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  • Writer's pictureamyk73

How to Support Long Lasting Healthy Changes

Change is of course uncomfortable, disruptive and even painful at points and who has time for that? While we have all heard change is inevitable that doesn’t make it anymore easier to accept at times, even if it is a change we know deep down is good for us.


When it comes to resolutions though how do we actually beat the odds and see them progress and be achieved? Is it even possible to be a winner at resolution or are we just wasting our time in setting them?


In my opinion, if resolutions were truly unachievable they wouldn’t be needed. Yet year after year we set them, sometimes the same one every year with the lofty hopeful wish that this year will be different.


So, why not make that this year?


But, we are naturally change resistant.

I believe this struggle with change can be one of the leading reasons we find things like resolutions, specifically those working with our health, so difficult to keep up. It is not that we don’t think they are important or even worth the work but rather we are not setup well to include these changes in our life and they can be rather disruptive.


Prime example is the gym membership for a resolution that said we were going to work out multiple times a week. By about week 3, we are sore, tired, hangry, and stressed. We take a night off and then it becomes two and then its a couple weeks. We struggle to return, fit it in our schedule and soon the gyms are back to their normal crowds by February. Happens every single year too.


It is not that we don’t have a great resolution or didn’t start out pushing hard at it. The problem is we thought we could layer it into our already busy life and it would sort itself out how we would achieve that resolution. Our daily life though with all it’s to-dos, deadlines, and mom taxi routes, didn’t just make room for that resolution. So we try getting up at 5AM and find that just adding another thing to do in an already very busy long day doesn’t work for long either. Not to mention

it’s very dark and cold at 5AM in January and who wants to be out in that going to the stinky gym?


How do we achieve our resolutions?

If we had to name the number one barrier to achieving any health goal, from losing weight to just feeling better, I know I would say stress. You probably would too. We have busy lives, stuff to do and people depending on us to get it all done. It is not just with resolutions this happens to but every Monday diet we start and every health change we want to make.


The ability to recognize stress and actively do something to manage it, can seem daunting. We so often feel powerless against all the things that cause our daily stress. Yet it is in this very situation we can find out best solutions to not only reducing stress but making progress on resolutions and health goals.


When I work with clients on improving health or dealing with a health concern, I start with their intake assessment. On this very lengthy form I ask a lot of questions about what happens in that person’s day. It is in that information the common theme of stress pops up easily. Yet when I ask about stress the typical answer is it’s just adulting or it’s not that bad.


Until we get honest about the stress, no amount of pushing harder to fit it all in will make those results appear or make us healthier and happier in the long run.


Stress management has to be part of our plan for better. This means more than just blocking our calendar to make time too. It is an action plan that deals with:

  • How we will handle the tough days and struggle to keep up

  • What we will do when we’re tired and need a break

  • Where we will get support and help

  • What are plan b is when things in our life get turned upside down (because they will)


Looking through the wide-lens on resolutions

The other part of making successful resolutions is our ability to be willing to look at them past January. Mapping our journey by week, month, quarter and half-year gives us a map. Certainly, things will change along the way but being able to know how we will structure this resolution into every week helps us build a structure to keep it moving.


It is great to have a plan we can see but we need to be careful of not setting that plan to be based purely on results. When we only see milestones that are numbers based, such as pounds lost by March 15, we can end up feeling like we failed if that was our only focus. Set milestones to be a mix of not only results but other important aspects of your journey. For example, if your resolution is to lose weight, set a milestone that accounts for when to buy new sneakers based on a number of miles walked by a certain date. Or another for hiring a personal trainer. Building in progress points that go beyond the end result support you along the way and give you that needed positive encouragement to reach a certain point in time rather than just pounds lost.


The biggest point on this is to build in grace. If we only build a hard-core single focused plan that doesn’t account for when one of our kids gets sick, or we have to work late then we end up just beating ourselves up with guilt for not upholding our great plan. Having grace with ourselves is a meaningful way to permit progress and real life to co-exist guilt-free.


Play the Long Game on Resolutions

There are plenty of promotions right now telling you they can help you lose your holiday pounds to look great by spring. Every year these same commercials appear to let you know they have the best approach for losing weight. The problem is they don’t. If diets worked then we would only ever need to do it one time. The weight wouldn’t come back and we’d have a lot of other resolutions to think about doing. Yet weight loss is the number one resolution year after year.


The truth is January is one of the hardest months to start a diet and lose weight. It is the time we are coming off our sugar pleasant holidays back into work and school and getting life back to normal. We are also dealing with cold weather, short daylight days and bleakness. January is where the entire winter blues situation arises for a lot of people.


In nature, January is just after the winter solstice which means it is a time of rest. Our bodies are aligned to nature’s clock so this also means we are meant to rest at this time. It does not mean we can be couch potatoes until spring but it allows for us to be gentle with ourselves. This time of year is perfect for planning what we want to do in our resolutions, how to do it and what we need to be successful. We can try a few things too to see what interests us or what we may also need to consider. For example, if one of those gym membership specials is offering some free classes it makes sense to try one without signing up for the membership right now.


We can also do other things like working to improve hydration, cleaning up our meals to be more nutritious, getting our vitamins levels checked, working on getting better sleep and reducing stress. It is a great time to find a health care partner you like and trust to help you on this resolution, know your numbers in blood work and start working with building out the details for how to achieve your resolution. By building up our foundational aspects of health we position ourselves for better results on our goals. This can take some time to improve and can be part of your resolution work.


When I started to work on improving my hydration every day, I started in January. My goal was to drink 50% of my body weight every day in water. It took some time to get used to drinking that much water and doing it consistently. By spring I was doing it quite regularly and felt more energetic, had clearer skin and was feeling ready to take on more parts of my larger health goal.


When we stop feeling the pressure to follow the crowd on goals, we realize we have the ability to plan for the long game. Our smaller steps can help make significant progress later on when others have long since given up or are on their latest new Monday diet trend.


How to work with me on your resolutions

You are ready to stop having the same resolution every single year and seeing it never progress.

This is where working with a natural health practitioner can help! They are able to work with you on a comprehensive assessment of your current health, what’s important to you and help you design

a plan that is perfect for your individual needs. Breaking up with traditional resolution thinking and approaches is hard sometimes but with the right help you can feel liberated to pursue your resolutions with excitement and much less disruptions to every day life.


To work with me, schedule your consultation today at dragonspitapothecary.com/book-online

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