Your story? Write the best chapter now.

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Everyone has a life story. It is the essence of what has happened in our lives and encompasses our entire life experience. Some stories are long, some not so long. But each is unique, and no two are written alike. Like any good story, life takes many twists and turns. Chapters unfold in many unpredictable ways. You've got your story and, like most of us, you probably find meaning in the progression from each of life's events to the next.

How do you want others to see and remember you? Especially those you love the most - your family, your close friends? Make the last chapter one they'll always cherish. Sharing your life story and its final chapter is a way to connect with and touch the people you care about most. You don't have to be a gifted writer to write the best possible ending to your life story. Simply let the last chapter reflect the voice and spirit of the storyteller: you.

An advance directive is how you let your voice be heard and your wishes known even if you cannot communicate your wishes yourself. Strictly speaking, it is a written statement of a person's wishes regarding medical treatment, made to ensure those wishes are carried out should the person be unable to communicate them to a doctor.

This year, a group of interested individuals and organizations across Tennessee have come together under the name Honoring Choices Tennessee® to make it easy for Tennesseans of every age to create their own advance directive - simply, conveniently and without expense.

The group conducted considerable research last year and found that most adult Tennesseans are open to having a conversation about the medical treatment they want if they were ever in a position where they could not speak for themselves.

Most Tennesseans are just looking for easy, understandable ways to do that. They are looking for information.

In April, Honoring Choices Tennessee launches www.advancedirectivesTN.org, a website that explains the advance directives process, answers questions, shares a wealth of information and makes it easy for anyone to create their own advance directive. An advance directive can be just the right way to share your own story and leave a legacy that your loved ones will cherish.

Go to the www.advancedirectivesTN.org. Download the form. Talk with your family about your wishes regarding end-of-life medical treatment. Complete the form. Verify it. Put it in all the right places. Rest easy. It's that easy.

Maybe you're thinking it's time to "change your story," especially the last chapter. Get started at www.advancedirectivesTN.org.

Corley Roberts, ACSM-HFS, MHA, CPHQ, is an Exercise Physiologist, published author, public speaker, health care professional and founder and CEO of MyFitScript. MyFitScript has been featured on Medscape Inc., CBS Healthwatch, Business and Health Magazine and the American Academy of Family Physicians. Visit www.myfitscript.com for exercise education and programs, or contact Corley at info@myfitscript.com.

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advance directives, Corley Roberts, Honoring Choices Tennessee, MyFitScript
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