‘Tis the season
We just finished the gauntlet that is “the holiday season” we rounded the corner on Thanksgiving and ran headstrong into the Christmas season. Schedules were packed full kiddo’s Christmas programs, office holiday parties are here, and for a lot of families some creative and crazy travel schedule to make sure you can fit in all of the events you had. Then it’s over in one fell swoop and we were staring face first at 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 Years as a how we are going to implant all of the changes we want to make based off all things we didn’t like that last year (the guy writing this is personally guilty of that).
A lot of people are strong the first few weeks then as the year goes on the success rates drop like the temp outside here in the Chicagoland 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 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 your eating is promoting growth and recovery, or is it 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 move your body. If you really like yoga, take up more yoga. If running is your thing (definitely not mine) 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 and build off of it.
Can you have 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, 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 blessed to care for a lot of health-minded individuals at PWC, 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 easier! 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 PWC Chiropractic!
Set yourself up for success
If we dive into what 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! Get out of your comfort zone will make you squirm, stay in 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. Keeping those check-ins in mind. Are the behavioral decisions you’re making today move you towards those goals? If they do, then do it. If 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 to thin. That alone can make it hard to stay on top of our goals because we pour into some it may sacrifice the others. If we look at the Warren Buffett 5/25 strategy it has three distinct steps. Start by listing off the top 25 things you would like to accomplish. Then draw a circle around your top 5 goals that you want to achieve. Those top 5 are the things you say yes to. Those 5 are the things you put your energy into. The last part, is the remaining 20 are the things you say no too. They may be great ambitions but they are distractions from your top 5. Juggling five balls is difficult on its own right, adding 20 more balls makes it even tougher.
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 its Google calendar, a paper planner, or monthly calendar (we use all three at our house), 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 that 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 says, “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” (yea that's right I read it), Rachel Hollis was asked how she does it all and her answer was “I don’t, I have a lot of help”. At PWC 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.