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How Cancer Has Shaped My New Year's Resolution

Posted: 01/02/2013 4:01 pm

Happy New Year 2013! I know this will be a great year. I can feel it in my heart.

While the passage of time, the turning of the page and the ringing in of the New Year brings many an optimist and philosopher to take pen to paper and list their resolutions for the year, I ask, "What is a resolution"?

Some may think they are making New Years resolutions, but, in reality, they're good intentions. Others sit down to think over, or write their good intentions, but, in reality, they're fleeting moments of thought at best. So why do people do them?

For some, they do it just because. For others, it helps them get into a positive frame of mind, and set up the new year on a fresh page, for that new start. For a few, it really does help them organize their life. In reality their resolutions are more like affirmations. Going back and reading them over regularly is one way to change your life, and give it more meaning.

I have never been very good at New Year's resolutions. Yes, I used to make them, simply because everyone would ask me what they were. Yes, there was thought put into them, but my spirit was never really there. I needed to follow through with habits that were conducive to seeing them through with success.

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I got brave and decided that I was not going to make any more resolutions. I made a promise to myself: that I was going to win my battle, succeed in my journey, and be around for another year. At year end I also gave thanks and felt the gratitude in my heart that I was around and thriving.

This has worked out well for me. Until now.

Yes, I still get that sentimental tug at the heart strings when the ball in Time Square in NYC is about to drop, signaling the start of a New Year. As I get up to hug the friends and loved ones I am celebrating the New Year with, I still look up with moist eyes and set my intention to be around for another year. I am still grateful.

But this year, and I don't know if this is a sign that I have evolved in my cancer thrivourship, I wanted to set out more ambitious intentions for my year.

One of the things I have been working on over the past year is my inner self. I have been thinking more positively and reading many blogs and websites from bloggers such as myself. There's a really inspiring community out there! My meditation is now well entrenched and it's intuitive. If I feel my breathing start to quicken, I can slowly centre and bring it back down.

Over the year, I have learned to be grateful for the present. I have blossomed and lived more in the present. I used to be a much more "futuristic" thinker, and it was about time I pulled my head out of that hole.

So here I am, at the start of 2013, and suddenly, as a result of all this work, I am feeling that my simple "being here for another year" gesture is not enough. And not that I am snubbing my nose at those going through cancer now, or those new survivors out there. It's just that I have graduated to the "much more waiting for me" department!

And so, at the risk of calling them resolutions -- in which case my old self may step in for a moment and force me to fail -- I have some crazy and wild intentions this year. The most important one being that I will FINISH. I will finish a half marathon. I will finish writing that book that I started. I have finished 2012 in a good place, and will close 2012 in an even better one.

So whatever you want to call them -- resolutions, intentions, or just good, old fashioned goals -- be kind to yourself, and don't put any pressure on your shoulders. Just be a better person!

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  • Focus On Strength

    By June 2013, I will: --Back squat 405 pounds --Dead lift 500 pounds --Shoulder press 200 pounds --Squat clean 275 pounds --Run sub-seven-minute mile -- <em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/realchrispowell">Chris Powell</a>, author of</em> Choose To Lose: The 7-Day Carb Cycle Solution, and trainer on "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" <strong>Follow Chris Powell on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/RealChrisPowell">@RealChrisPowell</a>

  • Play The Piano

    This year I want to brush up on my piano skills. One of my favorite pastimes is singing carols with my family on Christmas Eve, so I'm going to make the time to practice the piano throughout the year to become proficient and surprise my family next Christmas. -- <em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/droz">Dr. Oz</a>, author of</em> You Being Beautiful <strong>Follow Dr. Oz on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/DrOz">@DrOz</a>

  • Follow Your Intuition

    Meditate daily (if only for five minutes) whether I am traveling or at home. And to continue to follow my intuition across all aspects of my life: business, personal and family. -- <em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/TaraStilesLiving">Tara Stiles</a>, author of</em> Yoga Cures: Simple Routines To Conquer More Than 50 Common Ailments And Live Pain-Free <strong>Follow Tara Stiles on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/TaraStiles">@TaraStiles</a>

  • Eat More Fruits And Veggies

    My New Year's resolution is to add more veggies and fruits twice a day to get an array of antioxidants into my body more consistently. -- <em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/TraceyMallettFitness?fref=ts">Tracey Mallett</a>, creator of Tracey Mallett's FuseDance Cardio Melt</em> <strong>Follow Tracey Mallett on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/BootyBarre">@TraceyMallett</a>

