10 msfocusmagazine.org Do you sometimes feel like MS is running wild through your life? While you may not be able to forcibly halt MS, by grabbing the reins and taking control,you can minimize the damage MS does. WhatthingsaffectyourMSthatarewithinyour control? Research indicates that many of our daily choices make a difference. Some of the modifiable lifestyle factors that are associated with an increase in the risk of having MS, an increase in disease severity, or worsening of certain symptoms include: • Smoking • Diet and hydration • Sleep • Stress • Exercise • Support and self-care These same lifestyle factors are common themes in people’s New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you have even resolved to quit smoking, exercise more, or eat a healthier diet this year. We know the choices we make in these areas are important, and frequently we may take the opportunity that the New Year presents to try to improve.Yet didyou knowthat onlyeight percent of New Year’s resolutions succeed? Here’s how can you make your resolution stick: Health & Wellness Resolve to Take the Reins from MS Top Ten Resolutions for Taking Control of MS 1. If you smoke, stop. 2. Eat more fruits and vegetables, in a variety of colors. 3. Find exercise you enjoy and use it to get moving on a regular basis. 4. Identify ways to reduce your stress, and implement stress management techniques. 5. Evaluate the quality of your sleep, and get checked for sleep disorders, if necessary. 6. Reduce the salt, saturated fat, and highly processed foods in your diet. 7. Take care of your preventative health needs, including your annual physical, reproductive health exams, and routine testing. 8. Reach out for support by joining a support group, applying for assistance programs that may benefit you, or just keeping in touch with friends and family. 9. Stick to your medication schedule, or discuss with your doctor if circumstances regarding your choice of medication have changed. 10.Don’t accept that your health is the best it can be. Educate yourself about available treatments to manage your MS or your symptoms. Keep working toward a healthier you.