If you live with debilitating chronic health problems, just the idea of setting New Year’s resolutions can be irritating, even infuriating.  Over the past 24 hours, I heard this response from two people, a friend and a client.  Both live with very difficult to manage, debilitating health problems.

My  friend told me, in a tone of real sadness, “Each day challenges me.  Why would I even dream of creating more work for myself?

Sounding quite angry,  my client described  listening to colleagues share their New Year’s Resolutions at the ‘water cooler’.  “Not me. When I was healthy, I looked forward to New Year’s and making yearly resolutions.  I thought I could do whatever I set out to do.  Hah – that was then  Now, I’m mad just thinking about this.

I can see their point.  Life isn’t as straight forward as they once thought it could be.  But aren’t these yearly ‘resolutions’ designed to encourage people (healthy and not) to create intentions for what they want their lives to be?  Isn’t it what we, who live with real challenges daily, need most?

The thing is that doing it once a year doesn’t do the trick, for anyone.  Within a few days, weeks or even months, you’ve forgotten what you thought was important at that moment.

I’ve found that living with chronic illness presents intense and demanding challenges and clear resolve is more valuable than ever.  I’ve learned that I need to know what I want to do, what I want to be thinking about, and what I want to accomplish, whether I achieve it or not.  This resolve shifts me from a place of what isn’t to a place of possibility and hope. It is my personal daily workout routine, my exercise in building and maintaining resilience.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  What will you make of it?



3 Responses to “Why wait for New Year’s for making your resolutions?”  

  1. 1 Jason Reid

    I couldn’t agree more Rosalind. Self-development shouldn’t begin (and end) at yearly intervals.

    Living with a chronic and at times debilitating illness for nearly 30 years, I feel it’s even MORE important for me to have intentions and create a strategy to be more and do more in my life.

    If it were not for my ambition and constantly pushing myself to expand my abilities I’d likely be depressed, lonely and isolated.

    I find whenever I stop striving to move forward I start slipping backward – my health suffers and my life suffers.

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I know some people dislike hearing them, but its important to not give up on ourselves.

  2. 2 Debr

    I’m happiest when the resolutions I make are not about career goals, workout goals, etc., but about “being a better person” goals. For example, being a more compassionate persons, better listener, available to help others, etc. These are things you can do even when you’re feeling crappy, and honestly, they are the things that make the biggest difference in the world.

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