‘Tis the season
We just finished the gauntlet that is “the holiday season.” As we rounded the corner on Thanksgiving and ran headstrong into the Christmas season, schedules were packed full with kids Christmas programs, office holiday parties, and for a lot of families, some creative and crazy travel schedules to make sure you could fit in all of the events you had. Then, it’s over in the blink of an eye, and now we see all of the “New Year, New You” posts.
But is it a new year? Are you going to be a new you?
For so many people, we look at New Year’s as a time to finish things we started and didn’t complete in the previous year or maybe to just wipe the slate clean and start fresh (and I’ve been totally guilty of both myself).
A lot of people are strong the first few weeks and then, as the year goes on, the success rates drop like the temperatures outside here in the Madison area in winter (again, guilty). So why do we do it? Why do we continue to set up high goals and lofty expectations that we struggle to follow through on?
The simple answer is because we want to better ourselves. We want to be healthier, and we want to be greater examples for the people that are looking to us for guidance – our children.
So what are we missing? We’re missing an environment to thrive. Year after year, we try to fit our new changes into the same old structure, and then get defeated when it doesn’t work. The problem isn’t our goals, we are the problem. We are the reasons our goals struggle. We don’t give ourselves the resources we really need to create lasting change.
The purpose of a resolution is to make lasting change, but in order for that change to take place, we have to start with changing our mindset, and then our environment! Until that part takes place, it’s a continual cycle of starting strong and tapering off.
But, while mindset starts it, willpower alone isn’t enough. To make that lasting change we really desire, we’ve got to make lasting change to our environment first, and then put the resources in play that will lead to our success instead of our demise this time around!
Another year, same resolutions…
The most common theme is always, hands down, to take better control of personal health. That makes complete sense. We have a very finite amount of time on this Earth, why not live it at full throttle? The only way we can live full throttle is to control our health better, ensuring that our bodies can handle it. When we dive into taking better control of our health, the place everyone goes first is “eating a better diet”.
I know diet is the big four letter word that makes a lot of people cringe. First, let’s redefine diet. Diet is simply the combination of all the things you’re putting in your body. A diet isn’t good or bad by being paleo or keto or the latest quick weight loss plan.
A diet is good or bad by whether or not the food you’re eating is promoting growth and recovery or if it is promoting inflammation and supporting the dis-ease
process. We could go down the rabbit hole of what, when, and how to bring in nutrients to improve the quality and trajectory of your diet, and I’m going to skip that. There are plenty of resources out there to guide you in that arena, but when you need an extra hand, we can definitely be a source of help.
After improving diet, the second biggest thing you hear the most is “exercising
more”. Just like diet, exercising has a lot of directions it can go. The most important part is simply to move your body. If you really like yoga, take up more yoga. If running is your thing, start there. Pick action plans that start with things you enjoy so that you can always focus on that as positive energy. Then when you get to the gym, you can do all of the other stuff we should be doing. The biggest thing is don’t over complicate it, keep it simple. Start small and build off of it.
Can you have a new you with the same old patterns?
The concept of resolutions is great. They are all about growth and bettering ourselves, and I can think of nothing better than chiropractic to be an integral part of your plan. Sure, a chiropractor is writing this, but hear me out. At the end of the day, chiropractic comes down to one specific thing – it improves the body’s ability to adapt to and handle stress.
It’s also a surprisingly helpful “cheat code” for healthy living! This is actually quite simple as well. Literally by changing your neurology, chiropractic can help make lifestyle changes far easier and thus your resolutions more effective. Getting adjusted is literally a perfect “reset” that gets your entire body working so much better so that it then craves better nutrition and movement.
The opposite is also true. When you are subluxated all the time (stressed), you are stuck in sympathetic fight or flight mode. When locked into that pattern, it’s literally proven that your body craves more sugar (poor diet), and wants to just sit down and rest (no exercise).
