Three circles, one with weights in it, one with a brain in it, and the third with carrots and a pill bottle in it

New Year's Resolution or New Way of Living

Last updated: January 2021

I am not really a New Year’s resolution person because I was never very successful with them. The same thing happens when I try to diet. The plan lasts about three days, then it fails and I feel like a failure.

When I was younger

In my teen years, I was always one to say wait till New Year’s but as the day came and went it didn’t make sense to ruin it with resolutions. The shiny new year was a time of renewal, not resolutions. Still, I often take stock of my life twice a year. Once at the beginning of the year and then again in September.

New Year's

At the end of the year, I start to wind down. As a college instructor, I always had two weeks off between Christmas and New Year’s. It was a good rest from the stress of the year just passed. Doing some meditating and writing of lists, I would try to find the things that made my life happy and eliminate what didn’t. It is a great time to clear the clutter from your closet, your drawers, and from your life.

September

For me, September always meant a new beginning. The traditional time for a new school year. Nothing was better than the smell of new books and book bags. Than seeing new teachers and shiny new pencils, not yet bitten. Learning was the greatest gift of all. Moving into new grades with new friends. I always feel those days drawing me back to childhood.

The goal

Always working in 3’s, my mission was to find three things that worked for me, acknowledge them, and thank the universe for them. Then it was on to find three things to eliminate because they made me feel inadequate about myself. I acknowledged them for the lesson I learned and then I quickly let them go.

Exercise

Exercise, nutrition, and mental health will be among my first list of lifestyle changes for 2020. I think about what exercises I enjoy doing. The ones I do more often than others that help me meet my daily requirements. I do 3 types of exercise. I begin with cardio, the easier one for me. I have strong legs, so that helps me a lot.

Then I go on to the upper body, the hardest for me because COPD makes upper body workouts very difficult. Our muscles must be very strong to carry our frail lungs.

Finally, I end with breathing exercises because I really enjoy them. I eliminate those exercises that I don’t like doing and incorporate new ones. When I commit to an exercise that I don’t like to do, it makes me feel bad when I don’t keep up. So, work at finding the ones you like to do.

Nutrition and mental health

Making note of vitamins and minerals necessary for lung health, I like finding new foods and incorporating them into my daily diet. Think of the foods that you buy but don't eat all of, and try to eliminate them.

My mental health is an important part of caring for my COPD. Learning to deal with anxiety, practicing mindfulness by staying in the moment, and perfecting my breathing techniques help my mental health by eliminating anxiety.

Remember it is not a resolution but a new way of living!

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