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See How Far You’ve Come with This Simple Exercise

Posted by Bryan Potok, CPO on

2020 is almost over, and we're about to ring in not just a new year but also a new decade. However, before we do that, we’d like to suggest a simple exercise that can help you reflect and look back on the past 12 months. A few moments of reflection is great for seeing how far you have come (yes, even when it feels like nothing much has changed, you’ll see that something has changed). This is especially helpful if you are new to amputee life and have worked hard in the past few months.

 See how far you've come in your amputee journey with this simple exercise.

So, grab your journal or a piece of paper and pen, and let these prompts guide you.

Let go of regret

Some of the past year’s resolutions may have slipped through your fingers, but that’s okay. Disappointments are a part of life, and the most important thing that you can do right now is to move on. Do not dwell on the past year’s setbacks. Stop thinking about the “if onlys” and the “what ifs.” Take this as an opportunity to do even better in the future.

Write down what you need to improve on in the next year. If there’s a particular situation that happened in 2019 that still bothers you, understand that you’re a different person now. Perhaps you can write down what you would have done differently, then let it go. 

Learn from your mistakes

If 2019 was the year you learned so much about the amputee life, then you’ll have plenty of lessons to take with you into the new year. Acknowledge them and understand that these lessons will help you create a much better life and a much better version of yourself.

While we did say that you need to let go of regret, it’s still important to figure out what would have made last year a much better one. Perhaps you need to learn how to advocate for yourself when it comes to acquiring the best prosthetic devices from your insurer. Find out what went wrong with your last application and outline the next steps.

Celebrate your success

No matter how big or small your wins are, celebrate them. Congratulate yourself on your achievements this year. Bask in your victories, so you know how good it feels to achieve something.  

Of course, your celebration style is up to you. You can invite your friends or amputee support group over for dinner, or you can simply enjoy some much-needed me-time with a book or a new TV series. Take this time to give yourself permission to relax and replenish your batteries. 


The goal of looking back is to see how far you’ve come, as well as what else needs to be done. This can be a satisfying, revitalizing, or freeing—a new year reset that can fuel you to do your best in 2020. Reflection is an essential element in learning, but the key is not to waste so much time looking backward.

What did you achieve in 2019? Please share them in the comments section below so we can celebrate with you!
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  • A year ago I took my first unsteady step with my new prosthesis. Now I can go down steps, get in and out of cars, and learn to drive again. The fear is much less but I have a ways to go. Getting to the gym as much as I can helps.

    Kvin Kappler PhD amputee life on

  • After 5 months of life as AK amputee at 71 years of age was well on my way to independence and walking assisted about 900 ft at a time with walking stick. Developed bone suprs a 3 neuromas which resulted in revision surgery last October. Then had infection which has now healed and just now getting ready to start using prosthetic leg once again. This has been one heck of a battle with Satan but I’m gaining ground. I hope to solo soon as I will re-enter rehab to pick up where I left off. Believe me there are times when I feel like just giving up. Life as an amputee is a game changer and can be very depressing and frustrating. Trust in God and your loved ones to get you through each day – day by day. I will follow up on progress God willing.

    AJW on

  • My first year, maybe a little more. Getting myself walking has been a challenge. I was progressing well but because of an accident when my lower left leg prosthetic fell off and cutting myself on the upper edge. It took 9 stitches to pull the cut together and a month to heal properly. Back in a wheelchair once again, ugh. My exercising habits are poor plus having a bad lower back problems plus many others I’ve been slowly getting it together. Pain from prosthetic hasn’t ever been a problem. Phantom memories have been interesting. At times I go to scratch my left foot then realize I have no left foot. Makes me laugh. Phantom pain Never an issue. Regrets are nada, for I choose to have it my lower left leg removed because of the alternatives were worse. My choice, I feel was the best. The advantages of having prosthetic because of the advanced technology really made it sensible. So, it being a choice as opposed to having no choice made it, in a sense easier to mentally handle. My life has been filled with " you have no choice other than die" made it easy. Where I live group action to talk about problems doesn’t exist. Aloha all and my life be ever better.

    Chaz on

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