The best way to have control of your arthritis is to know the basic steps:
The more you know about a problem, the better you will be able to deal with it, and the better acquainted you are with arthritis, the better equipped you’ll be to overcome it.
Chances are you want to resume a much-loved activity like going for a walk on the beach, walking in a park, or playing with the children, for example—that arthritis has taken away from you. The best goals are specific, well-defined ones such as “I want to be able to walk a mile without pain.”
Once you have your goal, you need a treatment strategy for reaching it. Certainly, there is no lack of treatment approaches available. If so, you could take a number of approaches including weight loss, an exercise program, or using anti-inflammatory drugs.
For someone with arthritis, that old Chinese saying, ‘A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step”, is literally and figuratively true. In creating your weekly take-charge plan, you decide on a short-term goal and then assign yourself specific actions for achieving that goal.
Now comes the hard part: following through on the strategy you have devised. If your goal of losing a pound over the next week calls for cutting out 500 calories per day, you may have to skip that morning doughnut and afternoon cappuccino.
As the week passes, note how well you have done in completing the actions you have assigned yourself in your take-charge plan. Congratulate yourself if you have been able to stick to your plan, but don’t punish or berate yourself if you did some backsliding. Nobody ever said that changing a habit was easy.
If you don’t attain the short-term goal called for in your weekly take-charge plan, figure out what went wrong and identify a way to correct it. If you lost only half a pound, maybe losing one pound a week was too ambitious. Or, as it turned out, maybe one pound was easy and you could safely lose a little more. Either way, you probably need to fine-tune your action plan.
Success, as you know, is one of the best of all motivators. If you have achieved your short-term goal for one week, the momentum from the success will carry over into the following week—and inspire you to set a more ambitious goal. As you target and attain new goals, you will find yourself actually overcoming your arthritis in the process.