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The New Year's Resolutions I'm Making as Someone With Endometriosis

Every single year I make the same uninspiring resolution: “I will exercise and eat healthy.” Isn’t that everyone’s goal? Isn’t this something I do every year? Or at least attempt to? It is.

And I will be honest, 99 percent of the time it does not happen. However, 2017 forced me to make these changes. Officially being diagnosed with a chronic illness a few months after the new year required me to make these adjustments in my life.

So, as I sat there waiting for the clock to strike 12, I wondered what I was going to make different about 2018. I thought about how 2017 was filled with many ups and downs. Unfortunately, mostly downs. I recollected every tiny obstacle I faced. What I let my health hold me back from and what I wish I could be if I didn’t have an illness controlling my life.

I thought to myself, how can someone with a chronic illness even make a resolution? I already am forced to eat a special diet and already have a workout routine that suits my pain. What else can I promise myself when my illness cannot even promise me it will cooperate?

And in that simple question I found my answer. I have been so focused on my physical health, managing endometriosis, that I have disregarded my mental and emotional well-being. I have lost track of what makes me happy and who I really am. So, this year, I am leaving my bad habits behind. I may still be starting the new year with endometriosis, but I am determined to improve my mental and emotional health.

Here’s how.

Have a More Positive Frame of Mind

I have been weighed down with so many negative thoughts that I have forgotten how to see the positive. It is time to let those negative thoughts go and embrace all the good in my life.

No More Expectations

I killed myself in 2017 with all of my high expectations. What I let myself forget was that I had a lot of achievements throughout the year. Whether they were big or small. So, from now on, I will celebrate every victory.

Stop Overdoing It

I have always been one to overdo things. I don’t stop until I am finished and it is done right. I keep going and push myself far beyond my limits. It is time to learn to take breaks, relax and then continue when I am ready. Without feeling guilty.

Stop Worrying About What Others Think

Having a chronic illness, you may tend to feel as though people are always talking about you. For me, I have always cared what people thought. I always find I am explaining myself to others in hopes they will understand. In this new year, that will be coming to an end. I have an illness and I do not need to explain myself to anyone!  

Stop Saying I Am Fine

In a past column I wrote about what it really means when I say I am fine. It gets stressful continuously telling others you are not having a good day. However, I should not have to hide when I truly am not OK. From now on if I am having a bad day I will be honest and tell whoever asked.

Be More Honest With Myself and Stop Feeling Guilty

I need to learn to say no. For so long, whether it be employers, family or friends, I always had trouble saying no to them. Even if it was something I truly did not want to do or honestly could not do. It is time to be honest with myself and do only what I feel comfortable doing and what makes me happy.

Focus on the Cans

There is so much I can do but I find myself focusing on the cannots the majority of the time. This holds me back from so much in my life. It is time to throw away those cannots with the negative thoughts and start focusing on all the cans. If having a chronic illness has taught me one thing, it is that I am definitely strong and a fighter.  

Most importantly, it is time to focus on my dreams. I lost who I was in the midst of becoming sick. From that time to now, I have started to find my passion, build goals and set dreams. In this new year I will keep looking forward towards these dreams. I will no longer look back at what could or should have been. There is a reason those things never worked out.

Follow this journey on My Endo Journey.

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Photo via Ridofranz on Getty Images

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