Setting Goals for the New Year

Kim Fredrickson avatar

by Kim Fredrickson |

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Just breathe, passionate help for the PF journey

Happy New Year! I consider it a minor miracle that I made it to 2019. You may feel this way, too. I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis (PF) four and a half years ago and given a few months to a year to live. I’m grateful to be still here in the land of the living.

Being given this dismal timeline made it hard to set new goals because I thought, “Why bother?” I felt this more during the first two years after diagnosis as I worked through my grief. As the years have passed, I’ve come to look forward to setting small goals for the future.

We have now!

I try to remember that despite my diagnosis, I still have now. Please join me in focusing on enjoying the life we have to live today. In reality, whether someone has PF or not, we only have now.

I allow myself to grieve over what I’ve lost but try not to dwell there, because doing so will steal the joy I have in the present moment. I am aware of and talk to God frequently about my fears for the future. I trust that He will guide and direct me with whatever lies ahead, and I will deal with it as it happens. I want to enjoy each moment and spend meaningful times with my loved ones. I want to embrace all that is possible now. You can, too!

Following is a short video I made. Check out the pictures with my sister and husband.

Set small goals

I’ve set some small, achievable goals for myself. As my disease progresses, it feels good to put effort into goals I can control. I’m eating more healthily, exercising a little more, and spending time with my loved ones.

I’m also going to be more careful about how I expend my energy. I recently ordered my groceries online and had them delivered. I’d never done this before and it was a blessing. The store near where I live does the shopping and delivers groceries for no extra charge. This new strategy helps me to conserve my energy for exercise during the day.

Be kind to yourself

Please be kind to yourself as you set goals for 2019. If your diagnosis is recent, you’ve had a recent exacerbation, or you are in the throes of grief, you may not want to, or be able to, set goals. No problem. No matter what, decide to be a good friend to yourself as you live with pulmonary fibrosis.

I’d love to hear from you

Do you have any goals you want to set this year? If so, what are they? What tips can you share to help us achieve our goals?

Please leave a comment below and share with those who could benefit via email or on social media.


Note: Pulmonary Fibrosis 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 Pulmonary Fibrosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to pulmonary fibrosis.


Henry Finelli, Jr. avatar

Henry Finelli, Jr.

In March of last year I was given six months to live because of PF. However I went to Temple Hospital in Philadelphia and received a lung transplant in May. I thank God for the opportunity to go on.

Kim Fredrickson avatar

Kim Fredrickson

Hi Henry,
So glad to hear you were able to have a successful transplant! So happy for you, and this is an encouragement to us all!

Pat Young avatar

Pat Young

Good Morning Kim, I agree that setting small goals are a great idea. I also believe that attitude definitely plays a major part in our lives. Once we get over the shock of our diagnosis and all the other stages of anger, grief, depression we can turn around and decide to fight this to the best of our ability. I am not a quitter and nor are you as in the time I have read your posts I feel very strongly that you are very determined and positive. You’ve already proven that you have beaten the odds of a few months possibly a year to now 4 1/2 years. I also realize that sadly for some they have lost the battle far too soon, sometimes I believe the diagnosis wasn’t determined until much later in the progression of the disease. I do not live through rose coloured glasses but I feel I have so much to live for and want to enjoy and share with family and friends. So staying positive, eating healthy, exercising, doing hobbies I enjoy and gleaning positive attitudes from others are all pluses. So thank you for sharing with us your journey and continued good health.

Kim Fredrickson avatar

Kim Fredrickson

Dear Pat,
Thanks so much for your comment. I love your attitude and the way you are living your life to the fullest. A great model for all of us. Thanks so much for your encouragement!

Sandy Emler avatar

Sandy Emler

Dear Kim, Welcome to the new year! Having just finished your fabulous book, I can only say thank you, thank you. My husband is now reading it and we are meeting with my GP next week to begin the discussion about Palliative care. I am so grateful for having a bit more understanding about what to expect in the future. I am on oxygen 24/7, continuous flow and am finding that the biggest challenge is figuring out how much I can still do in any given day. I am writing and that's been so very helpful to me and to my family.
You and your family are in my prayers, esp. in the night watches. You have enabled me to feel as if I am not alone on this incredible journey. God walks with us but it is surely nice to know that we have human friends along the way as well. Sandy Emler

Kim Fredrickson avatar

Kim Fredrickson

Dear Sandy,
Thanks so much for your wonderful comment. I am SO HAPPY that my book has been such a help to you. That is exactly what I was hoping for! I'm so glad you are meeting with your doctor next week to discuss palliative care. I'm so glad you are coming up with skills to make your life as easy as possible. Thank you so much for your prayers and well wishes. You are definitely not alone. God os with us, and we are in this together. Hugs to you

Cheryl avatar


Since Larry is now on palliative care any lab work he has to have done is done at home. The lab sends someone out as needed for the blood draws. It’s helped him because first, he doesn’t have to expend energy he doesn’t have going to the lab. Second, he isn’t exposed to so many germs that are in the lab waiting room at this time of year...hopefully avoiding flu and any colds that maybe lurking. Overall, palliative care has been a blessing.

Kim Fredrickson avatar

Kim Fredrickson

Dear Cheryl,
Thanks so much for your comment. I'm so glad that Larry and you are benefiting from palliative care. I appreciate you sharing the specific ways it has helped. Blessings to you both.

Robert Merrick avatar

Robert Merrick

My blood reads 92 but I still get exhausted sometimes walking across the room. Is this normal?

mary andrews avatar

mary andrews

So do I Robert - at times for no obvious reason I am very breathless getting dressed in the mornings as well- and putting on shoes is exhausting.
My Blood reads 92 as well - so who knows why.
My specialist just nods when I tell him, guess he thinks, 'after 5 years with IPF what do you expect'
Keep going Robert - hope you are like me and have some good days as well. Good Luck

Sheila Halliday avatar

Sheila Halliday

Hello, my name is Sheila, and I live near London, England
I became ill at the very end of 2018, with a tickley cough, followed by a chest infection.
I was diagnosed with exacerbated asthma, but this was not relieved with ventolin, or a nebuliser in Accident and Emergency in hospital.
This afternoon I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis. I was initially shocked, although I had a feeling that something was very wrong.
I will be referred for a CT scan, and a lung function test. Unfortunately, I have to take Prednisolone until 5 March, at a reducing dose, and then I have to wait a period of 6 weeks before I can have the lung function test.
I am a very positive person, who likes to know all the facts, in order to plan a future that may prove to be more difficult than I could have envisaged.

Reading all the comments above, I feel as though I have found a new family, who can understand and support me in my future PF.

I so look forward to hearing from you

Kim Fredrickson avatar

Kim Fredrickson

Hi Sheila,
I'm so glad you found my column and the wonderful patients who are a support to all of us. I hope we can be a big support to you. Gathering info is very important for sure! I've learned a lot in the last 4 1/2 about PF. I recently released a book for patients and their loved ones in hopes of making this journey a little easier. It is available on amazon (in England too) and is called "Pulmonary Fibrosis Journey: A Counselor and Fellow Patient Walks with You." If interested, I hope it is a blessing to you on this difficult journey. Sending you blessings...


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