Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyLupusTeam

Setting Intentions for 2020 With Lupus

Posted on January 03, 2020

Eat healthier. Exercise more. Learn a new skill. Pay off a credit card. Many of us have made similar New Year’s resolutions over the years. And many of us have also ended January feeling like failures because we didn’t follow through perfectly. We may feel even more discouraged if our goal was linked to improving how we manage lupus.

The problem isn’t that we failed at our resolutions. The problem is that the resolution framework failed us. Resolutions are often binary goals - this or that. Yes or no. Either you went to the gym five days a week or you didn’t. Either you quit smoking or you didn’t. These yes-or-no set-ups can make us feel like losers if we don’t attain perfection. This is true for anyone, but black-and-white goals can be even more challenging when life with lupus throws curveballs. Uncomfortable skin symptoms or insomnia can make it more difficult to stick to a new workout routine or keep up a volunteer commitment. A lupus flare may send New Year’s resolutions right out the window.

2020 can be different. Instead of choosing a New Year’s resolution, consider adopting a New Year’s intention. Intentions and resolutions have similarities - both require us to reflect on our lives and identify areas we’d like to improve. But intentions can be more successful than resolutions because they give us the space to work towards progress, even if progress isn’t a straight line.

Intentions account for the reality that habits don’t change overnight. Research from the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it can take people anywhere from 18 days to eight months to create a new habit. And that’s ok - the study found that missing opportunities to follow through did not prevent people from achieving consistency over time, provided they tried again. In other words, if you’ve had trouble sticking to an exercise routine to improve mood, energy, and heart health, give it another go with a new attitude.

Here are some suggestions for setting intentions that can help improve your physical and emotional well-being:

Find Your “Why”
|It’s easy to pick a resolution based on perceived shortcomings, but focusing on your why - your deeper priorities - can make a bigger impact on your overall quality of life. Here are some examples of transitioning from resolutions to intentions that reflect a deeper purpose:

  • “I resolve to lose 20 pounds” becomes “I intend to take steps to increase the energy I have to spend with loved ones.”
  • “I will attend every book club meeting” becomes “I intend to invest more time in my friendships.”
  • “I will pay off a credit card” becomes “I intend to focus my spending on the bills and purchases that have the greatest impact on my life.”
  • “I will stop gossiping” becomes “I will focus on the goodness in others.”

Once you’ve identified your deeper purpose, you can focus on small actions that will support your why. And when you stumble, you can return to your why to renew your motivation.

Lay the Groundwork for Change
Depending on your intention, you may want to consult your doctor to develop a plan. If you’d like to gain more energy, your doctor can help you decide which types of exercise or nutritional plans are best for lupus and any other health conditions you might have. Your doctor may also suggest working with a physical therapist or nutritionist to support your New Year’s intention. With the support of your doctor and other health professionals, you can then research new recipes, find online exercise videos, or make plans with a friend to cook and work out together.

Build in Short-Term Rewards
Research from the University of Chicago and Cornell University found that people are better at sticking to goals that yield long-term benefits if they can experience short-term rewards along the way. For example, the study found that people were more likely to eat green vegetables if they found enjoyable ways to prepare them than if they only ate them for health benefits. You can apply the same principle to your intentions.

Show Yourself Compassion
Accept that you won’t always live up to your intentions. Be kind to yourself when you fall short. If you find yourself beating yourself up, stop and think about what you would say to a friend or other member of MyLupusTeam in your shoes. Would you knock them down or encourage them to try again? Be as understanding and supportive to yourself as you would to someone else.

Do you have an intention for 2020? Share your hopes for the new year with other members on MyLupusTeam.

A MyLupusTeam Member said:

Since I’m on high dose Solumedrol with outpatient Rituximab & inpatient IVIG, & have CAD from long-standing Pericarditis, my intention not just… read more

posted 8 days ago

hug

Recent articles

Mht covid19 essentialupdates carousel
During the COVID-19 pandemic, MyLupusTeam will provide summaries and links to articles of...

COVID-19 and Lupus Essential Updates

During the COVID-19 pandemic, MyLupusTeam will provide summaries and links to articles of...
Lupus and hydroxychloroquine %28plaquenil%29 shortages
Article written by Kelly Crumrin Medically reviewed by Jeffrey A. Sparks, M.D., M.M.Sc....

Lupus and Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil) Shortages

Article written by Kelly Crumrin Medically reviewed by Jeffrey A. Sparks, M.D., M.M.Sc....
Mht pressrelease infographic mylupusteam panel1 email copy
We recently asked 593 members of MyLupusTeam about their experience living with lupus. They...

The Results Are In: Anxiety and Depression Are Common Among Those Facing Lupus

We recently asked 593 members of MyLupusTeam about their experience living with lupus. They...
Mht mylupusteam covid19 carousel
Article written by Heather Lapidus Glassner Medically reviewed by Siddharth Tambar, MD The past...

Lupus and COVID-19: Are You At a Greater Risk?

Article written by Heather Lapidus Glassner Medically reviewed by Siddharth Tambar, MD The past...
Coronavirus
Article written by Kelly Crumrin Those of us living with pre-existing, chronic conditions such as...

Canceling Is Kindness: Keeping Safe From COVID-19 With Lupus

Article written by Kelly Crumrin Those of us living with pre-existing, chronic conditions such as...
Practicing gratitude with lupus
This time of the year can be overwhelming with expectations around the holidays, and living with...

Practicing Gratitude With Lupus

This time of the year can be overwhelming with expectations around the holidays, and living with...
How to enjoy the holidays despite lupus
Living with lupus may change your holidays, but you can still have enjoyable and meaningful...

How to Enjoy the Holidays Despite Lupus

Living with lupus may change your holidays, but you can still have enjoyable and meaningful...
Mht af justdiagnosed heavyset
We all respond differently to information about our health. After learning you have lupus, you...

You’ve Just Been Diagnosed With Lupus. Now What?

We all respond differently to information about our health. After learning you have lupus, you...
Mylupusteam carousel skin symptoms that affect mylupusteam members
The impact lupus has on quality of life is significant. MyLupusTeam conducted a survey with 308...

Skin Symptoms That Affect MyLupusTeam Members the Most

The impact lupus has on quality of life is significant. MyLupusTeam conducted a survey with 308...
Mylupusteam carousel symptoms that affect mylupusteammembers the most
MyLupusTeam has committed to sharing members’ experience with lupus back with the MyLupusTeam...

Symptoms That Affect MyLupusTeam Members the Most

MyLupusTeam has committed to sharing members’ experience with lupus back with the MyLupusTeam...
MyLupusTeam My lupus Team

Two Ways to Get Started with MyLupusTeam

Become a Member

Connect with others who are living with lupus. Get members only access to emotional support, advice, treatment insights, and more.

sign up

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest articles about lupus sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
MyLupusTeam My lupus Team

Thank you for signing up.

close