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New Year. Welcome 2022.

So it’s a new year and this means new goals and new resolutions, right? But for many people the time between December 31 and January 1 is just a night’s sleep.

The start of a new year for many people means starting a new diet, joining the gym, planning a big vacation, or getting a promotion. While these are great goals, often they are unrealistic, especially if you’re dealing with cancer. Resolutions for cancer patients, families and survivors might look a bit different. For example, these goals might be to:

  • Make it through today, or through the next two hours
  • Make it through the next treatment, the next scan
  • Take a shower or bath
  • Make an appointment for therapy or with a psychiatrist
  • Join a support group for advice, support or laughs
  • Pay it forward for other patients/families
  • Laugh daily — plenty of time for other feelings
  • Learn or apply a new coping skill
  • Complete one self-care activity per week – however small or big you want
  • Practice telling others what you need and how they can help
  • Go shopping (or online shopping) for comfy clothes, new hats, a new family board game
  • Advocate
  • Read a book or find a new TV series
  • Learn a new hobby or activity that fits into your life today
  • Start a new tradition

The future can be exciting, with lots of hope as a brand new 52 weeks stretches out ahead of us. But it can also be downright terrifying. What will this year bring?

Sometimes we struggle to want to make plans or do things we want to do because of the “what ifs.” The key is to keep things simple and realistic. We can think of things in terms of short moments of time, or benchmarks. Plan one month at a time and set a goal for yourself. No matter how silly or small it might be, do it. Fearing the future can hold you back. Is planning a weekend getaway three months in the future going to change anything? Maybe you have to cancel, or maybe you have a relaxing weekend. But better to have a plan than living in fear.

My goals for the new year:

  • Learn to crochet with my girls
  • Spend more time outside (instead of in Target!). Take a walk around the block, go on a short hike with my cane, or even just take a drive
  • Practice self-care: change my work schedule to allow for time for other passions
  • Promote mental health for all of us!

Courtney, MSN, PMHNP

Osteosarcoma Survivor

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