I know Chiropractic is awesome. I see the results of it daily. I don’t even stop for a second when someone says “I don’t believe in Chiropractic.” It works regardless of if you “believe” or not – it just does.
However, I know that if you want to be healthier, you’ll need more than what an adjustment can offer. You’ll need to take a look at your daily habits and your current condition to decide if it can be better. If you want an upgrade in your life, it’s going to take some effort on your part.
Around this time of year, I start asking my patients what they are aiming for in the upcoming year. Have they started thinking about New Year’s resolutions? Any new goals? I hope to hear some things like “I want to drink more water” all the way up to “I’m finally going to run a marathon this year.”
Instead, I tend to hear things like “I don’t do resolutions” or “I never keep them, so why make one?” or even sadder, “what’s the point?” Yikes! I know that those people that aren’t trying to improve their health have either a) Achieved a mega-level of health that is so incredible it doesn’t need improving (I’ve never met this person) b) They’ve not yet lost their health to a level that they’ve had to overcome a real problem yet (I meet these people a lot) or c) They’ve learned to accept a lower level of health (most people).
Why have we given up on getting healthier?
I’m not the 100% perfect model of health, but I’m loads healthier than I’ve been in the past and I’m always striving to get better. My goal is to find things that work with my life and my willingness to dedicate time to it.
For example, I really have no doubt that becoming raw vegan would be an ultra-healthy choice. I’m just not interested or willing to do that. I’ve seen patients jump on this diet and look great after just a short time, but after I see what it takes to stick with this diet — I know I’m not ready to go that far.
I am willing to add in more vegetables. I am willing to take vitamins more consistently. I am willing to keep cutting sugar out of my diet. I’m willing to take incremental steps to improve my health. Small steps keep adding up over time, good and bad. Can you start making a few small steps towards better health?
Exercise should be on your list
Doing consistent exercise should be high on your list of priorities. In the past, I only exercised as a way of managing weight. I didn’t really think about any other possible reason to stay on track with regular exercise. Therefore, I didn’t stick with it when my weight was manageable.
Now that I’m over 40, I look to the patients that are in their 60s and older and still active and looking great. I also see those patients that are an “old” 60. They don’t exercise. They won’t exercise, and their bodies reflect that. Their life is severely limited, and it doesn’t have to be that way.
That’s not even the biggest reason why…
I also see the patients that are stressed to the max and have no way of alleviating this constant strain on their bodies. I strongly believe you have to work off the “stress energy” before it stays in your body, causing ongoing problems.
“Relaxing” isn’t going to get it done. You’ve got to burn it off – that means getting your heart rate up several times per week with a physical activity that you enjoy. Mentally, it can be fine to garden or take a break. However, to truly alleviate the stress build up, you’ve got to work it out.
So why make a resolution?
Why bother? As corny as it sounds, you are worth it! You can take action to improve your life a few small steps at a time. Over the years, I’ve made goals and resolutions. Some I’ve kept and some I never got close. I haven’t stopped making those resolutions and I don’t think you should either.
Here are some suggestions to make New Year’s Resolutions you can actually keep.
1.) Make it worth it
If you’re not excited about the goal, you won’t keep it. Make it something that you’ll actually be excited about when you complete it. “Clean out the hall closet” may be a necessary goal, but that one wouldn’t excite me.
2.) Make it measurable
“Drink more water” or “lose some weight” may be good ideas, but how do you know if you hit it? Drinking one glass of water may constitute “more” but does it make you feel like you’ve hit a goal?
3.) Make it attainable
Your goals may, but don’t need to include, “climb Mt. Everest.” I believe you should make some smaller goals so that you can knock them off your list and get some momentum going. “Lose 50 pounds” may be what you really want – but your brain may say, “No way, that’s too much work.” Could you lose 5 pounds and keep it off for awhile?
These are your goals, your life
No one should tell you what goals you should be working on. This is a very personal thing. Only you know what you need to work on. Only you know what will make you excited to get up in the morning. Don’t give up trying. Better health is very achievable, and it’s not just you that will benefit.
Everyone that you come into contact with will benefit from your good health. Your friends, your family, your co-workers, your customers… everyone. You at 70% isn’t you at 100% — we’ve all had to go to work with a cold and it wasn’t pretty.
Not living your life at your full health potential is like living that way all the time. So what’s your resolution going to be?