Planning for the future? How about starting with positive intentions?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2013-02-15 11:31:15 -0600
Started 2013-01-25 13:56:04 -0600

When you have one of those moments when you take a long look at yourself and where you are in life – like maybe this morning in the bathroom mirror – chances are, a couple more questions are going to pop up. Something like: Where am I headed in life? And what do I want?

Whether a new year, or a new chapter, in your life, it’s hard to move forward if don’t know what you’re moving toward. Like a vision for what you want your life to look like.

If you have a vision in place, what’s it look like? Something you’re motivated to work toward? Or something you hope to avoid? And if don’t have a vision, why not?

Living with a chronic condition brings challenges into your life, a whole lot of them on some days. As a result, your vision for the future may not look quite the way you might have thought it would before your diagnosis. But your vision for the future has to be covered over in clouds. And can anyone know what the future might bring?

Think about your vision as a work in progress, based on positive intentions for what you want your life to look like. Having positive intention begins with deciding not to focus on what’s not going well in your life – the frustrations and disappointments. And instead focusing on what’s going well, being grateful, and expecting the best instead of the worst. Your positive intentions are the building blocks to creating a vision to motivate and inspire you, and keep you moving forward.

So, what are your intentions for your future? Wanna share?

I have some ideas to help you get started in my article in Living with Diabetes. Here is a link:

28 replies

mhcfc13 2013-02-08 14:19:05 -0600 Report

Thank you for the article and information, and all how manage to control their own and support others. I came in here, knowing very little except for the tricks I picked up from relatives with diabetes and working with others with diabetes. I am still in the process of learning, but those who mention that support is extremely important, you are right. We need to be concerned about several issues above and beyond our diabetes, because they will either interfere or just plain old add more complications-anxiety, depression, fatigue, BS/BG, medication dynamics (the way you take) and kinetics (the way your body used the meds) and medication interactions.

I have noticed and spoken to a few that have secondary and multiple conditions. All of and the combination of the conditions will affect the future view of life, and in some cases are a tad overwhelming. The first week was for me. Life comes and keeps coming, we are the ones who need to slow down, for our health and well being.

We live in a world where healthy living is, in my opinion, expensive; unless you can grow your own vegetables, herbs, and other higher nutritional items and remove the preservatives. So lefhandedjoyce, you have it on the head-YES I CAN. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of a community.

lefthandedjoyce 2013-02-01 22:11:57 -0600 Report

Better understanding of diabetes as an illness and diabetic management (diet, exercise, medication mgt, improved HbA1C) becomes a way of life. The end result shall be a healthy, less stressful day, week, month. A "Yes I Can Deal With My Diabetes" Attitude. GO Team! Love ya'll, JC

lefthandedjoyce 2013-02-01 22:11:57 -0600 Report

Better understanding of diabetes as an illness and diabetic management (diet, exercise, medication mgt, improved HbA1C) becomes a way of life. The end result shall be a healthy, less stressful day, week, month. A "Yes I Can Deal With My Diabetes" Attitude. GO Team! Love ya'll, JC

type1skillset 2013-01-27 18:45:33 -0600 Report

Dear Dr Gary, it is nice to finally hear someone in your profession acknowledging the softer side of medicine. Direction without guidance is a sure fire way to end up where one started. Your words give everyone the hope and methods to get to where one wants to go. As the often used quote says "begin with the end in mind". Great article and thanks for the words of wisdom - harrison

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-01-28 22:47:46 -0600 Report

Hey Harrison,

Thanks so much for the kind words. Though I have to say that I am a therapist and not a MD. But I do have a couple of doctor acquaintances who are all about being encouraging and staying positive, and working with their patients to acheive their goals. We just need more of them to think this way.

I really appreciate your encouragement. Nice to be in touch with you!


GabbyPA 2013-01-27 16:32:01 -0600 Report

One thing that helps me in this regard is phrasing. Specially goals. What I mean is this:
Instead of "I want to" or "I hope I can" use phrases like "I am" and "I have done it" to get your brain convincing your body to follow. That is what it does best, so make sure your body will benefit from following your brain.

I used to stand in front of the mirror and try to shame myself to loose weight. It doesn't work in the long run. Actually, it created a self loathing and depression instead of my desired effect of loosing weight. Once I focused on eating healthy to get my blood sugars down, the weight came off. I just love those side effects!

The power of positive is strong. We don't use it enough.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-01-28 22:44:02 -0600 Report

Hi Gabby,

This is a great post! "I am" implies intention, whereas "I hope" can also imply, "maybe I'll decide to do it later." It's a difference of only a word or two, but that makes a big difference to your brain.

