Achieving 2017 New Year’s resolutions
- EFN Staff | January 05, 2018
We’ve asked people what their New Year’s Resolutions were in 2017 and how they achieved their goals. Here’s their stories of inspiration and proof that New Year’s resolutions can be achieved with determination.
Jen Arcand is from Muskeg Lake First Nation but resides in Saskatoon. She set out goals for herself last year to make changes in her life – changes that she followed through with. Arcand needed to change her lifestyle and eating habits due to her health concerns.
“I always hated the word diet because it set me up for failure,” she said. “As my blood sugars were high, my vision had been affected and it was starting to go to my kidneys. Diabetes was not controlled. My goal was to make small changes and that is what I did.”
Arcand started drinking more water on a daily basis, she began to exercise, had regular blood testing and she limited her junk food intake.
“ started seeing a doctor again and he basically gave me an ugly picture if I didn't control it. That was my motivation,” Arcand said.
Additionally, Arcand wanted to make lifestyle changes so she decided to leave work to find something different.
“My goal was to find a new job or go to school. When everything worked out so easy for school I knew that was the way I was to go,” she said. “My funding and acceptance was immediate. I believe that's the path I was to be on.”
Arcand also did some travelling and took her time exploring the west where she did some hiking and lots of walking.
I just wanted to be outdoors and do some soul recharging I went to Okanagan and it helped me tremendously. My mind was clear,” Arcand said.
Anton Kitchemonia from Keeseekoose First Nation made a resolution last year to give up coffee for a year. It was a resolution for Kitchemonia to prove to himself that once he sets a goal for himself, he can achieve through willpower and determination. But he found the year-long journey a bit challenging at times.
“It was hard to be around it, and it seems people are always wanting to buy you a coffee,” he said. “When I was drinking coffee I never noticed that people wanted to buy me a coffee.”
The advantages that Kitchemonia seen after he gave up coffee is that he actually didn’t need coffee to start off his day. He found himself more energized and alert without it and his teeth weren’t as yellow.
“For every goal reached, you sacrifice something in your life. There are so many more goals I need to reach in my life,” Kitchemonia said. “This is the third addiction I gave up. First was marijuana, then alcohol and now coffee. It not only benefits my health but my children’s health and wealth.”
Natasha Gamble-Kequahtooway from Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation made a resolution last year to get herself off narcotics. It was an addiction she didn’t want to admit but she learned the medication was hurting her rather than helping.
“At first I was afraid and only went down one level but it didn’t change enough. I was afraid of the pain levels I live with to be without a buffer,” she said. “I was afraid of the kind of person I would be with out it because I’ve been on this medication for six years. My life revolved around my next dose.”
Gamble-Kequahtooway was diagnosed with arthritis that spread throughout her spine, her entire skeleton mainly in her hips, joints and ribs. She tried different methods of treatment included physiotherapy, acupuncture and others but nothing was helping. Her only option at the time was pain therapy which included narcotics. Gamble-Kequahtooway recalled a time her brother was visiting her and he noticed the effects the medicine had on her. She had trouble talking and her eyes weren’t able to focus.
It was then that she decided to get herself off narcotics. It wasn’t an easy goal for her to achieve but she did it.
“It was scary and ugly. I experienced every type of withdrawal you would expect,” she said. “My body still hasn’t acclimated to the new chemistry but I’m sticking to it because I need to be clean and to seek real healing…more importantly I WANT to be clean to do this.”
She has turned to Indigenous doctoring instead of relying on pain medications. Gamble-Kequahtooway learned over the year that she can live without the medication and had discovered her inner-strength.
Christine Marie was a stay at home mother for the last five years. With a degree from SUNTEP under her belt, she made the decision to go back to work. After applying to three school divisions and not hearing back from any of them, she decided on a different route. She discovered a new passion by creating baby products with an Indigenous style.
“Even though I knew how to sew, its become a new hobby that I’m doing more than ever before,” she said. “Going from being a teacher to an entrepreneur is a drastic change.”
The career detour was inspired after she posted some baby items on buy & sell groups on social media. She noticed how popular these items were and did a Google search to see if there were any Metis bibs and baby clothes but nothing showed up. With majoring in Home Economics, she put her sewing knowledge to use by creating different baby items.
“My aim is to keep creating baby products with style and culture for practicality and special occasions,” she said.
Her legal Cree based company name has been approved and she has a graphic designer working on her logo which is scheduled to be ready for Jan 15th. She already has three local stores interested in carrying her products. Once the logo is ready, she plans to officially launch to Instagram, create a Facebook page, website shop, and other accessible marketing tools.
“I am beyond excited and am looking forward to creating an inspiring business for all customers, but especially for the Indigenous ones,” she said. Where they can walk into a store or see my product online with Cree terms/phrases and instantly sense a humble pride knowing their language is not lost.
“I’m not saying I won’t go back to teaching, but for now I will continue to walk through this door.”