  • Stay Healthy While Traveling

    Focus on healthy travel for myself and others. This can be a real problem for those of us who leave our routines at home, but want to maintain our exercise and healthy eating choices while on the road. I will be devoting much more time to sharing research and tips via social media to help us all stay healthy and fit while we travel. -- <em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cheryl-forberg-rd/">Cheryl Forberg</a>, R.D., author of</em> Flavor First: Cut Calories And Boost Flavor With 75 Delicious, All-Natural Recipes<em>, and the nutritionist for NBC's "The Biggest Loser"</em> <strong>Follow Cheryl Foreberg on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/CherylForbergRD">@CherylForbergRD</a>

  • Get More Creative In The Kitchen

    Become more creative with spices and seasonings in the kitchen -- bring on the curries, stir fries and marinades! Try out new exercise classes and sports -- and get my kids to tag along with me! And master a healthy version of peanut M&Ms! (Long shot, I know, but I’m very determined and resourceful). -- <em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/JoyLBauer">Joy Bauer</a>, author of</em> Joy Bauer's Food Cures: Eat Right To Get Healthier, Look Younger, And Add Years To Your Life <strong>Follow Joy Bauer on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/joybauer">@joybauer</a>

  • Be On Your Own Team

    In 2013... Beam and be on your own team. In this coming year I will continue to take good care of me for all the world to see. I will be able to cope because I have hope. I will always remind myself that overeating is defeating. I will tell myself to not rust but to lust for health. And I will remember to tone what I own And sweat 'til I'm wet. And everyone has to know- You don't get a choice on how you are going to die, But you do get a choice on how you are going to live. -- <em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/TheWeightSaint">Richard Simmons</a>, creator of Richard Simmons: Boogie Down The Pounds</em> <strong>Follow Richard Simmons on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/TheWeightSaint">@TheWeightSaint</a>

  • Make Intentions

    I tend to think of "New Year's resolutions" as "New Year's intentions" and they usually have to do with cultivating a more peaceful inner life; I often bring in the new year with a meditation (that is, quite honestly, if I don't fall asleep by midnight, which is more often the case.) More faith, less fear More mindfulness, less busyness More compassion, less judgment More allowing, less forcing More calm, less chaos More stillness, less distraction More peace, less discord More forgiveness, less resentment More trust, less doubt More caring, less apathy More hope, less despair More love, more fun, more joy -- <em>HuffPost Wellness Editor, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-patricia-fitzgerald/">Dr. Patricia Fitzgerald</a>, author of</em> The Detox Solution: The Missing Link To Radiant Health, Abundant Energy, Ideal Weight, And Peace Of Mind <strong>Follow Patricia Fitzgerald on Twitter:</strong> <a href="https://twitter.com/DrPatriciaFitz">@DrPatriciaFitz</a>

  • Eat More Real Food

    Eat more real food, less food-like substances. More health care, less disease care. -- <em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Frank-Lipman-MD/60526069384">Frank Lipman</a> M.D., author of</em> Revive: Stop Feeling Spent And Start Living Again <strong>Follow Frank Lipman on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/DrFrankLipman">@DrFrankLipman</a>

  • Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

    My New Year's health resolution is to keep doing what I'm doing -- good sleep, daily exercise, daily meditation. -- <em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/DeepakChopraCommunity?fref=ts">Deepak Chopra</a>, author of</em> God: A Story Of Revelation <strong>Follow Deepak Chopra on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/DeepakChopra">@DeepakChopra</a>

  • Cook More

    I resolve to cook a little more at home. I will keep my pantry and fridge stocked so I don't suddenly find myself famished with nothing healthy to eat. I'll freeze lots of leftovers so I can easily reheat them at a moment's notice. I know with this I'll eat out less, enjoy more nutritious food, and save money! -- <em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/kathyfreston.veganist?fref=ts">Kathy Freston</a>, author of </em> Veganist: Lose Weight, Get Healthy, Change The World <strong>Follow Kathy Freston on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/kathyfreston">@kathyfreston</a>

  • Clean Up The Body, Home And Mind

    Ten minutes of yoga every morning, to get my blood pumping and my body limber and aligned. Ten minutes of cleaning every morning, to get my home in order and bring my day into balance. One raw meal or snack every day, which will basically mean one major salad dish or juice to flood my body with alkalizing minerals, nutrients and enzymes. -- <em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daphne-oz">Daphne Oz</a>, author of</em> The Dorm Room Diet: The 8-Step Program for Creating a Healthy Lifestyle Plan That Really Works <strong>Follow Daphne Oz on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/DaphneOz">@DaphneOz</a>

