New Year, New You…Reflections on turning 50
New Year Resolutions
As we begin the New Year, many of us will make New Year’s resolutions – lose 10 pounds, eat better, save more money, etc. Some, we will stick with, and others we won’t. We make these promises to ourselves because the beginning of the year conjures images of hope and starting anew, correcting past mistakes, and moving forward – it gives us this unique opportunity to reflect and reinvent ourselves. This New Year comes on the heels of my 50th birthday – a milestone birthday which also gave me a chance for reflection.
To a certain degree, I’ve been celebrating all month. I began my birthday by speaking to a women’s group about “aging gracefully” which was followed by a weekend with friends from different parts (and phases) of my life – some I hadn’t seen in 24 years. Then, this past week, I spent with my husband. Following my birthday celebration, I looked back at how much I had grown over the years — I have become more confident with age and experience — I’m a better surgeon and physician, and I would like to think that I’m a more mature, thoughtful, and open individual than my younger self.
When I was younger, I was uncertain about what I wanted, afraid to set goals which could appear to be overly ambitious – fearful that others would find my dreams ridiculous; terrified of what others thought of me. I only applied to one college – not because it was my first choice, but because I felt that it was the only I could go to. In medical school, I was scared to tell others that I liked surgery and wanted to pursue a surgical career because I was fearful that they would laugh and tell me that I would never be accepted into a competitive residency. What I discovered was that these fears hurt me and slowed my progress – almost guaranteeing failure.
Looking Towards The Future
Twenty-five years ago, I would try to gain approval of others whom I thought were better or more successful than me. Today, I’ve realized that I am successful and the judgments of others aren’t as important. At the start of this year, I’m thinking what I would like to accomplish this year and in the future. Like most of us, I start with good intentions – stick to my resolutions at the beginning but then when I have one slip up, it’s all over. Earlier this year, I tried a 100 day challenge — I was going to do 100 squats in 100 days; after skipping one day, the impulse is to say that I’m done and it doesn’t matter anymore – so I give up. I realized that if we put too much pressure on ourselves, any task can seem daunting. Rather, our goals should be attainable – allowing us to pick up the pieces and continue, and grow from our failures. So, I’m still trying to do more squats.
My goals this year are to follow-through on my dreams, take chances, and take the time to paint and write – two activities I love to do but rarely make the time to do. Take this New Year as an opportunity to explore new things – try something that you’ve never done before; and most importantly, take care of yourself. Eat healthy and exercise….get enough sleep….enjoy your family…enjoy your co-workers…live life without regrets. Take chances, live your dreams, and be fearless in this New Year.
And, if there is any way that we, at Bajaj Plastic Surgery, can help you achieve your goals into the New Year, let us know!
– Dr. Anureet K. Bajaj, M.D.
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