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I think it’s always a good idea to have a Plan B- because life being life, there’s always going to be a spanner in the works of Plan A. I know this pussy cat’s dilemma all too well. I have a wardrobe ranging from a size 12 to size 16 and I refuse to ever throw out the size 12’s because you never never know……

There is lots of disagreement on social media about the value of New Years Resolutions but we have been doing them for a long time now (how long Vonny?) – same wonderful friends, every New Years Eve so there’s a bit of a tradition that must go on. We write things down in a designated book and after dinner each year on New Years Eve we dig out the book and see who has achieved their goals for the year. It’s a bit of fun and the boys take it quite seriously with some healthy competition adding up how many they have achieved and each claiming they have won the count.

So again this New Years Eve I will be contemplating my goals for the year and attempting to knock a few of them over. You can see from the cat meme there will be the perennial one about my weight. It’s very difficult as we race past menopause and into older age. The weight is difficult to shift and yet the evidence is strong that keeping a healthy weight range helps with urinary incontinence;(1) and being overweight or obese is associated with progression of prolapse (POP= Pelvic Organ Prolapse). Interestingly, weight loss does not appear to be significantly associated with regression of POP, suggesting that damage to the pelvic floor related to weight gain might be irreversible. (2); it’s helpful for ageing joints meaning less pain and more ability to keep exercising; it’s helpful for plantar fasciitis; it’s helpful for a healthy heart and good blood pressure and so it goes on. So yes, I will write the usual resolution regarding my weight.

And after the most blissful 2.5 weeks at the beach this year, there will definitely be more beach sojourns (both short and another longer one at Christmas time). They are just so relaxing and refreshing and pleasant. Even though I have still been ‘working’ with writing and keeping an eye on things at work, the sound of the waves and the view from the veranda hardly makes it feel like work. This year I am booking them before I get home, because once I get home there is always too much to do and we don’t make it away. But if its booked then its more likely to happen.

There will also definitely be some travel plans. When you can still walk and are relatively healthy, I think it’s imperative to exhaust all your travel desires. Travel widens our horizons but reminds us every day how gorgeous our beaches are and how relaxed we are as a nation. (It also reminds us that our nation is big and probably has some room to share.)

But also this year I am including some of the things I encourage many of my patients to consider introducing into their lives – some may think they are ‘airy fairy’ but they are important to manage the stresses of life and to help us function at a high level when we are dealing with stressors. This year, one of my patients got very organised and when she got home from her consultation wrote down all the stressors that we had nutted out and then written down the suggested strategies and ended up with a very busy piece of paper with her programme of how to tackle her pain issue. She sort of did her own infographic of what we had talked about- but just hand written and on a scrap of paper. She had all the headings we had discussed and suddenly it looked like the framework of a pretty cool programme.

You see she just ‘got it’.

She suddenly understood why her pain flared at times and why it diminished at others. She realised that core elements such as sleep and healthy eating had taken a dive and communication within the family had gone off the rails because everyone was so busy working and just trying to keep their heads above water. She realised her muscle tension was increased by clenching when she was in a high state of anxiety but with some easy strategies (letting go with her belly and inner thighs and doing regular belly breathing through the day) she had made good gains in quite a short time.

So I have created my own infographic for my major ‘airy fairy’ 2018 goals, because like everyone, I have some life stresses and stressors and I’ve turned it into a pretty picture that I can keep reminding myself about what I must do through the year.

Happy New Year to all and if you’d like to use my infographic feel free