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The Top Five Resolutions for HIV-Positive People

At the beginning of every New Year, we feel the pressure to make a change for the better. Whether you take your new year’s resolutions seriously or not, we can all agree that everyone still has room for improvement. So for this year, think about making one of these resolutions a priority for 2015. You may be happy you did.

Here are the top five resolutions for HIV-positive people in 2015.

 

I will allow people to ask questions and make mistakes.

 

There is a difference between people who make offensive statements on purpose and people who don’t know any better. When it comes to the latter, make an effort to have a dialogue with these people and allow them to ask questions and become more informed. It might take a little patience, but the person in your life will be better for it and you will have helped to educate one more person about HIV.

 

I will not make assumptions about what others think of me.

 

It can be easy to assume the worst before telling someone your HIV status. And if you never tell a person that you are HIV-positive, you still might make the assumption that they would judge you harshly anyway. This is an example of self-stigma, and can be very damaging to your self-confidence and self-worth. More often than not, people will surprise you with compassion, empathy and a will to understand. This year, quit with all of the assumptions and let the people in your life speak for themselves.

 

I will live in the present, not dwell in the past.

 

So you have made some mistakes in your life. The good news is, so has everybody else. But if you are holding on to the guilt and shame of the past mishaps from previous years, you are punishing yourself for no good reason. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you have made if you haven’t already. As for future mistakes – which will inevitably happen – take a moment of acknowledge them, pledge to try and not make the same one again, and forgive yourself without giving it a second thought.

 

I will do something to feel better.

 

There are a variety of health issues of varying degrees that may arise throughout they year for someone who is HIV-positive. Most of these issues can be easily treated, but can have the ability to leave an unsettling feeling that lingers long after the physical ailments subside. Even if you are feeling fine, chances are you could probably feel a little better. Whether it is more exercise, a healthier diet, or a few less glasses of wine a week, making an effort to improve how you feel can be physically and mentally empowering. So in the coming year, do something to feel better and take control of your mental or physical health.

 

I will resolve to recommit.

 

If you have never failed to follow through on a resolution, you wouldn’t need to make one in the first place. Instead of committing your new year’s goals to memory, write them down and place them on your fridge, your desk, or wherever you choose just so long as you see it everyday. When you lose site of what it is you have resolved to change, simply recommit. Instead of beating yourself up, just refocus. If you can master this simple resolution, than there is nothing you can’t accomplish in the New Year.