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Menopause and New Year's Goals

Wishing all readers the very best for this holiday season and health and prosperity for the upcoming year.

Making resolutions is a pain because there is too much pressure on us and everything has gone out the window by February! Mind you, during a hot flash in February I might be headed out into the snow too! But we can take stock of our lives at this time of the year and think about the months ahead. We can set goals for ourselves and think in terms of what we would like to accomplish. You might rediscover some old passions that have been dormant for several years, or you might want to try something you never have done before.

Making goals is kind of like a ‘to do’ list but most of those lists involve a series of mindless tasks with few if any rewards (when was the last time someone said thank you for buying the groceries or cleaning the toilet?) at the end. Most of us probably made a list of things we wanted to accomplish by the time we were 30; a year that seemed so far into the future that the possibilities to dream were endless. But what about now when we are in those peri-menopausal and menopausal years? Are there still dreams left for us?


Here are a few brainstorming ideas to toss around as you come up with your own plans.

Writing down our goals helps us take a vision and put it on paper for us to see. Making a list does not guarantee that everything will be achievable, but it will allow us to think in terms of what we really want. Most people want success but what does that mean to you? Putting down your ideas on paper will point you in the right direction, especially when you notice a pattern and return to a particular word or event.

Make this the year you try something that forces you to challenge yourself, even if only a little. Eleanor Roosevelt once advised that we should do one thing that we fear every day. Maybe your list will only include one such item for the year, but it is a start! Whether you dream of going back to school, changing jobs, moving to a new place, or taking up a new activity, consider what you want most from achieving that goal. It does not have to be a big or dramatic change either. Just do one thing that will shake up your routine a little.

Of course, it will not be easy. Many of us are dealing with menopause, raising families, and juggling careers and other obligations. You might be going through a divorce, an illness, a new relationship or some other major type of life changing event. The key is to clearly understand what you want most and what will be best for you. Making changes to suit others will never work; that only leads to resentment.

Think of the possible setbacks and challenges that you will face along the way. Being prepared is not necessarily thinking only that the very worst will happen. Rather it is a way to understand that nothing worth having ever comes without hard work and determination. Consider too how you will respond to the odd stumbling block or negative comment. If all it takes is a couple of words from someone else to shoot down your dreams, you might want to reassess just how much you wanted that goal in the first place.

This year is not going to be some magical time where everything will be wonderful just because you have a goal or two. Cars still break down, kids drive us to distraction, slices of toast burn, and hot flashes sneak up on us. Still we can enter this year a little more empowered than in the past and we remind ourselves that we are women who can overcome just about anything, even menopause!

Menopause, Your Doctor, and You

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