20 for 2020

Last updated: February 2020

I'm having a hard time believing that it's now the year 2020, despite what the calendar says. I can still clearly remember gathering with my family (Mom, Dad, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins) on New Year's Eve 1999, as my cousins and I ran around outside in the snow waving sparklers as midnight approached, waiting for the world to explode or simply end.

Nothing disastrous happened, of course, once the clock struck midnight. The Y2k "hysteria" proved to be ridiculous and unnecessary, which is now fun to laugh about. But I remember thinking, Wow, it's 2000! What will life be like in 2020?That's a million years away. Well, now it's here. Yikes.

Setting personal goals for 2020

The new year and new decade are indeed here and many people have made their lists of resolutions for 2020. But as I think about my own list, I'm hesitant to use the word "resolution" and prefer to say "intention" instead. It feels a little bit more flexible and friendly, I think. But whatever word I use, I do have some goals that I would like to set and achieve in the new year. I intend to make some significant changes in 2020.

RA-related goals and intentions

According to Merriam-Webster, an intention is "a determination to act in a certain way (resolve)," and "what one intends to do or bring about." So, here is a list of 20 intentions I have for 2020, in no particular order. These intentions are all connected to living with RA and chronic illness/pain in some way: nutrition, pain-relief, exercise, self-care, self-love.

A list of 20 intentions for 2020

  1. Lose weight (goal=30 lbs minimum)
  2. Eat vegan (no cheating!)
  3. Give up refined sugar and carbs/foods
  4. Eat only whole foods
  5. Become a better cook
  6. Get a monthly exercise pass for Courage Kenny (fitness center, warm water pool) and USE IT!
  7. Start painting and drawing again
  8. Make an RA zine
  9. Exercise regularly
  10. Go on a walk at least a couple times a week
  11. Play the piano again
  12. Collaborate with others on creative projects
  13. Develop better sleep habits
  14. Go to (restorative) yoga again
  15. Communicate with others in more intimate, meaningful ways (face-to-face, voice-to-voice, handwritten letters/notes)
  16. Try cross-country skiing again
  17. Stop being late for everything
  18. Meet RA/Spoonie friends I know via online advocacy and social media IN REAL LIFE
  19. Go outside more
  20. Practice better self-care and self-love

There are many, many more intentions that I have; these goals are just some off the top of my head.

Challenges in accomplishing intentions

So far I haven't been doing that well regarding accomplishing some of these intentions, however I've been sick with multiple things lately on top of my RA and I'm trying to deal with that stuff first.

Good news: I HAVE lost some weight though (about 5 lbs), thanks to the miserable stomach illness I've had for weeks (probably gastritis). Now that I'm finally feeling better, the challenge and goal is to keep losing pounds and not revert to stuffing my face with bread and pasta.

I feel like a broken record saying this, because I've said it probably 50 million times by now, but I know that I would feel SO much better--physically and mentally--if I lost a significant amount of weight and got back to my "normal" self. It's not easy, however, as you all probably know.

Managing other difficulties that come with RA

It's not just the weight that I'm fighting against. It's also the daily pain that makes exercise or any kind of movement difficult. It's the cocktail of drugs that I've been taking for YEARS that messes up my metabolism and immune system (prednisone, biologics, methotrexate, etc.). And it's the depression and anxiety of living with RA and chronic pain for so long that get in the way of nearly everything--especially attempts at weight loss.

Despite all of this, losing weight while having RA (and being on prednisone) is possible, and I intend to really do something about it in 2020.

Happy 2020, everyone! I hope all of your resolutions and goals and dreams come true this year.


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