This Year, I’m Moving Out of My Comfort Zone in Pursuit of My Dreams

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by Athena Merritt |

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Many of us start the new year with a list of resolutions, but few are successful at sticking to them. Almost all of us abandon them within weeks. Last year, I was among those struggling, so I decided to change course mid-year. I ditched the traditional list of resolutions and joined the ranks of those who choose one word for the year to live by instead. This year, I’m using the one-word approach again. 

Reaching for the stars

Last year, I chose “reclaim” as my word because it encompassed my goal of getting back the many things stripped from my life as a result of my health battles. I made significant progress in 2019, including reclaiming a place in the workforce and becoming more social and independent. My goal is to achieve even more this year — that’s why I’ve chosen the word “dream.”

Goodbye, comfort zone

Because of the unpredictable nature of sarcoidosis, playing it safe has become a habit for me. I wrote about this previously in a column about pursuing dreams. When living with sarcoidosis and other chronic illnesses, we have many fears. Fears that our health will get worse and unexpected medical expenses will wreak havoc on our finances. Fears that our illness will affect our ability to work or return to the workforce. Fears that we will become a burden on our families.

Fears can become a ball and chain weighing down our hopes if we let them. My goal this year is to push past my fears and allow myself to dream: big dreams and little ones. This year I will dare to emerge from my comfort zone and pursue my dreams, whatever they may be.

Living by a word

Choosing to replace my laundry list of resolutions last year with one word didn’t mean my goals went out the window. My focus shifted to improving my overall quality of life instead of worrying over individual resolutions. For example, rather than being hung up on a goal of a monthly outing, I focused on being more social.

The payoff of the new approach was that my measuring stick at year’s end became about the progress I made, instead of guilt over what I didn’t achieve. Choosing one word to live by allowed me to incorporate improvement into every aspect of my life and gave me more of a sense of accomplishment at the end of the year. That is why I decided to stick with it this year.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. May your dreams come true.


Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.


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