December is almost over, and the year is ending. A new year is just about here and with it come new beginnings and a fresh clean slate. For many, it seems like the perfect time to make changes. After weeks of holiday celebrations and overindulging in food, drink, and fun it has become a custom to make New Year’s Resolutions to improve health, and overall life.
Unfortunately, many people lose sight of their health goals within the first month of the new year. And even more, give up on their resolutions within the first six months of the year. Has this ever happened to you?
Why is it that so many people struggle to stick with their resolutions? And how can we make 2022 different?
What is the problem?
The problem isn’t you. And it’s not even the resolution itself. Most people are perfectly capable of sticking to and achieving their goals when it comes to health and wellness.
So, if it isn’t you or your resolution, then what is the problem? It is everything that is holding you back. The things like outdated ideas, regrets, poor self-image, unresolved emotional issues, physical and mental clutter, and toxicity. These things weigh you down, making it difficult to be consistent with the changes necessary to improve your health in the long term.
To reclaim your health, you will need a different approach than before.
Taking charge of your health in 2022
No matter how many times you’ve made resolutions and didn’t follow through, this is a new year. When you were a baby learning how to walk, you fell down thousands of times. But every time you fell down you got up and tried again. You didn’t quit. And eventually, you learned how to walk. This year, approach your health goals with the enthusiasm, optimism, and expectations of a toddler.
Throughout the next year, you will stretch, stride, thrive, learn, and grow. You may make mistakes and “fall”. But that is not the time to give up. That is the time to get up and try again.
Jumping into the new year
Most people fail at their resolutions because they are focused on quick results but forget that there is additional work that needs to be done. They jump into their new resolutions with both feet. But they forget that they are dragging all their health baggage from the previous years with them. If you want to rebuild your health, it must start with a strong and stable foundation. It cannot stand on a foundation that is toxic.
It is important to look at the patterns that have created symptoms and dis-ease in your body. Do you have a habit of starting a new diet or workout routine every January that just doesn’t work long-term? It’s time to do something different than joining the latest diet craze or fad workout. How much sleep are you getting regularly? Do you spend any time managing stress?
A different approach
What do you want your health to look like?
As you prepare for the new year, take some time to sit and think about what you want your health to look like. Take out a piece of paper and write out what you would like to change and how you would like to feel. Don’t edit or limit your list. Write down whatever comes to mind, even if it seems unattainable.
Have you always dreamed of running a marathon? List it, even if you currently can’t run around the block. Maybe you’d like to fit back into your wedding dress, but none of your past diet attempts have worked. Put it on the list. Want to reverse your type 2 diabetes, live pain-free, clear up your skin, be less dependent on medication, or fix your digestive problems? Put it on the list!
Know your why
Once you have made your big list of 10 or so ultimate health goals, take a few moments to really think about each of them. Write down your reason for choosing each goal. And include why it is important for you to achieve that goal. How will accomplishing this goal change your life? Will it influence how others view you and how you view yourself? What impact will it have on your family and friends? What opportunities will open for you, and what experiences might you miss out on if you fall short of your goal?
Don’t skip this step. Don’t do it in your head. Putting the words on paper allows you to complete full thoughts and to focus on each item in its entirety. The actual act of writing it out on paper really makes a difference in your success.
The research is conclusive. A recent study done at the Dominican University in California involved goal setting with 267 participants. The research concluded that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.
Choose the three goals on your list that have the greatest importance in your life. Once achieved, these goals will have the greatest impact on your life and make achieving many of your other goals easier.
Take the time to rewrite your top three goals on a new sheet of paper and why they are important to you. You will refer to this list often throughout your journey. Make a copy and keep it in your wallet or purse. Keep a copy in your desk drawer and post a copy on your bathroom mirror or refrigerator. Read the list in its entirety at least once each day. Each time you see it, you will have a renewed focus and commitment to achieving the items on it.
Learn the how
Now you have a clear picture of where you want to go and why you need to get there. All that’s left is to figure out the “how.” In some cases, this could be very simple. For instance, if you eat doughnuts for breakfast and your dinner is fast food, it might be clear that these habits need to change if you are going to improve your health. You could adopt a real food diet, eating only natural, whole foods.
But here is the tricky part: Which foods should you eat, when should you eat them, and in what amounts and ratios do you use to get the best result?
Maybe you are already eating healthy foods and still aren’t getting the results that you had wished for. What if you are following your doctor’s instructions, but your condition is not improving? What if you are putting in the time at the gym, but your fitness isn’t improving?
Could the problem be that you just do not know the HOW? Maybe the reason why you haven’t achieved your goals in the past isn’t a lack of willpower or commitment. What if you simply were not taking the right steps to achieve your goal?
It’s not your fault. There is so much conflicting and misleading information out there. On top of that, each one of us is quite unique. We all have different biochemistry, have been exposed to different environments, and require different things to help us operate on an optimum level.
What is the secret that will get you to your goal fastest?
TEST, DON’T GUESS
Sure, you can do your own research and create a plan to vastly improve your health by following a few universal guidelines. Limit your intake of sodas, juices, and alcohol. Avoid genetically modified and packaged foods. Do not consume hydrogenated oils. Do not eat processed sugar. Eat more vegetables. Choose organic, free-range, wild, and grass-fed meats. Get 7-8 hours of sleep, exercise at least 30 minutes a day, and walk more.
These general guidelines can move you dramatically closer to your goals, depending on where you are starting from. However, to truly unlock your optimum health, you will need a more specific plan. A plan that identifies which foods your body should avoid, what type of physical activity you should be doing, and at what intensity and for how long. A plan that shows you what supplements you should be taking to support your body, and what type of stress reduction activities you need to implement
Stop randomly trying things
You could embark on a long and frustrating journey of trial and error randomly selecting diet plans and exercise programs endorsed by celebrities, bloggers, and TV doctors. When one program doesn’t produce results, you can move on to the next. Unfortunately, this approach can be equally as hard on your mental state as it is on your metabolism.
The lab tests we use with clients at FDNthrive can identify many hidden stressors that could be sabotaging your success in achieving your ultimate goals. When examined in context with your lifestyle, health history, and stress levels, your test results can help a trained FDNthrive practitioner customize a complete program to move you in the direction of better health. This can ultimately help you achieve your goals.
Work with an expert
Your goals are important to you. And of course, health is your most valuable and prized possession. Without your health, you wouldn’t be able to achieve the things you want to in your life and support your family in doing the same.
Is 2022 the year you finally take control of your health?
If you want it, then YES, 2022 is your year! Set yourself up for success by letting go of making resolutions. Instead, enlist the help of an expert who can help you understand your current health condition or your starting point. You need to know where you are starting from if you want to get to where you are going. Have you ever tried to get directions to point B without knowing where point A is? It would be virtually impossible. The same is true for your health.
Once you know where you are starting from, your expert FDNthrive health detective can help you through each step of the journey. The best part of it all is that along the way, you will be learning to listen to your body and getting educated on a complete system of self-care that you can use again and again to meet your future health goals.
Of course, your unhealthy habits and lifestyle choices were not formed overnight. And likewise, healthy habits take time and hard work, especially in the beginning. Health is a lifelong process and an unbelievably rewarding one. Having your FDNthrive health detective and mentor at your side can help you make it through the times when you struggle.
We can accomplish much more when we are encouraged, healthy, and happy. Surrounding ourselves with positive mentors and role models can make even the most difficult to reach goals more attainable. Are you ready to finally follow through on your resolutions in the New Year?
New Year, NEW YOU! Your greatest moments are still ahead. Enjoy and celebrate the opportunity to live, learn, and grow. May this year be your best year yet!