Your Desire to Change Must Be Greater Than Your Desire to Stay the Same

For the record, I think resolutions are fabulous—but the middle of winter and living with chronic pain make this a challenge for me. I know I’m thinking like a Northern Hemisphere, cold climate girl here. So if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, please forgive me. I like to make resolutions in the spring, when the world is waking up from winter. It’s a time of year when I feel renewed and hopeful. I just don’t feel that kind of positive energy on January 1st. But I’ll play along since it’s on people’s minds!

Resolving to make change is a wonderful thing. Be specific about your goals. And don’t over promise because you’ll want to have the ability to actually deliver on those goals. These thoughts are nothing new. You’ve heard them before – probably many times before.

And what do people living with chronic pain do about resolutions? I would like to resolve not to have any chronic pain this year. I’d like to resolve not to make any visits to my physicians this year. Unfortunately both of these feel like they fall into the category of over promising. So what are some of the things I might resolve?

1. I resolve to keep trying to find the delicate balance between self-care and selfishness. To work on understanding how self-care isn’t selfish, but a matter of survival—even when I’m busy reaching for the stars.

2. I resolve to make thoughtful food choices that support my desire to live with less pain and inflammation. To research and try new things, as long as they seem wise and feel positive rather than restrictive.

3. I resolve to find ways to relax, to laugh and to connect with people I love and enjoy.

4. I resolve to be easy with myself while not being lazy, so that I take breaks and recovery days with less guilt than usual.

5. I resolve to find communities of people (especially those living with chronic illness and/or pain) with mutual support and respect.

And finally, I resolve to wait until the weather warms up to commit to resolutions. Winter is a great time to hibernate and percolate the “how” of these resolutions. I’ll choose whichever resolutions come naturally while honoring this darkest time of the year. Will you join me?


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