And I agree, keep it positive and self-affirming, not self-critical. Be your own friend, not taskmaster and critic.

Thanks a lot!


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-01-27 17:40:45 -0600 Report

Gabby when you do what you did in attempting to shame yourself into losing weight shows what can happen. In order to lose weight, you have to want to do that. Its like your friends and family constantly telling you to go on a diet. It doesn't work unless you want to get yourself together and make changes.

GabbyPA 2013-01-28 21:58:15 -0600 Report

That is what I was saying. A positive outlook on things gets me much farther than a negative one.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-01-26 20:16:14 -0600 Report

Dr. Gary great post and insight. I think if you keep a positive attitude and an open mind you will always move forward. A chronic disease is a challenge if you choose to make it one.

You cannot move towards anything if you are not willing to stop living in the past. You cannot move towards anything if you are not willing to take that first step. To move forward you have to face challenges thrown in your path. You are not going to climb a mountain in a day, but you can get over the hills leading to the top of the mountain.

I agree positive intentions does not begin with what isn't going right in your life. Not everything in life is going to be right. You may have to do some housekeeping by getting rid of things bogging you down. Get out of a bad relationship, clean out closets filled with things you don't want or need, clean out your life of every negative thing holding you back and that can include family and friends. As you make changes along the way, people are going to hinder you. Don't allow this to happen.

I think you also have to stop looking for others to inspire or motivate you. Depending or asking others to do this for you is one less thing you learn to do for yourself. Stop looking for people to always support you in everything you do. Far to often people will say they support your endeavors when actually they really don't care whether on not you succeed.

Stop worrying about what others say about you or think about you. People are going to do this regardless of the good or bad things you do. As you move toward changes, pat your own back. Don't wait for someone else to do this as it may never arrive. You are your own success story and you are the only one who can write that book.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-01-27 16:23:33 -0600 Report

Hi Joyce,

Thanks so muchfor checking in here and sharing your own wisdom and experiences. What I took away from you post was the reminder that we really have to be our own best friend, that we need to give ourselves encouragement, be our own advocate, and set limits with others to take the best possible care of ourselves. We need support from others, but we also have to be compassionate toward ourselves.

What a great post!


Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-01-27 17:47:01 -0600 Report

I agree Dr. Gary in that we need support from others. What happens is people become dependent on that support. You have to be supportive of yourself, your life, and your own well being first and foremost. When you do need support from others, you should have that system set up.

They say if you run to the well too often the well will eventually run dry. If you continuously need support from others that well will also run dry. You can't be truly supportive of others if you cannot first be supportive of yourself. You also can't be too hard on yourself which is where being compassionate towards ourselves plays a role. Never believe that you can't accomplish something. You may have to make modifications but you shouldn't give up until all avenues have been exhausted. The end results can be life changing and you will now that hard work pays off.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-01-28 17:48:28 -0600 Report

Joyce, I understand what you are saying here. Compassion begins by being compassionate toward ourselves, and I think we also can benefit from giving ourselves a push when we need to. Self-care starts with taking personal responsibility, making the choices we need to make to take the best possible care of ourselves. A chronic condition can teach us to take our lives more seriously, to value ourselves more.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-01-28 17:59:53 -0600 Report

I totally agree with you. Unfortunately, people with chronic conditions deny they have them and fail to get continued care. Over time this can cause the condition to get worse. I have a diabetic cousins who are brothers. One lost a toe earlier this month the other just had a double heart bypass last week. Neither took care of themselves physically or mentally. They both believed they could continue their lives the way they had prior to being diagnosed with their conditions. Self-care plays a big role in any kind of chronic condition. So how do we educate those who don't want to or refuse to begin self-care?

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-01-31 16:01:09 -0600 Report

I have seen this too. It is so heartbreaking. We can't control how other people choose to think or behave. We can't wrestle them to the ground and make them eat healthy good and be compliant with medical care. We can provide gentle reminders, and even some tough love. And take advantage of those teachable moments when they arise to put in a good word for the value of self-care. It's inevitable that you will feel helpless at times. But again, the most we can do is to care. But that's a lot! Gary

MAYS 2013-01-25 14:06:27 -0600 Report

Dr. Gary,
Very insightful and well said!
A positive attitude towards self and life go a long way towards wellness of mind, heart, soul and spirits, it also does well with helping one to cope with health and self esteem issues.
Life progresses best when it moves forward and positive thinking, even in times of despair, really helps one to stay focused. I am looking forward to reading your article.
Keep them coming, they do so much good!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-01-27 16:17:29 -0600 Report


Thanks for your encouragement, and kind words, my friend. I am always glad to hear from you! And I'm glad this struck a chord with you.


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