A happy New year to all our readers, old and new, probably not the start everyone had hoped for with another set of restrictions imposed throughout the country. My thoughts are with all those affected in their health, not only from the virus itself but the inevitable devastation the lockdowns are causing to families and businesses everywhere.
Now writing this article in the 2nd week of the new year has allowed me to observe a lot of the articles and self-help guidance around changing things and setting new year’s resolutions. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to realise that the majority of you setting New Year’s resolutions will not achieve them.
Not trying to be a killjoy (!), but scientific research supports this, in the new year our motivation is high (usually due to excess lifestyle behaviour during the Christmas period and the inevitable optimism a new year brings). However, motivation wanes over time and the normality of life still happens and we hit roadblocks (like gyms being closed or homeschooling!). This hits our psychological side very hard and as I have said before our brain and nervous system does not like change (part of our primal mechanism to keep us safe) so it becomes harder to get back in the routine.
It is very important to understand the limitations we have in front of us when setting goals or resolutions. We live in a dynamic and unstable time regarding the restrictions around the pandemic which further destabilize our ability to implement the habits and changes needed to achieve our goals.
For that reason I would say be kind to yourself and realistic about the goals and behaviour change you want to achieve, it is not business as usual at the moment. However, below is a list of ways to be able to help you best create change in your life.
- SET GOALS NOT RESOLUTIONS: resolutions tend to become more of the things we should or ought to do, this is more of a negative trend and usually means less adherence. Goals are things you WANT TO DO. e.g. I should lose weight vs I want to look good naked in the mirror
- STOP: Next is to pick the things you are doing that will prevent you from achieving that goal (e.g. eating 7 doughnuts in a row or eating late at night).
- START: What things can you begin to do to take you towards the goals you want to achieve (e.g. eating a more vegetables-a bowl of veg before you eat your main meal gives more feelings of being full)
- WRITE IT DOWN: Write down your goals, habits and timeline you have.
- TIMES UP: Give yourself a time limit and be specific (e.g. June 20th @ 9pm), it has been demonstrated that if you are specific about the time you are more likely to achieve it
- ACCOUNTABILITY: Pick someone or a group of people who you tell about your goals and will hold you accountable (a good friend will tell you the hard truth even if you are finding it difficult so choose wisely!)
As always take care and please get in touch if you need any advice, help or wish to come for a consultation.
See you in clinic
Dr Gareth Ward Chiropractor