And so a New Year begins…

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Photo credit: Annie Spratt

I’m not sure how I feel about New Year’s resolutions. On the one hand, it’s nice to think that we can turn over a fresh page and start out anew. But life just isn’t that simple: only 8% of people who make a New Year’s resolution actually achieve their goal.

Predictably, the success of a resolution goes down over time. It’s easy to set lofty goals when the dawn of a New Year gives us a sense of fresh-faced optimism. It’s much harder to see them through when we settle back into our everyday routines.

I loved this blog post by Lisa Dingle over at Just Ponderin’: …on wrestling time (or tilting at windmills):

The new year is about, if we want it to be, resetting us.

Our brains, our perspectives. How we exist, and be with what time we have, with what Time brings.

We ought to be careful with it, Time also being one of life’s most precious forms of currency.

With that in mind, I wouldn’t say I’m making resolutions as such. Instead, I’m setting some intentions to guide the ways I spend my free time. Here are some of my intentions:

Try something new/creative and turn it into a habit

Pilates was my ‘new thing’ in 2016. I started going to weekly classes and I always feel stronger and more flexible after a Pilates session. Developing and advancing my Pilates practice is definitely something that I’ll continue this year. I’m not sure what 2017’s ‘new thing’ will be, but salsa dancing is a possibility. 

Travel more

There are so many places I’d like to visit (time and money permitting), and I know I won’t be able to travel to all of the places on my list in 2017. Spain, Scotland and Greece will probably be my three main destinations this year.

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Find an exercise routine that works for me and focus on rehabilitating my knee

I injured my knee through a fall about five years ago, and it has led to significant muscle wastage and weakness in my right leg. Even though I can walk okay, it does affect my mobility (I can’t run and certain movements are painful) and I get tired of having an achy, weak joint. Sticking to a dedicated exercise/physiotherapy routine is easier said than done, but unless I work at it, my knee isn’t going to get better by itself.

Happy New Year! Are you setting any goals or intentions for 2017?

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22 thoughts on “And so a New Year begins…

  1. Happy New Year, Grace! One goal I have for 2017 is to write more, specifically creative writing and blogging. Seeing as how I just published something on Jan 1, I suppose I’m off to a good start haha. πŸ™‚ I also want to get into other creative pursuits as a way to relax but still feel productive. Vegging out in front of my laptop watching something is nice from time to time, but it gets old after a while. Travel is also on my list so by default, I suppose being prudent about money and saving where I can will also have to be a goal! Hope you’ve had a restful holiday so far and I wish you all the best for 2017!

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    • Definitely a good start! πŸ™‚

      I know what you mean about finding productive/creative ways to relax. I spend too much time in front of a screen in my spare time, and it does get boring. I enjoyed this Guardian column by Oliver Burkeman (http://bit.ly/2d1gFR9), talking about rest, recuperation and why ‘β€œCognitive” breaks, such as checking social media, aren’t really breaks at all; given the load they place on your brain, you might as well have continued working.’

      Thank you–and the same to you! As 2017 is the year of the rooster and I was born in a rooster year, I hope that’s auspicious! πŸ™‚

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  2. I didn’t pick goals this year (I’ve already got a pretty good list of goals that I’m working through…slowly…very slowly) but I did pick a theme. I’m writing about it more tomorrow, but I found I didn’t want to give myself more itemized lists of things to do, but I did want to give myself an attitude and thought process to the year that will help me achieve the goals I’ve already set. I also know I get overwhelm sometimes and try to do too much change at once, fail, beat myself up, etc. and I wanted to avoid that this year.

    Ironically, I’m seeing a lot of friends also either not doing goals this year, or dramatically rejecting traditional ones like fitness (lots of empty gym pics on my media feeds).

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    • Your list of goals is certainly impressive! Looking forward to reading about your theme. πŸ˜ƒ I think you’re right that a change in attitude/perspective can be much more motivating than making a list of resolutions.

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  3. Best of luck with your intentions. I typically set goals in four areas: health, wealth, creativity, and relationships. I’m pretty Type A still, so I type them out, laminate them, and post them to my bathroom mirror. I’ve noticed a kind of resolution shaming that’s grown over the years (I just made up that term) I’m not sure what that’s all about, but I’ll be thinking about it.

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    • Taping them to your mirror sounds like a great way of keeping focused on your goals! πŸ™‚

      Interesting that you’ve noticed other people rejecting resolutions. It does seem to be a trend, from what I’ve seen in the blogosphere.

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    • Happy New Year, Allie. πŸ™‚

      I hope I can make real progress on my goals this year. I’ve tried tackling my knee issues before, without much success. I need to make that goal a priority.

