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New Year's Resolutions for Caregivers

As we recover from the joyous anxieties of the holiday season, many of us reflect on the passing year and plan for the coming of the new. January, taking its name from the Latin word for door, is a time for new beginnings, and the most popular expression comes in the form of New Year’s Resolutions.

 A study by John C. Norcross of the University of Scranton found more than two in five Americans make a New Year’s resolution.  Out of those who do, fewer than one in 10 say they are successful in achieving them while about half say they have some success. 

But what’s more significant for our own goals is that people who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t. 

We make New Year’s resolutions because we recognize areas in our own lives we need to change or improve. Our personal and family situations are constantly changing. In fact, the world around us is changing more rapidly than at any time in history.  All this change can be challenging, but also motivating. We can either embrace that or make ourselves miserable by resisting it. 

There is plenty of free advice during these weeks, mostly well-meaning, but often self-interested commentators urging all of us to start doing whatever pleases them, or to stop whatever it is that annoys them, personally.

Individually, we too often fall into the trap of making our own resolutions an annual minefield of self-improvement goals that by March dissolve into self-esteem killers.

Let’s not do that this year. 

If you are a family caregiver, this year, let’s resolve simply to be a little better; to come a little closer to being the child, sibling, partner, and caregiver we know we can be. At Caring Hearts, we plan to start with some simple steps.

Here’s what I’m doing. In the New Year, I’m resolving to: 

  • Embrace my life with love and excitement;

  • Accept my own limitations with compassion;

  • Welcome the perspective of my family and friends with understanding;

  • Be grateful for the assistance and advice others provide – even when I really didn’t ask for it;

  • Be tolerant of others – even when I think they’re wrong;

  • Cherish my time with those I love;

  • Look for the privilege of serving another person; and

  • Care for my own physical and spiritual needs as I care for others.

  • Just a little more.

What about you? To add your resolutions, join the discussion on Facebook.

All the best in 2017!


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