Updating Goals for 2016

Last year I took the time to outline some goals for myself in taking care of my rheumatoid arthritis and overall health. It was really helpful to think about my previous accomplishments and my goals for the coming year. Now that we’re starting 2016, it’s the perfect time to revisit and adjust based on the experience of my previous year.

Similar to last year, I want to continue building strength and maintaining my joint and muscle health as much as possible. While I did experience some illnesses due to my compromised immune system, I think I did a lot better than in previous years when I had bronchitis and pneumonia. Also, I think I did better with maintaining a good diet (while still enjoying some treats).

Since it was very helpful, I’m again developing a list of actions I can take on a daily, weekly and monthly basis during 2016 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.

Daily Habits:

  • 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 did pretty well, but there were a number of times I fell off track so this continues to be important.
  • Eat well. Last year I made some adjustments, like tracking my eating, increasing good proteins, and decreasing carbohydrates. These changes helped me to feel better so I need to continue, not fall back into bad habits, and work on things like cutting down on sugars.
  • My exercise routine showed good improvement last year, but I did have some spurts of less active periods. I would like to swim at least three times a week, continue my daily morning exercises, and begin dabbling again with yoga.
  • Keeping a log of my eating and exercise was extremely helpful in keeping on track and noting my improvements. Must keep it up!
  • 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 is a huge 2016 priority.
  • Done and done! Lots of good laughing last year and I intend to keep it up in 2016! Good for the body and also my spirits.

Weekly Habits:

  • Go swimming. Last year I discovered that the more regularly I went to the pool, the better I felt. Even going on bad RA days helped to loosen my joints and alleviate my pain. My goal should be at least three times a week.
  • Practice meditation. Have to be honest, I really fell down on this goal and can’t even remember the last time I meditated, yet it is so helpful for my mental health and pain management. This year I have to refocus on this goal, which may also help with my intention to rest more. A good way to start would be setting a time once a week.
  • Have some fun and de-stress. Definitely did well here, but isn’t there always room for improvement?! For this piece, I’d like to have more quality family time and am taking steps to build this in.

Monthly Check-in:

  • Assess how I’m feeling. I still need to do better at my self-assessment. I feel that the last few months have been harder with my RA, but I should be more intentional at keeping track. This may help me to remember to get more rest and take care of my RA better.
  • 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.

How did you do with your goals, health or otherwise? What do you want to do differently in 2016 and how will you keep yourself on track? Cheering and support welcome!

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