Outshining Broken Resolutions


New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken – at least that’s what if feels like for me. The pattern of my life to date has been to make resolutions but never cross them off my list. Every year I envisioned these grand sweeping dreams and every year those dreams floated away from my reach, bursting like delicate soap bubbles. With the advent of arthritis, my grand sweeping dreams changed with the limitations of my disease, but even with my adjustments I was never able to keep them. I started to wonder if it was worth the effort of making new resolutions. If I was going to be facing another year battling the unpredictable antics of old lady RA, would I have the time and energy to achieve my goals? But looking back at 2014, I discovered something extraordinary.

Lost in the shadow of my grand promises, I somehow achieved a cluster of small goals I failed to recognize as accomplishment. I mastered the limitations of my body with swimming, yoga and strength training; I studied new techniques in OT and PT to reduce pressure on my joints. I travelled to Atlantic Canada; I learned hand exercises to keep my fingers nimble and reduce stiffness; I published poetry, short stories and contributed to a health article; I was invited to a bloggers event called ARTHFully Living, hosted by Janssen and GCI group; I visited Toronto for the first time and had the opportunity to see my brother while I was there. I attended writers’ festivals and workshops, and was invited to contribute guest posts for other websites. I fell off the exercise wagon a few times and climbed back on; I endured bad flare days with a smile on my face and celebrated spirited days where I climbed sand dunes and bounced on trampolines. All in all, not too shabby for a girl with arthritis. I didn’t envision any of this and yet, I accomplished more than I imagined. I’ve learned to appreciate the enduring power found in the little things: picking up a mug without pain; walking one block without fatigue; writing one story without struggle. In fact, as it turned out, many of my finest moments and triumphs in the last year were the surprising result of broken resolutions. DSCN4636

And so for the year ahead, I will reflect on those big bold dreams with the full confidence that along the way I will pluck small victories from the fragments of their inevitable failure. I look forward to the small triumphs of another year of broken resolutions – one step at a time, one day at a time, one story at a time, one victory at a time. Look out arthritis – breaking your resolve is always on my list.

Wishing everyone a Happy Healthy New Year – may you find victories in the little things and marvel at every achievement, because in every small goal there is always cause to celebrate.



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  1. Carla Kienast on December 29, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Congratulations! Erma Bombeck once wrote that “life is what happens when we make other plans.” Apparently you had a myriad of wonderful successes and accomplishments when you weren’t looking. May we all have a happy and healthy 2015.

    • J.G. Chayko on December 30, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      LOL, I love that saying. Life sure did happen when I wasn’t looking. I hope you have a wonderful healthy New Year in 2015 and I look forward to following your continuing adventures. Stay well. Cheers.

  2. Irma on December 29, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    What an inspiring and impressive list, J.! I’m so happy that in retrospect you met your goals, albeit different ones than you expected. That is how I feel about RA, it opened doors that otherwise might have remained closed to me. The best gift it gave me was the option to study and prepare for the career I only dreamed about. Hope this next year is even better for you. 🙂

    • J.G. Chayko on December 30, 2014 at 7:30 pm

      It was an amazing year. I couldn’t believe all that had taken place when I looked back. It was more than I could have hoped. Wishing you a very Happy New Year filled with health, happiness and inspiration. Cheers.

  3. Kev on December 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Small triumphs can be the most rewarding J.G. Have a great new year! 🙂

    • J.G. Chayko on December 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      Thanks Kev – wishing you and yours a very Happy Healthy 2015. Keep writing 😉 Cheers.

      • Kev on December 31, 2014 at 8:18 am

        Looking forward to 2015! Hope it’s a great one for you. 🙂

  4. Wren on December 30, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Wow! You’ve done fantastically well this year, JG, and all of it in spite of the old lady! I think that sometimes, it’s better not to make yearly resolutions–it’s too easy to break them and then feel guilty. And then not try to do any more for fear of more disappointment. You’ve certainly found the way to break through that ugly cycle.

    Here’s wishing you and yours a warm, fun, Happy New Year! 😀

    • J.G. Chayko on December 30, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      Thanks Wren. I hope you have a wonderful New Year filled with the love of family and good friends, more good days then bad and many stories to bring to the page. Best, J.G.

  5. Kim on December 30, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I love the idea of a New Year and fresh beginnings. It’s a great time for reflection and change. Your optimism in realizing that you achieved so many great things in 2014 is refreshing! Best wishes for a bright and shiny New Year! ~Kim

    • J.G. Chayko on December 30, 2014 at 7:28 pm

      Thank you 🙂 I wish you and yours much happiness and health in the New Year. Cheers.

  6. pamcheslatta on December 30, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    Julia, you are such an inspiration.

    • J.G. Chayko on January 2, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      Thank you Pam. Hope you have a fabulous year in 2015. Hugs.

  7. My 2015 RAsolutions | Carla's Corner on December 31, 2014 at 8:33 am

    […] let me just say how much I enjoyed J. G. Chayko’s recent post on Outshining Broken Resolutions. She wisely points out that amidst the rubble of grand resolutions that somehow never quite get met […]

    • J.G. Chayko on January 2, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      Thanks Carla, this is lovely. Looking forward to following your journey for another year. Cheers.

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About me

J.G. Chayko is a writer, actress, and international arthritis advocate who’s been involved in theatre for more than 30 years and has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.