Hopes and Goals for the New Year

With each new year, many people set goals and intentions for the best possible future.

Thinking about the new year means a lot of different things to people in the multiple sclerosis (MS) community.

To learn more about this, we reached out on the MultipleSclerosis.net Facebook page. We asked, “What is your biggest hope for your multiple sclerosis journey in 2023?”

The question received more than 300 comments. Here are the themes that emerged.

A cure

Of course, the number 1 response was that the community wishes for a cure for MS.

“A cure in my lifetime.”

“That they find a cure and a way to heal the damage already caused.”

A better treatment

Until a cure is found, the next best thing would be to find the best possible treatment option. This might look one way this year, and a totally different way next year. There is much hope in the community that treatment options will improve and that each person will find the best treatment option for them. Everyone wants to enjoy the coming year as much as possible.

“​​To start a treatment that will give me enough quality of life to keep working and start grad school.”

“I would love better treatments!”

No MS progression

One of the most shared responses was the hope that one’s MS does not worsen. Several people mentioned that they felt grateful for their current state of health. This inspires them to keep up with recommended exercise and diet plans to maintain their current level of health.

“Other than finding a cure, I hope that my MS does not progress.”

“To stay lesion free in 2023. No disease progression.”

Changes to exercise and diet

It may not seem like it, but one of the most effective health goals is to commit to small changes. Small changes add up and can have a snowball effect. The result may be that you feel better in a big way. Plus, every time you make a healthy choice, it may inspire you to make another one.

“Continue my exercise and physical therapy. I choose tiny, tiny efforts throughout the day, such as a leg lift here or a bit of cardio there. I can do some more core exercise while watching TV. I can just tuck it all into the corners of my life, which is so much easier than committing to a block of time, and it is just as effective.”

“I want to be proactive. I am going to try to make positive changes to my diet and lifestyle to hopefully regain some of my mobility.”

Positive focus

Several people responded that they want to keep their focus positive. Maintaining this kind of mindset leads to better mental health, which can result in better physical health.1

“It will have been one year since my diagnosis. I slipped into a bit of a funk while trying to adjust to my new normal. I want to make small changes and remember that there is power in positivity.”

“To stay positive as much as I can.”

Perseverance

Many community members shared that their focus in the new year is to take life one day at a time. Their priority is to keep going and accept each day as it comes. This means enjoying the moments and days of good health.

“We just keep on swimming, swimming, swimming, like Dory. Make the best of it. Hopefully I will be able to get up and move forward after each fall.”

“Just to get through the year! One day at a time.”

“Endure one day at a time! I am thankful my good days outweigh my bad days. I will not complain!”

References

1. Positive thinking: Stop negative self-talk to reduce stress. Mayo Clinic. Available at https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/positive-thinking/art-20043950. Accessed 2/6/2023.

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