Planning Today Allows for a Stronger Start Tomorrow

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by Sean Baumstark |

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This time of year is always chaotic yet fun for me. I enjoy good sweater weather, hot cocoa, and the many Christmas lights I see while driving around town. The chaos comes in many different forms, such as people who aren’t used to driving in the rain, busier days at work, trying to balance work and shopping, and navigating airports for long overdue time with family. December and the holiday season are rarely boring.

In addition to all the hustle and bustle, the holidays are a busy time in my head, too. As the year comes to an end, I intensely reflect on the events of the past 12 months. I recall major milestones, such as moving to a new environment, turning 40, losing my mom’s husband, and opening a new store at work.

Of course, I also think about some of the interesting guests we interviewed on the “Two Disabled Dudes” podcast, our eye-opening series on drug development, and my first in-person discussion since the COVID-19 pandemic caused the world to hit pause.

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I also start thinking about the year ahead and am reminded how easily time can get away from me. I’m beginning to contemplate goals for next year, some of which are already familiar, such as those I’ve had before that I didn’t accomplish.

What causes chaos in my mind are the goals I never pursued. If you’ve read my columns, you’ll know I am a “go-getter” who always works toward something bigger and who is always planning.

I’d like to think those sentiments are mostly true. But it’s apparent that time can easily slip away, and priorities can be forgotten or replaced. This year is particularly sticking out to me, because I’m contemplating many things I wish I would’ve done in life.

I’m not beating myself up, though. If there’s one life lesson I’ve learned, it’s to to accept the past, learn from it, and apply the lessons to the future.

And that’s what I’ve been spending some of my energy on lately. What have I learned and how can I apply it to 2022? I’ve been jotting down some notes and reworking some of my accountability tools so that I can have a strong start to the new year on day one.

I recently caught myself saying “come January” and “I need to get a routine in place,” and I realized that waiting until Jan. 1 to structure a good routine will just cause me to be behind “come January.” I do need to have a routine in place, especially one that helps me balance fatigue and other time-consuming nuances of Friedreich’s ataxia with my daily responsibilities and personal priorities. Such a routine won’t simply reveal itself, it requires planning.

I’ve often said that nothing important happens by accident. I want to be careful that I don’t find myself at the age of 41, 45, or 50 pursuing the same goals that I’ve allowed to elude me so far.

Although I may not know the best steps to take right now, I do know that planning today will allow a stronger starting point when the sun comes up tomorrow.

The new year is a great time to identify important habits, disciplines, and routines. I encourage you to spend some time with these things in mind before January, so that you’ll have a strong first day of the year, too. It’ll be here before we know it.


Friedreich’s Ataxia 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 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 Friedreich’s Ataxia News or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Friedreich’s ataxia.


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