New Year, New Intentions

Every year, we are bombarded with the concept of “New Years Resolutions”. A lot of people use the new year to make a promise to themselves that they will be and do better in the 365 days ahead.

I used to be one of those people.

With each new year, I would set some time aside and write down my goals for the year. I would tell myself that I would eat better, exercise more, and work on being more outgoing in the coming year. Most of the time, I did okay with keeping my word. However, I’ve had my fair share of years where I got off track and didn’t stick to my resolutions. Not doing what I said that I would do made me feel as if I’d failed. More so, sometimes it made me feel like I was an actual failure.

The negative self-talk that ensued after realizing that I hadn’t done anything that I said I would created a spiral for me in terms of how I viewed myself. There have been times in my life where I believed that “I can never follow through with anything“, that “I always procrastinate on everything that I try to do“, and that “I’ll never reach my goals when it comes to my health, career or relationships.

Thankfully, the way that I view myself has changed drastically

And my thoughts have a loving, positive sound to them now. I’ve also changed the way that I look at making resolutions on New Years Day, and I have Crohn’s Disease to thank for that.

Before getting diagnosed with Crohn’s, I made resolutions. They always seemed to have an underlying connotation that something was wrong with me and that I had to “fix” it, as if I wasn’t great just as I was at that moment. When I didn’t follow through with them, I would feel bad about myself and my abilities to achieve what I wanted for months on end afterwards, resulting in bad self image and a negative belief in myself.

Now that I live with Crohn’s Disease, I make intentions on New Years Day instead. Intentions have a more fluid, positive connotation to them and allow room for growth and change. As we all know, living with autoimmune diseases is full of surprises and sometimes we can’t keep the resolutions that we set on January 1st. Making intentions instead gives us leeway in terms of how our health is throughout the year and gives us a chance to change how we plan to stay true to the intention that we made. Setting intentions also help us realize that, while we are great in this moment, we are also deciding to make positive changes to our lifestyle to be the person we want to be. No shame, no guilt, and no negative self talk in the equation is a huge plus.

We all struggle with trying to be the best version of ourselves while living with chronic illnesses, so why can’t we be a bit nicer to ourselves in the process? Setting intentions might sound silly, but its worth a shot if it helps us gain more self confidence in ourselves and our abilities to achieve our dreams.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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