How I Approach The New Year

2022, Here We Come!

Happy New Year!

What does the start of the new year mean to you?

To me, this question has shifted over the years living with AS. The more I have learned about this condition, my personal situation, my habits and how I want to live and feel, the more I approach the new year differently.

No resolutions

Let's look at this picture we’re probably all familiar with.

The new year has started; you might think about what health challenge you can take on. Perhaps not drink alcohol for a month, quit sugar and processed food, or go to the gym 6 times per week. You’re excited, motivated and ready to start. The first few weeks go well, you’re on track.

Then you start to realize it’s a lot, perhaps you are distracted, and the first month is about to end. You start to commit to those behaviors less and less. You then become impatient and disappointed, and slowly go back to your old habits. The habits which first brought you to make changes and address your health in a new way.

I used to go through this situation every year. It is common for so many of us. However, the more I started to look at my health in an integrative and consistent way to support my AS symptoms, the more I realized that it wasn’t about some quick fixes or health challenges which would only last a short duration. I wanted to focus instead on those daily habits to build a strong foundation for my health. This is why I now no longer set new year's resolutions. This is of course very personal. New year's resolutions might work great for you!

A consistent lifestyle

I do enjoy this newness a new year can bring after the holidays. For example, I can sense a different energy in body and mind, a rested and reenergized approach to face difficult moments, or simply some new inspiration to embark on life’s different projects. What changes though, is that I have become very aware of how my mindset is around all of this. It’s about continuing the work to address the pillars of my health. It’s about a lifestyle, a routine. I do enjoy adding new parts to it, but I make sure they are realistic and achievable over the long run.

Building a vision

How do I want to feel? What does an ideal daily routine look like? What energizes me? What areas of my life do I want to focus on?

Those are some questions I ask myself (and my health coaching clients) to help set a vision for my life. My aim is for the consistent lifestyle to be part of my identity. To make this happen, I set some long-term goals, which I then break down in smaller, actionable goals. This helps with the daily routine and healthy habits, such as good quality sleep, an anti-inflammatory diet, daily movement etc.

An exciting part of the ongoing health journey!

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