Setting New Year’s goals helps me better manage my rare disorders

How I keep moving forward, despite the health trials I face

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by Brandi Lewis |

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The new year is upon us, which means more opportunities to accomplish bigger goals in life. Making it to another year with aplastic anemia and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) reminds me of my resilience and drive to conquer what others would deem impossible. Because you’re reading this, you’ve also made it to another year, and I’m sure you accomplished great things in 2023. Congratulations!

As I reflect on last year, I ponder the ups and downs of my health. On days when my brain fog was prevalent and my forgetfulness dominated most thoughts and conversations, I often had to ask myself, “What was I trying to remember?” I think back to my six-month checkups with doctors, where I sat nervously in a room, hoping and praying that my bloodwork would be in the clear and I could return to my “normal” life.

Despite the trials I faced in 2023, I was also able to accomplish the goals I’d set. I was asked to travel and speak about my blood disorders and the impact they’ve had on my life. I created social media content to share details of my life battling rare diseases. Lastly, I celebrated a year of writing my column for PNH News.

As I enter a new year, I give closure to the year before. I think of its peaks and pitfalls and ponder what I could have done better. I also reflect on how I have grown and thank myself for sticking it out and becoming a better version of myself.

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Sharing my PNH story has led to more opportunities to share

Looking forward to 2024

With that out of the way, I move ahead to the new year. What are my goals? What do I want to learn? How can I become a better me?

Although I can’t predict the future and don’t know what this year will bring, I can control myself and my approach to 2024. I decided to set three work-related goals and three personal goals (thanks to my therapist for this idea). Because it’s so easy to forget the goals I set at the beginning of the year, I wanted to find a way to remind myself of them.

With a roll of craft paper to help me complete my assignment, I wrote “2024 Goals” at the top. Then I numbered and wrote out the six goals I’ve set for this year. When I was finished, I cut and hung the craft paper in my home office so that I’ll be reminded of my goals throughout the year. My hope is that this will motivate me to accomplish the tasks I came up with on Jan. 1.

One of my personal goals is to stay consistent with my writing, while my work goal is to post more on social media. I also want to grow my relationships with loved ones. As I plan for 2024, I’m continuing the progress I made in 2023 by remaining open to possibilities and saying yes to opportunities, even when they terrify me. I plan to finish this year as a better me!

If you’re struggling to get started on your goals for 2024, you’re not alone. Don’t compare yourself with anyone, and do what makes you feel comfortable. I hope this column gets your creative juices flowing on how to find and set goals for this year.

You owe it to yourself and your health to keep moving forward. You’ve got this!

Note: PNH News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of PNH News or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.