons, I make it my priority to spend quality (and silly) time with my family every single day of my life.
To end my new year resolutions, I aim for a total remission from my RA. And I will achieve it. I must achieve it. As the quote goes, “When we TAKE ACTION on what we learn, GREAT things happen”. Hence, I will ACT to achieve TOTAL REMISSION in 2013, a year to yet another new and healthy start! Yes, fighting*!
Have you made your new year resolutions yet? Do we have similar resolutions? Do share your reflections on the past year and what goals do you resolve to follow through in 2013.
*P.s. In South Korea, ‘fighting’ is used as words of cheers, similar to meaning of ‘Let’s do it’ or ‘Do your best’.