Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About myPHteam

Setting Intentions for 2020 With Pulmonary Hypertension (PH)

Posted on January 02, 2020

Eat healthier. Exercise more. Learn a new skill. Pay off a credit card. Many of us have made similar New Year’s resolutions over the years. And many of us have also ended January feeling like failures because we didn’t follow through perfectly. We may feel even more discouraged if our goal was linked to improving how we manage pulmonary hypertension.

The problem isn’t that we failed at our resolutions. The problem is that the resolution framework failed us. Resolutions are often binary goals - this or that. Yes or no. Either you went to the gym five days a week or you didn’t. Either you quit smoking or you didn’t. These yes-or-no set-ups can make us feel like losers if we don’t attain perfection. This is true for anyone, but black-and-white goals can be even more challenging when life with PH throws curveballs. Difficulty getting out in cold weather or other PH symptoms can make it harder to stick to a pulmonary rehabilitation routine or keep up a volunteer commitment. A trip to the emergency room may send New Year’s resolutions right out the window.

2020 can be different. Instead of choosing a New Year’s resolution, consider adopting a New Year’s intention. Intentions and resolutions have similarities - both require us to reflect on our lives and identify areas we’d like to improve. But intentions can be more successful than resolutions because they give us the space to work towards progress, even if progress isn’t a straight line.

Intentions account for the reality that habits don’t change overnight. Research from the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it can take people anywhere from 18 days to eight months to create a new habit. And that’s ok - the study found that missing opportunities to follow through did not prevent people from achieving consistency over time, provided they tried again. In other words, if you’ve had trouble sticking to a low-sodium diet to reduce swelling and shortness of breath, give it another go with a new attitude.

Here are some suggestions for setting intentions that can help improve your physical and emotional well-being:

Find Your “Why”
It’s easy to pick a resolution based on perceived shortcomings, but focusing on your why - your deeper priorities - can make a bigger impact on your overall quality of life. Here are some examples of transitioning from resolutions to intentions that reflect a deeper purpose:

  • “I resolve to lose 20 pounds” becomes “I intend to take steps to increase the energy I have to spend with loved ones.”
  • “I will attend every book club meeting” becomes “I intend to invest more time in my friendships.”
  • “I will pay off a credit card” becomes “I intend to focus my spending on the bills and purchases that have the greatest impact on my life.”
  • “I will stop gossiping” becomes “I will focus on the goodness in others.”

Once you’ve identified your deeper purpose, you can focus on small actions that will support your why. And when you stumble, you can return to your why to renew your motivation.

Lay the Groundwork for Change
Depending on your intention, you may want to consult your doctor to develop a plan. If you’d like to better manage shortness of breath, your doctor can help you decide which types of exercise or nutritional plans are best for PH and any other health conditions you might have. Your doctor may also suggest working with a physical therapist or nutritionist to support your New Year’s intention. With the support of your doctor and other health professionals, you can then research new recipes, find online exercise videos, or make plans with a friend to cook and work out together.

Build in Short-Term Rewards
Research from the University of Chicago and Cornell University found that people are better at sticking to goals that yield long-term benefits if they can experience short-term rewards along the way. For example, the study found that people were more likely to eat green vegetables if they found enjoyable ways to prepare them than if they only ate them for health benefits. You can apply the same principle to your intentions.

Show Yourself Compassion
Accept that you won’t always live up to your intentions. Be kind to yourself when you fall short. If you find yourself beating yourself up, stop and think about what you would say to a friend or other member of myPHteam in your shoes. Would you knock them down or encourage them to try again? Be as understanding and supportive to yourself as you would to someone else.

Do you have an intention for 2020? Share your hopes for the new year with other members on myPHteam.

A myPHteam Member said:

KellyBuck. My blessings to you Sweet Lady, I would like to get to know you better ❤️ My love and prayers to you.❤️ Love❤️Gwen

posted 22 days ago

hug (1)

Recent articles

As of June 14, 2021, more than 64 percent of Americans had received at least their first...

Life After COVID-19 Vaccination: What Are myPHteam Members Doing Now That They’re Vaccinated?

As of June 14, 2021, more than 64 percent of Americans had received at least their first...
Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) is a type of pulmonary arterial hypertension...

Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Your Guide

Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) is a type of pulmonary arterial hypertension...
The term “hypertension” refers to high blood pressure. Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a...

Pulmonary Hypertension vs. Hypertension

The term “hypertension” refers to high blood pressure. Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a...
Have you been feeling dizzy or light-headed, especially when exercising? Although there are many...

Light-Headedness and Pulmonary Hypertension

Have you been feeling dizzy or light-headed, especially when exercising? Although there are many...
Because the physical impact of pulmonary hypertension (PH) can be all-consuming, you may be...

How Pulmonary Hypertension Can Affect Your Mental Health

Because the physical impact of pulmonary hypertension (PH) can be all-consuming, you may be...
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) commonly occurs among the general public. Pulmonary arterial...

PAH vs. PH: What's the Difference?

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) commonly occurs among the general public. Pulmonary arterial...
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a specific type of pulmonary hypertension (PH).PAH...

What Is Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)?

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a specific type of pulmonary hypertension (PH).PAH...
Diagnosing PAH is a process of elimination – other diseases and disorders must be ruled out....

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) Diagnosis and Treatments

Diagnosing PAH is a process of elimination – other diseases and disorders must be ruled out....
Telemedicine is the use of two-way communication technology to provide health care.More people...

Access Your Doctor Without Leaving Your Home

Telemedicine is the use of two-way communication technology to provide health care.More people...
Risk assessment for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) helps monitor disease progression and...

What Is Risk Assessment for Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension?

Risk assessment for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) helps monitor disease progression and...
myPHteam My pulmonary hypertension Team

Two Ways to Get Started with myPHteam

Become a Member

Connect with others who are living with pulmonary hypertension. Get members only access to emotional support, advice, treatment insights, and more.

sign up

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest articles about pulmonary hypertension sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
myPHteam My pulmonary hypertension Team

Thank you for signing up.

close