Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyFibroTeam

Setting Intentions for 2020 With Fibromyalgia

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 fibromyalgia.

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 fibro throws curveballs. Symptoms like insomnia or intense itching can make it more difficult to stick to a new workout routine or keep up a volunteer commitment. A fibro 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 pain, stiffness, and fatigue, 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 fibro 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 MyFibroTeam 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 MyFibroTeam.

A MyFibroTeam Member said:

There’s no i In Team we are all in support

posted 15 days ago

hug (1)

Recent articles

Bsp af 6
Thousands of members of MyFibroTeam connect with one another and read each other's stories to...

Four Books About Fibromyalgia You Should Read

Thousands of members of MyFibroTeam connect with one another and read each other's stories to...
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 Fibromyalgia

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

Practicing Gratitude with Fibromyalgia

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

How to Enjoy the Holidays Despite Fibromyalgia

Living with fibromyalgia may change your holidays, but you can still have enjoyable and...
Fibromyalgia and insomnia
When you have fibromyalgia, it can be challenging to get a good night’s sleep. Insomnia, sleep...

Fibromyalgia and Insomnia

When you have fibromyalgia, it can be challenging to get a good night’s sleep. Insomnia, sleep...
Mht af justdiagnosed female
We all respond differently to information about our health. After learning you have fibromyalgia,...

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

We all respond differently to information about our health. After learning you have fibromyalgia,...
Itching with fibromyalgia
If you’re experiencing frequent itching with fibromyalgia, you’re not alone. MyFibroTeam members...

Itching with Fibromyalgia

If you’re experiencing frequent itching with fibromyalgia, you’re not alone. MyFibroTeam members...
Increasing energy with fibromyalgia
Members of MyFibroTeam search for ways to increase their energy as they battle fatigue, one of...

Increasing Energy with Fibromyalgia

Members of MyFibroTeam search for ways to increase their energy as they battle fatigue, one of...
How good boundaries make life with fibromyalgia easier
There is an old saying: “Good fences make good neighbors.” Having healthy boundaries in...

How Good Boundaries Make Life With Fibromyalgia Easier

There is an old saying: “Good fences make good neighbors.” Having healthy boundaries in...
Tapintothepower fibro
Living with fibromyalgia can mean having limited energy, time, and bandwidth. You may find...

Tap Into the Power of Directness: Use "I"

Living with fibromyalgia can mean having limited energy, time, and bandwidth. You may find...
MyFibroTeam My fibromyalgia Team

Two Ways to Get Started with MyFibroTeam

Become a Member

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

sign up

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest articles about fibromyalgia sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
MyFibroTeam My fibromyalgia Team

Thank you for signing up.

close