2019 is a new year; a year full of hopes and fears, a year full of aspirations and dreams and a year full of good intentions. But it is also a year that, without proper planning, will be filled with disappointments. John Heywood, an English playwright better known for phrases that are embedded in our psyche, is credited with the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. This was modernised to the phrase “softly-softly-catchy-monkey” by Queen Victoria. Loosely translated, both these phrases mean that patience is important. The essential ingredients for success are realism, focus, planning and patience; each ingredient being of equal importance. Another trite adage alerts us to the importance of planning “By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail”, Benjamin Franklin.
Realism is important for everyone but even more so for people living with Multiple Sclerosis; we must acknowledge our limitations and plan accordingly. To my way of thinking there is no point in targeting a climb to the summit of Mount Everest without setting a schedule of lesser achievements and waypoints on the journey.
Focus is equally important. I find that maintaining focus for a long-term project can be difficult and to that end, I recommend the ‘buddy system’. Confide in someone; share your resolution and accept help and encouragement from your confidante. Write it down; having a goal in writing somehow makes it more real.
Planning is essential and this ingredient incorporates patience. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, "A goal without a plan is just a wish". Some goals seem much more difficult without intermediate targets and for me the inclusion of these waypoints make the challenge seem less onerous and more achievable; softly softly catchy monkey! A word of warning- planning should not be used as an excuse to procrastinate. Planning is essential but procrastination is the death knell for many good intentions.
I’m only making one New Year resolution this year. In past years I would make a list and start off the New Year with the best of intentions and ultimately most, if not all, fell by the wayside. Time has passed and now more than 30 years after my diagnosis I have learned to be more realistic. I make one resolution and try to do it well. Attempting to do too much is foolish and this is true in any walk of life. Do less but do it well. My New Year resolution is to be kinder to myself. Why that one you might ask? The answer is simple; I haven’t been very kind to me and I need to be.
What New Year Resolution have you adopted for 2019?