Intentions (not resolutions)

I posted on Twitter on Friday, “I have no #diabetes resolutions.” As usual with tweets, there was a lot more going on in my mind beyond those few typed characters. It’s one of the things I like about Twitter… glimpses. It’s not that there aren’t improvements to be made in either my own or our daughter’s care — in fact, there are many. But, one of the reasons there are so many places for improvement is the low-level burnout I’ve been feeling for a few months and setting resolutions isn’t the kind of thing that usually helps me with burnout. Instead, I just feel a lot more self-critical judgment and retreat even more. So, why not give myself a break and say “no diabetes resolutions” this year?

I’m reading a book I got for Christmas that was recommended to me by a runner friend (Mile Markers: the 26.2 most important reasons why women run, by Kristin Armstrong), and I just finished the chapter called “Purpose.” One of the sections references setting “intentions” – very common in many yoga classes. Similarly to the author, I found this practice to be very powerful when I was regularly doing yoga. Some of the examples Armstrong gives are “peace, openness of heart, patience with myself and others, surrender, creativity, lightness, freedom, authenticity, forgiveness, etc.” You try to hold that intention through your practice and then check back in with that intention at the end of class. Armstrong then talks about incorporating the idea into other areas of her life: “I try to set an intention before I run, work out, write, meet up with a friend, make a speech, eat a meal, discipline my children, state my opinion, or say yes or no to a request.” Later, checking back in with the intention allows her to regroup, reset, be sure she is still on the path she intended.

This got me thinking about diabetes care – I may not want to set a resolution that feels like setting myself up for failure (told ya… burnout), but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to improve some things. What are my intentions towards my diabetes management? Towards our daughter’s? Intentions don’t seem to require perfection or absolute adherence, or even suggest that would be possible.

Several twitter friends mentioned that they too avoid any far-reaching diabetes resolutions, choosing instead to make an effort to do some “small” things better or more often. I like this idea but intentions seem to also include some reasons, or goals, or purpose (I see what you did there Kristin Armstrong!) that might help me remember why those “small” things are important to me.

No deep thinking yet as to what intentions I want to set in managing diabetes. And, like in a yoga practice, it makes sense to set intentions for small time periods, so I expect that any that I start off with will change depending on the week, day, situation. To steal one from the book, patience with myself and others would probably be a really good place to start. For tomorrow, my intention is going to be to give diabetes some attention. For the next two weeks, my intention is to record more information with the ultimate intention of uploading data and reviewing current trends. Maybe that’s still resolutiony… but, it’s something.

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This entry was posted in Balance, Books, Burnout, Living with Diabetes. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Intentions (not resolutions)

  1. Karen says:

    I love the idea of intentions rather than resolutions. Resolutions get broken and then we just quit (or at least, I do! Every time!). But intentions are something that can be carried on all year long. Great idea!

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