New Year’s Resolution tips!

Top tips to Help you with your New Year's Resolutions in 2019!

1) SET REALISTIC GOALS

If you want to set out to fail, set a goal that’s unachievable. This might be along the lines of, “I’m never going to…” Instead aim to do something that’s more doable, such as doing less of something. For example, I’m never going to drink again or eat that particular food again, realistically in social situations how likely is it for you to succeed. Or maybe the goal might be related to your health, I will go to the gym or see the chiropractor, do you anticipate you will have the time, or will you be able to make time.

2) PLAN AHEAD

As humans we are emotional creatures. We can be subjectively influenced by a particular incident on a particular day at a particular time. Changes to our blood sugar can affect our decisions too. So rather than being a slave to our momentary emotional mindset, being aware that stresses can occur and that our reactions might not be what we intend on saying or doing in retrospect can influence how we behave in the moment. Consider taking some time out before New Year ’s Eve to think about what you want from the year ahead. That, and not leaving New Year’s Resolutions to the 31st December at ten minutes to midnight.

3) OUTLINE YOUR PLAN

This is especially important when you think you might be in the position of lapsing. What will you do when temptation arises? Do you have methods of distraction? Have you set a time of day or set in stone a new pattern of behaviour that will help you keep on track? Have you considered why this goal is important to you and why you must keep on track?

4) WEIGH UP THE BENEFITS AND COSTS

Whilst making lists is a more logical approach to decision making, the ultimate aim of this is to establish a, “why” eventually if you can reach a particular emotional threshold it will help to keep you motivated. This may be particularly true when considering temptation. Having a visual of the pros and cons on paper also can help to stimulate some of our creative centres in the brain, giving us a more abstract idea of the problem and allowing your brain to come up with more solutions. This could also be something you may wish to speak to a confidant about.

5) TALK ABOUT IT, BUT BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT HOW YOU DO THIS

One of the biggest mistakes that can be made is simply talking about a problem. For many people I have spoken to over the years, they talk about their pains for hours and all the reasons they need to visit a chiropractor and yet when the next year rolls around, they haven’t taken any action whatsoever. This doesn’t mean don’t tell anybody about your goals, but certainly if your goals are specific, written down and you are accountable to a referee; you are far more likely to be successful. When people talk about what they wish to do in an open, public and a vague way, this can actually backfire as we can get a warm glow from just telling people about our good intentions. This can activate the brains reward centres before any significant action is taken.

6) GIVE YOURSELF REWARDS

By having small goals along the way, it can help to keep your brain and body motivated. If you have reached a particular goal one month or a quarter of the way into the year, it is a good idea to do something to give your brain a dopamine hit. Just don’t undo any of your previous good work.

7) TRACK YOUR PROGRESS

Be aware of all the small successes you achieve, this will help to keep you aware of your progress but also depending on what motivates you, how far there is left to go or how far you have already come. When patients report experiencing back pain for ten years and after a month this improves 90% but not completely, it can be useful, depending on their mindset to remind them of the changes that are still to be had, or the changes they have already made.

8) KNOW IF YOU RESPOND BETTER TO PRESSURE OR ENCOURAGEMENT (OR BOTH)

For most people the occasional slip up is likely, depending on again your personality, you may need to berate yourself for a short time to not allow the same mistake again. Or if it was simply a one –off mistake, chiding yourself for this may simply create negative emotion which won’t help you achieve your goal in the long term.

9) BE PERSISTANT

Changing behaviours and patterns takes time. As long as you have time and the willingness to keep going, despite the obstacles that might present themselves, you are far more likely to achieve your goal.

10) BE VERY PERSISTANT

And no, I’m not just saying that because I’ve run out of things to say. You might find that a few weeks or months into the New Year you have run out of motivation or energy for your goal. In this scenario, take it back to basics. Recommit to your goal, one hour at a time then one day at a time ad dienceps. Then hopefully given enough time, you will be back on track.

And with that I’ll leave you one of my favourite quotes.

“Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.” Jerzy Gregorek 

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