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I know I said I wasn’t going to make resolutions but to be completely transparent I spent three weeks before the New Year making them. Every other year, I have scratched a list out on New Year’s Eve, tossed it in a notebook and then dug it out late December to discover I hadn’t done a single thing on the list (or maybe, I had done one or two if I was lucky).

This year, I was fascinated by the process. I even started some of the resolutions as soon as I made them. For instance, I have been stretching (some would call it doing yoga) for twenty-five minutes every morning for two weeks now. I have also been walking forty minutes five days a week for a couple of weeks.

The thing I realized about all of my resolutions, is that they are all about trying to keep me healthy in mind, body, spirit. The other thing I realized, thanks to one of my guided journals, is that they are not a drag or punishment at all. They are a privilege. I don’t “have to” stretch every morning. I am healthy enough to “get to” stretch every morning. I don’t “have to” walk five times a week, I am healthy enough and have enough mobility to “get to” walk five times a week. The same is true of all my resolutions even the ones I set about writing and reading (I don’t get to read and write when I am experiencing psychosis).

Changing these two small words, “have to” to “get to” makes the difference in my attitude. It makes working on my resolutions a joy,  an accomplishment, a privilege,  an adventure. Unlike years before, I don’t see my list as a bunch of things I “should do” I see them as a bunch of things I “want to do.”

I have started to use the same language for my chores and other things I find difficult or not necessarily pleasant. I don’t “have to” do the dishes, I “get to” do the dishes because I am well enough to see that they need cleaning.

I know many of you struggle with your mental health in one way or another, and I know it isn’t always possible to talk yourself into a shower or to get out of bed. (Oh how I know these things), but on the days that you are functioning enough to try a task or two, try changing the two words, “have to” to “get to.”

I hope changing these words will change your perspective and help you accomplish new and better things. I have high hopes for 2019, and I think two simple words are going to help me make it a great year instead of just the status quo.