For patients living with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) or any chronic lung disease, it’s known that an acute exacerbation, illness or fluke decrease in lung function could drastically change their ability to breathe.
Since this can and does happen for unknown reasons, there is often this sense of “living everyday like it is your last” when you have a lung disease. It’s simply because it’s impossible to know when the next critical event could cause the lungs to fail or decrease rapidly which would drastically change the course of their life and snatch away their independence.
Arguably, it could be said that it’s important for everyone to live every day like it’s their last, since something could happen to anyone at any time. However, it seems that for most people, living in the moment and appreciating every day is only a lesson that’s learned when someone is faced with their own mortality.
The beginning of a new year is often a time for reflection, whether or not you’re living with IPF or a chronic illness. It’s a chance to implement new changes, a chance to focus on what’s most important or achieve that long sought-after goal. When you don’t know what the upcoming year will hold, especially as a patient with a life-threatening lung disease, it is important to set intentional resolutions. Set resolutions that are personal in nature, and goals that might stray from the normative ones that others might set. It means considering you first in the resolutions, and being intentional about why and when you hope to achieve these goals.
Here are some considerations and tips to help you set intentional New Year’s resolutions:
What is it that you want?
Whether you are considering an end goal, or have a desire to feel a certain way, such as content, happy or less anxious, or if you want to achieve a tangible task, such as being more organized, these wants must have you in the center. Your goals and resolutions are more attainable if they come from a place of putting you and your wishes, desires, and hopes at the core.
How can others help you?
Considering your relationship with others is important when setting intentional goals and resolutions. While you have to do most of the work, others certainly can help you in unique and creative ways, but only if you’re clear in what it is that you need them to do. Whether it’s sharing a personal goal with a friend who can help keep you accountable with your resolutions, or enlisting in a professional service that specializes in helping people achieve their goals, letting others help you is important.
How can you do it?
These are the tangible pieces of achieving your goals and resolutions. What are you going to do differently from last year that will make you more likely to achieve what you are hoping for? What is your back-up plan if your first attempt doesn’t work? An important thing to remember when thinking of the “how?” is how many times you’re willing to try again or start over if needed. Inevitably, goals and resolutions aren’t always achievable the first time, so it is important to be kind to yourself and consider how to start over if need be.
Do you have any tips or tricks on setting intentional New Year’s resolutions?
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