16 Dec Six Ideas to Make 2017 the Best Year Yet


“We want people to live their best life possible, without kidney disease getting in the way.” –Doug Johnson, MD, Vice Chairman of DCI

2016 is coming to a close. For many people, this year was filled with highs and lows.  As we look forward to 2017, we have the opportunity to reflect on the past year and consider the life we want to live next year. What would make you happier in 2017? Would you like to focus more on your family? Do you need to improve your health? Is it time to take the trip you’ve been putting off? Would you like to get back to work? It’s your life— make it your best! Your future depends on the decisions you make today.

Here are some ideas to consider that may help make next year your best year yet.

  1. Know that a positive outlook is essential for good health

“Your outlook—having a sense of optimism and purpose—seems to be predictive of health outcomes,” says Dr. Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in an article published in May. Several studies have found that people who maintain a positive outlook during chronic illness and disability experience better outcomes than those with a negative attitude. If you want an example of the how a positive outlook impacted someone facing kidney disease, read Joe’s story.

  1. Adopt a more kidney-friendly diet

Dietitians everywhere will rejoice when we start taking their advice and manage what we eat. If you are one of the 29 million Americans with diabetes or the one in 10 with chronic kidney disease, you know how food directly impacts your health.  Are you eating what you should? Take advantage of the New Year and commit to fueling yourself with the foods that will make you feel your best. Download our free kidney-friendly cookbook to get started. Challenge yourself to make one or two recipes a month. (They’re easy! Try starting with the speedy chicken stir fry.) We also have a slow-cooker cookbook and a grocery list available for free download.

  1. Be active

Physical fitness is an important aspect of your health. Studies have shown that people on dialysis who exercise regularly have more energy and feel less anxious.  Are you active? Talk with your medical team and create an exercise plan that works for you. Take a look at this beginner’s guide to exercising on dialysis. Once you have your fitness goals down, take a look at our article on free fitness and wellness apps that can help you monitor your progress as you work toward your goals.

  1. Learn more about your options, like transplantation or switching to home dialysis

Does the therapy you receive now work best for your life? Do you know what your other options are? At DCI, we believe that a kidney transplant is the best treatment option for restoring quality of life. Every patient should have the opportunity to explore the option of transplantation. Check our our FAQ on kidney transplantation and living kidney donation to learn more.

If transplantation is not an option for you, consider home dialysis. Home dialysis allows you and a trained partner to perform your treatments in the comfort of your own home. It allows for flexibility in the time of day you complete your treatment. Some types of home dialysis therapy can even be done at night while you sleep! Read our article, Six Steps to Understanding the Move from In-Center to Home Dialysis, to learn more. After that, take a look at how home dialysis changed Mr. Jeffrey’s life.

  1. Travel somewhere new

Dialysis doesn’t have to slow you down. If you receive dialysis treatment at a center, use our clinic map to find a DCI facility in the city you would like to travel to. If you receive peritoneal dialysis, speak with your dialysis nurse, social worker, and nephrologist to plan ahead for the supplies you will need during your trip. Take a look at our tips on traveling on dialysis to inspire you for your 2017 vacation!

  1. Apply for a job

Did kidney failure interrupt your career? Going back to work may help you feel more in control of your health and lifestyle. The National Kidney Foundation has an excellent guide on working with kidney disease. Next time you’re in the dialysis clinic, make an appointment with your social worker to talk about working. He or she may know of local employment opportunities or be able to help you adjust your dialysis schedule to fit a new job opportunity.


We’d love to hear from you about how you will choose to live your best life yet in 2017. Share your feedback! You may inspire others.