Create an Action Plan for Your New Year’s Resolutions

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by Joe MacDonald |

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In our culture, we learn at a very young age to make resolutions at the start of a new year. Unfortunately, the odds of breaking our goals are much higher than the odds of fulfilling what we set out to accomplish.

UAB Medicine News reports that less than 8% of the population keeps its resolutions. We start with the best of intentions, but somewhere down the road, we find ourselves defeated.

Little do we realize that while things look great on paper, the one ingredient that ensures success is a commitment to action. Writing down goals is excellent, but without a plan to follow through on what we hope to achieve, we set ourselves up for failure.

My youngest son, whom I refer to as “MacDonald the Younger,” celebrates his 15th birthday later this month. While part of me cannot believe he is that old, the other part is in a panicked state. My goodness, in a little over three years, he will leave the house and start his college career. Inside, I cry out, “Wait! He cannot leave without knowing how to accomplish crucial things regarding his treatment.”

I am not concerned that he will lose touch with his hemophilia treatment center while away at college. Until he leaves for school, my wife and I control all of his medical care. I look to my son to be a 15-year-old and hope that he can manage his school courses, not to mention a bleeding disorder.

Taking the advice of a great friend, my wife and I planned a learning chart to help with MacDonald the Younger’s college readiness. The goal is to teach him what he needs to know about his medical condition before leaving our house. Each year of high school brings a new purpose to focus on.

Our resolutions must have a plan of action, because they are vital to his continued development as a person with a bleeding disorder. We hope that managing hemophilia will not be a shock to his system when he leaves our house.

The transition from leaving his home to attending college is traumatic enough. Maintaining adequate care of his bleeding condition should come naturally, not as a shock. The last thing we want for him is to become overwhelmed and fail at everything. Success is our mantra, but we must work to make it happen.

Our goals through high school look something like this:

  • Freshman: Attend hemophilia camp, continue to self-treat, keep an accurate calendar concerning when to inject medication, and attend national and local meetings.
  • Sophomore: Continue all the activities from the freshman year, add calling his local pharmacy to order medication, and get to know his pharmaceutical representatives.
  • Junior: Continue all the activities from the previous years, and attend leadership training provided by the National Hemophilia Foundation and the Hemophilia Federation of America.
  • Senior: Continue all the activities from previous years, and find ways to lobby local, state, and national government officials for better medical care.

The commitment to ensuring my child’s health and well-being far surpasses a New Year’s resolution. It must become a way of life to thrive after leaving home. We must teach him how to become a man with a bleeding disorder and not leave it to chance that he watched us through the years.

He must prepare for the next phase of his life journey. Failure to teach MacDonald the Younger how to provide for himself in every part of his life will leave him at a greater risk for not satisfactorily managing physical, mental, and spiritual necessities in his life.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you turn your resolutions into calls of action, and that you prepare yourself to ensure success. Turn the pieces of paper on which you wrote your resolves into courses of action. Make a strategy for how to accomplish goals. Remember not to leave out plans for how best to include a loved one in future ways to address treatment regarding medical care. We want our loved ones to thrive as they continue to create their greatest masterpieces.


Note: Hemophilia News Today 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 another 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 Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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