Making New Year’s Resolutions that Stick

By Dr. Molly Casey

Healthy Resolution | Happy Woman at Gym

So let’s be honest, you likely fall into one of two categories -- you either love or hate New Year’s resolutions. Rarely is it I find someone who falls between those two bookends. Through the years of caring for patients, there have been some commonalities in what I see with people, their resolutions, and the success (or lack thereof) with regard to these annual commitments. I’ll share my insight in hopes that it serves you to reach your goals if you are one of those folks who falls into the first category of “loves resolutions.”

The People …

Most truly do have good intentions and want to better themselves - I find the folks who do love making New Year’s resolutions usually have a true desire to improve themselves and their lives regardless of whether or not they succeed with their resolutions. Year after year they start again, and that takes guts that many don’t have.

They tend to do better with support and community even if they don’t recognize it - Those who repeatedly set resolutions enjoy the high energy associated with the start of a new year. They thrive off the hype and excitement of starting a journey. The thing is, many who fail haven’t properly thought through the support needed to keep that energy and motivation high in order to reach their goal.

The Resolutions …

They almost always have something to do with health - Nearly all folks have improving their health as a goal or a component of their goal. If we don’t have our health, what do we have? The health of your spine and nervous system are the foundation of your overall health, so are your chiropractic adjustments a priority? If not, the foundation for achieving a health-related resolution is missing a vital link.

Resolutions often aren’t realistic based on daily life demands - Although certain resolutions sound good in conversation or look good as we write them down, frequently we forget to take an honest look at what will be required of us to implement these into our day to day routines.

The Results …

Among the patients I’ve observed with the best results at keeping New Year’s resolutions, there are four common themes they hold tight to through their year journey. And here they are.

Realistic - The resolution is well thought out and the implementation into daily life is doable. Yes, it takes effort, but it’s attainable. Realistic people aren’t asking themselves to operate on five hours of sleep and get to the gym by 4:30 a.m. when they have a partner, four kids and run a company. That would only last for so long, especially when they know they perform best on eight hours of sleep.

Consistent - Consistency is the key to nearly everything. You don’t lose weight by eating healthy for three days and going to the gym once. Your spine won’t heal from years of damage with two chiropractic adjustments.

Committed - The patients with the most success have owned the reasons why they are choosing to make the resolution and the results they want. They understand it will take effort and energy. Because they own it and are realistic and clear about the impact on their life, they are committed. This commitment drives them. And they find others who have the same level of commitment to change and they support each other.

Willingness to get back up when they fall down - It happens. To all of us. We all fall off track at some points during our journey. To keep moving forward, we must get back up and continue taking strides. So yes, there may be a week in which you miss an adjustment or a few days where you fall off track by not meditating or eating properly, but that doesn’t need to turn into forever. Get up the next morning and change it, get back on track.

To make the most of your resolutions, be realistic. Make sure you have support. Be consistent. Know why you’ve committed to the change. And be willing to get back up when you fall off track.

Here’s to making 2017 the best, healthiest year yet!