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December 28, 2011













As the New Year approaches, most of us take stock of the year that has passed and make resolutions for the New Year that is beginning. Most of us fail. Why?


1. Our resolutions are not specific. We resolve to do things like eat better or get fit, but we don't define what that is. Make your resolutions specific. For example, I am going to eat 5 fruits or vegetables or walk for 15 minutes.

2. Our resolutions are not realistic. Life is unpredicable. If we resolve to do something every single day chances are that it won't happen. Instead of resolving to eat 5 fruits and vegetables or walk for 15 minutes every day, resolve to do it 4 days during the week. You can still strive for 7 days, but if you are realistic and set the goal for 4 days, you are more likely to succeed.

3. We make too many rsolutions. This year, why not make one specific, realistic, measurable resolution. Once that behavior becomes part of your life, you can always add another. In fact, why not use the beginning of each new month to make just one resolution? At the end of the year you will have made 12 significant changes in your life.

4. We aren't accountable. If we don't have someone with whom we can check in, we can fool ourselves. Find a buddy. Share your resolutions with one another. Once a week, check in to see how you are doing.

In Stanford's Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, participants are taught to make very specific weekly action plans. You can use these same guidelines for your resolution action plan.

  • What are you going to do? Make this action specific. Get fit or lose weight are not actions. Exercise or restrict calories are.
  • How much or how long are you going to do it? Walk half a mile? Walk for 20 minutes?
  • When are you going to do it? What time of day?
  • How often are you going to do it? How many days per week? Which days?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you that you can complete this plan? If your confidence is lower than a 7, modify the plan until your confidence level rises. For example, if your original plan has a confidence level of 5 and requires you to do your action 6 days, you might change it to 3 days and increase your confidence.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year from Maggi and Linda!

Only 4 Days Left

 Giving is what the holiday season is really about. Pretty presents wrapped up with ribbons and bows are fun but cannot compare to the gifts we give of ourselves to make a real difference.


Our wishes for 2012

  • Provide more local seminars for patients and those who love them.
  • Increase awareness so that more patients can find the support they need.
  • Make significant contributions to research so that Life without Lupus can become a reality.
  • Expand services
  • Raise awareness in the community

You make a difference. There are only 4 days remaining to donate and get your tax deduction for 2011. Please give today.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.-Mahatma Gandhi
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We Need Your Input

Think back to when you were first diagnosed. What do you wish your doctor had told you? What were your questions? What would have made you less afraid? What would have made your adjustment to living with lupus easier?





When I was diagnosed, I had three questions for my rheumatologist.

  • Is it progressive?
  • Will I lose my independence?
  • Is it going to kill me?

Nine years later, I know why he could not answer these questions. It certainly would have helped to know then why he could not.


We are revising the materials that we send to newly diagnosed inquirers. We would also like to put these mateirals in the hands of rheumatologists so that we can help support patients who may not know we exist for them. We could really use your thoughtful input here. Please send an email to Share the experience of your diagnosis and let Linda know what would have helped you at that time. Together, we can make sure no lupus patient feels alone.  

Essential Health Benefits

The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) says in an Essential Health Benefits Bulletin released today that major medical benefits standards should reflect the benefits typically offered by small employers.

The CCIIO, an arm of the U.S. Department of Human Services (HHS), says HHS officials have accepted the recommendations made by a panel of experts at the Institute of Medicine (IOM),Washington, that EHB shold "balance comprehensiveness and affordability for those purchasing coverage." 
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Linda Recommends

Short, daily reflections are a wonderful way to start or end our day. Finding the Joy in Today: Practical Readings for Living with Chronic Illness by Sefra Kobrin Pitzele is an excellent resource for those of us living with lupus.


"Even life with chronic illness has it share of joy, though the daily strains and constant adjustments may make joy harder to find. This inspiring book of daily meditations takes up the physical, emotional, and spiritual challenges faced by those who have chronic illnesses, as well as their caregivers, pointing the way to joy that each day can bring. With topics ranging from bedtime blues to crisis of confidence, from the fear of pain to the healing power of laughter, these daily readings confront common problems and trying situations with practial ideas and new ways of thinking that can help people find faith, direction, and hope in the course of living with chronic illness."


After being diagnosed with lupus, Sefra Kobrin Pitzele began using her experiences to help others face serious illness and life changes. She has six books in print, including We Are Not Alone: Learning to Live with Chronic Illness.  
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