We are honored to care for a lot of health-minded individuals at Family First Chiropractic, as our culture attracts many who are already living well and making solid choices in the exercise and nutrition arena. But when we put them to the test with our neurological scanning system, they are still maxed out on that sympathetic stress. So, despite healthy lifestyle choices, they still struggle with things like fatigue, headaches, sleep issues, metabolic challenges, gut issues, and immune problems.
That’s why flipping that stress switch with chiropractic care helps you flip the diet and exercise switch so much more easily! When we reduce the interference and stress on the nervous system (subluxation), it allows the body to function more effectively and efficiently.
We can’t make big life changes and expect them to stick, unless we first reset and reprogram our “hard wired” neurological patterns. Change those first with chiropractic, and the rest gets far easier and lasts far longer!
You may have received a gift from your spouse or loved one of personal training lessons or a gym membership, but the thing that could really transform your health in 2019 is a ‘Gift of Health’ from Family First Chiropractic!
Set yourself up for success
If we dive into the resolution season, we make goals that are supposed to enrich our lives and better ourselves. If that by itself causes stress and grief, then we need to start with looking at what is causing that stress with goals. For a lot of people it is the fear of change itself. Many people struggle with the concept of the unknown. When we look at creating change, that alone can cause some struggle because even though our goals may be something that we really want, they also represent something that we don’t know.
We don’t know what it’s going to look like once we accomplish our goals, but we know that it’s going to be different. Which for most of us, when we get out of comfort zones, we don’t know how to adapt to that. When we get out of our comfort zone is when we are the most susceptible to self-sabotage.
Stop it! Return to the “why” of your goal. You created this plan for a reason – it had a reason – it had a purpose. Lean into that! Getting out of your comfort zone will make you squirm, so lean into the squirm. Embrace that squirm and that is what will help keep your goals thriving.
The structure of goals is usually a tough spot. We focus on a big goal to be done at the end of the year, but we don’t have markers throughout the year for
checkpoints. Having big goals are great as long as you’re constantly moving towards them. For goal planning, what typically has the most results, is to start with your goal and then work backwards into it from there.
Often, we start with the goal in mind and just try to go week by week. Instead, create your goals and then establish “what does that look like in 3-5 years from now, what does it look like in one year, what does it look like at the end of the third quarter of this year, what does it look like in six months, what does it look like next month, what does it look like next week?” Keep those check-ins in mind. Are the behavioral decisions you’re making today moving you towards those goals? If they are, then do it. If they’re not, then don’t.
Another issue is that we often set too many goals. When we try to work on too many things at once, it stretches us too thin. That alone can make it hard to stay on top of our goals because when we pour into some, it may sacrifice the others.
Keep the first things first. Make sure that you are scheduling the things in each day that you need to before everything. If you’re not scheduling yourself out in advance, you’re leaving yourself up for forgetting. I don’t care if it’s Google calendar, a paper planner, or monthly calendar, but make sure that you are accounting for time. On top of accounting for your time, make sure you create buffers for yourself. Whether it’s your daily commute or picking the kids up from their activities, give yourself extra time so that you are not rushing and running late. Not only does that ramp up stress levels, but it creates a cascade that once the first event starts running late, it alters everything else on the schedule. With a proper buffer, it will help keep stress down while also allowing you to really focus on what is on your schedule.
Who’s your favorite superhero?
Because if it’s not yourself, then we need to go back to the mindset talk. Juggling life, whatever that looks like for each person, on top of trying to change habits and behaviors is no small feat. The fact that you’re even entertaining ideas like that is great. Taking on executing is even more awesome, so before you stress out about taking on change for the new year, first give yourself some grace for trying to grow.
That being said, don’t feel like you have to be a hero. There’s an old saying that goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”. Embrace it, you don’t have to take on the world by yourself. If you need help, ask for it. If you don’t know where to start, get a guide to point you in the right direction. In her bestseller “Girl Wash Your Face” (love that book by the way!), Rachel Hollis was asked how she does it all, and her answer was “I don’t, I have a lot of help”. At Family First Chiropractic, we are here to help you. Let us be part of your team for the new year and we will help you usher in the new you.
Yours in Health, Dr. Jill
PS…Stay tuned for exciting new events and office changes coming soon!