A man looks at his various new year resolutions, which include journaling, scheduling appointments, wearing sunscreen, and reaching out for support.

New Year’s Skin Cancer Resolutions

It’s that time of the year again! We are setting goals, we are going to eat better, exercise, read books, go for walks, call our friends and family on a more regular basis. It’s New Year’s resolutions time! It's a time for changes! It's a time for a new perspective and new results! For many of us, this is the beginning of some significant alterations. We have some lofty objectives, but the question is this: Will we reach them? Will our steadfast determination in January wane by March? Will we hit the reset button on New Year’s Day and then hit the default button by spring?

I will be honest: I am guilty of making resolutions and then failing to keep them. Somehow I lose my way. It seems that the lower the stakes, the easier it is to fail. Reading is important, but I never quite meet my goals. When it comes to good skin care practices though, my resolutions are critical to my overall good health, and that is why I take them so seriously.

With that being said, here are my New Year’s skin cancer resolutions:

Journaling

No, I do not like to journal, but I feel that it’s important the document my goals, plans, and progress. This can be done on my smartphone or laptop. There are many skin cancer apps that can help me keep track of my appointments, photograph and document areas of concern, and set goals. I'm old school though, and I think writing everything down with paper and pen will help me the most this year. I have so many apps and yet another one can get lost in the shuffle.

Set and keep appointments

This means looking at my calendar and prioritizing time with my medical professional on a regular basis. For me, this means twice a year and occasionally on an “as needed” basis when I spot something that needs to be looked at.

Develop good preventative practices

I need to set the bar high early in the year so that these become habits by spring. This goal includes weekly self-checks with documentation of any areas of concern, as well as asking another person to search in places that I cannot see. This also means applying sunscreen every day, and I mean EVERY day. This will be easier to accomplish if I have sunscreen lotion that's easily accessible to me to apply after my daily shower.

Plan ahead

This means having sunscreen, a hat, and cover-up clothing in every vehicle that I drive. This involves checking the weather forecast each day and finding creative ways to limit sun exposure. This means choosing my vacation locations and outdoor adventures wisely.

Find therapeutic outlets

At times, I get what I call “skin cancer fatigue”. I grow tired of being diligent and vigilant alone. I need outlets to talk with others. This means continuing my advocacy work in both informal and more public, formal platforms. This involves talking with others who feel the same way and have the same. It’s easy to become anxious and worried and I need others who understand.

Find accountabilityThis involves finding a person who will hold me accountable for my plans. This might also mean helping hold them accountable for theirs!In 2022, I want to be happy with my year. I want to read more, exercise more, mix in more veggies. I want to be a better family man and friend and with the help of others, I want to have a great year with my skin, but it won’t happen by chance. I need a resolute plan.What are your skin cancer-related new year's resolutions?

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