For three years in a row (2014 Goals, 2015 Goals, 2016 Goals), I’ve been able to articulate some goals around New Year and I’m excited to take a look back at how I did and what I need to focus on in 2017.
I have found it useful to take an assessment of where I started the year, what I aimed to achieve, and consider next steps for a new year. On reflection, it feels like a tale of two Kelly’s. By this I mean I had a healthier year as far as avoiding infections and colds. But I struggled with managing my RA and made a significant treatment change.
Also on the good news front, I did well with tracking my diet and maintaining (mostly) good habits. And I was dedicated about getting to my swim therapy and doing other exercises for most periods of last year (except flare times). With all this in mind, I have a solid foundation to build on during 2017.
As a way to organize myself, I’m going to follow the previous pattern of developing a list of actions I can take on a daily, weekly and monthly basis during 2017 with adjustments from last year. The daily activities are top priority habits for supporting my health. The weekly habits can add onto the daily and may even become more frequent. The monthly activities are for helping me to keep the larger picture in my mind and not lose sight of my progress when I have setbacks.
- Take medications. I keep a schedule and take my medications at the same time every day to help space them out and maintain a good level of effectiveness. Last year I improved my regularity for timing except for a couple occasions when I got off track with weekly medications, so this is the area I’m going to focus on improving.
- Eat well. To me, this is still vital every day because my food choices throughout the day affect how I feel. I did really well last year at reducing bad carbohydrates and increasing good proteins, so would like to continue on this. Additionally, I improved my habits on having healthy snack options available (like nuts or dried fruit), but still want to get better at this.
- Exercise. Overall I feel like I was more consistent in my exercise habits with regular aquatic therapy several times per week, and other exercises with weights and walking on alternating days. However, I have been slacking in my morning exercises and need to reignite this habit.
Keeping a log of my eating and exercise was extremely helpful in keeping on track and noting my improvements. Must keep it up!
- Rest. Rest is crucial! It really makes a huge difference in feeling better and maintaining my energy. I know I need to do better and get more rest every night. This was a huge priority last year and I think I made significant improvements. My focus for 2017 will include expanding better resting habits along with practicing daily meditation to help calm my mind.
- Focus on quality time. Along with meditation, I want to focus on enjoying quality time. For me, this about mindfulness and being present in the moment, especially when I’m with my husband, family, and other loved ones. I want to stop being distracted about what have I to do next or my to-do list, etc… and focus on the now so that I can enjoy it.
- Go swimming. Increasing my swimming has been hugely helpful for my strength and managing stiffness and pain in my joints. For most of the year, I was able to go several times a week and I want to continue this habit with visits to the pool at least three times a week.
- Practice meditation. Periodically last year I was able to get into a daily meditation habit. My goal is to practice a little every day, but even a few times a week would be helpful for calming my mind, relaxing my body, and managing my RA pain.
- Have some fun and de-stress. This is always an important goal! I already have plans in the works for fun trips, visits to family, and more. But I also want to be better about de-stressing at home and practicing ‘doing nothing’ at times.
- Assess how I’m feeling. Last year I struggled with some flares and increased pain and stiffness. Regular self-reflection helped me to see the changes, but I struggled with self-doubt. I need to pay attention to how I am feeling and believe myself when I experience changes.
- Tweak habits as needed. Ideally, I need to check in on my goals more frequently than once a year. We all get caught up in our daily lives, but it’s important to take care of my health so that I can live the life I want to live.
How did you do with your goals, health or otherwise? What do you want to do differently in 2017 and how will you keep yourself on track? Let’s work together to support our health goals for this year!