  • Love More, Fear Less

    Love more, fear less. Float more, steer less. Show up. Be present. Tell the truth without blame or judgement. Be open to the outcome. Spend five minutes every day in awareness of the nature of mind. Practice loving kindness and compassion in every act and every word. -- <em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/">Mark Hyman, M.D.,</a> author of</em> The Blood Sugar Solution: The UltraHealthy Program For Losing Weight, Preventing Disease, And Feeling Great Now! <strong>Follow Mark Hyman on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/markhymanmd">@markhymanmd</a>

  • Don't Lose Sight Of The Big Picture

    Stop fixating on the details of diet and health at the expense of losing sight of the big picture, namely, to eat whole plant-based foods while using little or no added fat, salt, sugar. Remember, taste preferences will change. -- <em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/t-colin-campbell">T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.</a>, author of</em> Whole: Rethiking The Science Of Nutrition in 2013 <strong>Follow T. Colin Campbell on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/TColinCampbell">@TColinCampbell</a>

  • Challenge Your Weaker Half

    First off, I decided to stop favoring my stronger, more stable left leg. I favor it too much, and I know this creates an imbalance that prevents me from performing better athletically. Looks like I'll be putting the right foot forward in 2013. Second, I've been just okay at handstands and it's time to step it upside-down. I've decided to get inverted six times a day until I can hold a clean handstand for one minute. The plan is to hold three handstands in the morning for as long as I can and three at night. -- <em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/BeachBodyTony">Tony Horton</a>, author of</em> Bring It!: The Revolutionary Fitness Plan For All Levels That Burns Fat, Builds Muscle, And Shred Inches <strong>Follow Tony Horton on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/Tony_Horton">@Tony_Horton</a>

  • Commit To A Schedule

    The relatively painless act of keeping a regular schedule. That’s right: just try to <strong>maintain a predictable schedule</strong> on a daily basis. This entails the following: --Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, weekends included. --Eating at roughly the same times throughout the day, snacks included. --Taking any prescribed medications at the same time every day. --Exercising (if you do) at roughly the same time every day. As a doctor, of course I'd love for you to change your habits for the better and reduce your risks for illness. We all know the benefits of exercise and the bane of smoking. We all know that eating fast food won't fix the fat around our waistlines. But I'm also a realist, which is why I suggest you work your way to a new you just by making a single initial goal of keeping a regular schedule. Simple as that. Watch -- and feel -- what happens. -- <em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-b-agus-md/">David Agus</a> M.D., author of</em> The End of Illness <strong>Follow David Agus on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/DavidAgus">@DavidAgus</a>

  • Make More Time For Fun And Family

    My resolution for the new year is to do a better job of making recreation a priority. Partly, this is selfish and partly it's not. Some recreation is really for me. I love riding and pledge to make time in the saddle a priority in the new year. Nothing is better for my mental health! But I also pledge to be more conscious of recreational "down time" with my wife and kids -- all too easily neglected for the sake of ambition. -- <em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-katz-md/">David Katz</a> M.D., author of</em> Epidemiology, Biostatistics And Preventive Medicine <strong>Follow David Katz on Twitter:</strong> <a href="https://twitter.com/DrDavidKatz">@DrDavidKatz</a>

  • Relax More

    Dedicate some time each night for meditation and relaxation. While I try to do this when I can, this year I want to make this a priority in my life. -- <em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/">Michael Breus, Ph.D.</a>, author of</em> The Sleep Doctor's Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep <strong>Follow Michael Breus on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/thesleepdoctor">@thesleepdoctor</a>

  • Sit Less

    I'll be focusing on undoing the damage of sitting. Sitting is death. I was on book deadline for 2012 and it caused all sorts of hip and back issues, which led to other issues. I'll be getting a proper standing (or treadmill) desk, using foam rollers, doing more squats in workouts, and getting outside as much as possible. Humans aren't designed to sit 24/7. Life in captivity isn't much of a life at all, so 2013 will be my year of movement. -- <em><a href="http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2012/07/12/how-to-lose-100-pounds/).">Tim Ferriss</a>, author of</em> The Four Hour Body and The Four Hour Chef <strong>Follow Tim Ferriss on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/tferriss">@tferriss</a>

  • Make Vitamin D A Priority

    My resolution for the new year is to spread the word on the importance of taking <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/12/vitamin-d-foods-natural-sources_n_1958995.html">vitamin D</a> every day, and to help the world understand that Integrative Medicine can improve their health and well-being. I want to move our disease-care system to a true Health-Care System. -- <em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-soram-khalsa/">Soram Khalsa</a>, M.D., author of</em> The Vitamin D Revolution: How the Power Of This Amazing Vitamin Can Change Your Life <strong>Follow Soram Khalsa on Twitter</strong>: <a href="https://twitter.com/DrSoram">@DrSoram</a>

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