      I hope you have a wonderful 2017! Can’t wait to hear your news about your volunteering work with dogs. πŸ™‚

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  4. A bum knee is a really difficult issue! My right knee (osteoarthritis) has been giving me problems since last August (PT in 2 separate sessions, 6 wks each). I now have a series of exercises and weights I do at the gym, plus 20 squats (try it!) From literally falling down (instability/weakness, etc) I’m again walking 99.9% normally and feeling secure again. I know your medical system is different, but I would push HARD to get an appt with a very good PT and do a lot of it; I went 2x week and each sessions was typically 60+ minutes. You are far too young to be suffering from any sort of limited mobility!!!

    My goal for 2017 — already in play — is to try lots of new things. Seems banal, perhaps, but we all fall into ruts and patterns. This means going to new restaurants, new neighborhoods, trying new forms of culture and, sometimes, being less super-strict about spending money. I bought (!) an early 19th c tea set yesterday at an antiques fair (hardly a necessity) and now feel about as elegant as possible for 2017 and beyond. It was stupidly cheap for what it is and I’m drinking out of it this morning.

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    • Agreed! It’s a real pain, literally! And because I’ve had this problem for so long (about five years), my muscles have really deteriorated.

      I’ve had several PT sessions at my local hospital but they don’t last long (30 mins max). One of my colleagues goes to a ‘physiogym’ clinic at a different hospital, which sounds much better, so I’ll see if I can get referred there.

      I forced myself to go to spin class yesterday. It’s good for strengthening hamstrings and quadriceps, but I find it really tests my endurance. I’m planning to make it a habit of going once a week. Hopefully it will get less arduous with time.

      I don’t think your goal sounds banal at all. I’ve been feeling a bit bored with my usual routine too, and it’s good to try new things. I’ve even been thinking of changing my hairstyle. I liked Emma Stone’s style in La La Land and my hair is the same colour as hers. As Coco Chanel said: “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life”. πŸ™‚

      How fun! I hope you’ll share photos of the tea set on your blog.

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      • Wow. No disrespect to the NHS but this is crazy….Seriously. My PT sessions start with about 10 minutes of moist heat; I do at least 20 minutes of various exercises (including on a bike and a modified, seated elliptical), laser treatment (to speed internal healing), and finished (if I want it) with 10 minutes of ice. Sessions are never shorter than an hour and sometimes 90 minutes if they’re really busy. I might also have my knee massaged and am stretched. This sounds like really bad PT. I had really bad PT in 2000 after my 1st knee surgery — six months later still limping. I know now there is crap PT and much better PT. You MUST find a much much better PT and get an exercise program from them.

        Spin is a blast. Hey, if I can do it (in my late 50s) you can do it. The 1st 2 classes were…OMG!!!! Then I was fine. The stamina builds up quickly. I was going twice a week and plan to start again this week after months (ugh) of absence due to knee issues.

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        • That sounds like excellent PT! The treatment I’ve received so far has simply been a few appointments where the physiotherapist has shown me how to do the exercises and printed off a sheet of exercises at home. I’m definitely going to investigate other options. I recently got private health insurance through my workplace, so I might be able to find a better option with that.

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          • Nope, nope, nope!!!!! This is a very bad/lazy excuse for physical therapy and, frankly, I am really shocked to read this. I’ve been doing PT for both knees, left hip and both shoulders for 17 years — so, believe me, I know what it is and how it can help and what it should look like! The point is this: if you — ***and you’re young*** — are struggling with weakness and limited mobility, your PTs are literally incompetent and I don’t even trust your physician. The last event I faced (in Nov. 2016) I had a bone fragment move inside my knee; I cannot even describe the agony it caused. Typical fix – surgery! I insisted on PT again and I am back to normal (for now.) PLEASE be more insistent than you can even imagine (channel your inner New Yorker) and get decent, tough, intensive help tomorrow. I’m not joking about this.

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            • I think it’s a fairly standard approach on the NHS, as far as I’ve seen. Of course, hospitals vary and quality/type of treatment available can be a bit of a ‘postcode lottery’.

              My physician (GP) doesn’t really have any involvement. The way it works here is you go to see your GP with an issue and they refer you on to the relevant department, unless it’s something minor which the GP can treat. In this case, I was referred for a diagnostic MRI scan, with a follow-up appointment with a musculoskeletal consultant to review the scan. He recommended physio (surgery as a last resort) and then I just ended up with the brief appointments when they taught me how to do the exercises and gave me homework.

              Thanks for your advice. I’m definitely going to be proactive and seek better treatment! πŸ™‚

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            • This is similar to Canada’s system, so I get it. πŸ™‚ The consultant is an odd anomaly, though — here we get to see an orthopedic surgeon (who, of course, suggests surgery, but I know my guy very well now — 3 surgeries with him so far and he knows I hate surgery!) We’re lucky; our surgeons’ office is next door to the PT, literally, so they work closely with one another. For some people, maybe a list of exercises at home is fine — but my feeling (clearly) is that if you are not 100% mobile and pain free there is a real problem with the quality of the treatment and follow-up here. If you were 75 or 85…maybe. But not at your relatively very young age, when your recovery should be complete…unless there’s some medical reason it is not…?

              Please be bossy — and let me know how it goes. Good luck!

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