For most of my life before Parkinson’s Disease (PD), I was a high-driving, goal-setting, achieving machine. I would make New Year’s resolutions faithfully every year—too many resolutions that were too unrealistic, too hard to reach, too much of a stretch and impossible to achieve. I would inevitably fail, berate myself and break all of them by the end of January.
But since PD, my new approach has been to let the new year unravel as it will. Goal-less and without resolve, I’ve been surprisingly able to accomplish quite a lot in the PD community in 2010. With my friend and business partner, Valerie Graham, we created DBS Voices of the Rockies, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. We’ve helped many patients and families through the Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) process by leading support groups and visiting with the patients and families at the hospital during their surgeries. We’ve delivered presentations in Denver, Colorado communities, presented at the APDA Annual Conference in Des Moines, Iowa; made a poster presentation entitled the "Role of Patient Support in Shaping Expectations and Decision Making for DBS Surgery" at the World Parkinson’s Congress in Glasgow, Scotland; and participated in clinical research at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. It’s been a busy year!
With time for reflection over the holidays, I discovered that my life has been overly focused on PD and my volunteer work in the PD community. I needed some resolutions for the non-PD parts of my life. I was resistant to resolutions until I read an article, “Talkin’ Bout a Resolution (Not a Punishment)” by Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar.
She stresses the importance of reframing the resolution wording. So instead of resolving that “This year I will _______.”
Change the wording to:
“This year I’d like to ______.”
“This year I’d like it if ______.”
“This year I’d prefer to _______.”
“This year I’ll make a start on ______.”
And the question: “What would you like to invite more of into your life?”
So instead of resolutions feeling like a chore or punishment, they now feel like an opportunity for growth.
Which areas of your life do you want to grow?