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Taking Stock of the Past to Guarantee a Successful Future

By Dr. Molly Casey

New Years Resolutions

The years come and go, and it’s now the end of another trip around the sun. As a chiropractor, I hear patients gear up for their year ahead with goals -- personally, professionally with regard to health, and all things in-between. Those resolutions often come and go, often with no traction made toward the actual desired goals. Perhaps you can relate? I want that to be different for you this year more than ever before. One missing piece I see as essential is a review and current assessment before one tries to lay out their path ahead. So instead of jumping right in to next year, take a quick read.

Where Are You Now?

How can you honestly get where you are going if you don’t truly know where you are at? Most folks go into a doctor’s office and are looking for some element of their life and health to improve. In order to best serve you and your body, we gather information, assess where you are at, and then move forward with care from there. This evaluation provides a number of different elements on being a current picture of where your body is, and this offers a starting place from which to decide where to go and how to track progress. Clarity is the first law of success. Moving forward efficiently requires clarity.

Take a couple hours before the year’s end, divvy your life up into different categories. I recommend these five: personal health and development, partnership and parenting, family and friends, money and work, and service. Let’s look at personal health and development for the purpose of this article. It is imperative you answer honestly if you are truly looking to create change. Be specific; if answers are no, write down what or how much you are doing. Are you giving your body the best chance at optimal brain/body communication, also known as getting your regular chiropractic adjustments? Are you getting enough water daily (half your body weight in ounces)? How much and how well are you sleeping? What is your daily diet like? Are you at an appropriate, healthy weight? How much and how well are you exercising? What regular practices are you engaging in for stress relief and fun? How much time do you have for yourself, by yourself? Do you take sufficient time off? Answer these questions, leave it, and go on to the next area.

Where Did You Come From?

Where you have come from in your journey is an important piece of information. People often look at one snapshot in time and take absolutely no account for where they used to be. This can be very damaging to making significant strides toward further success. The practice of looking back is helpful in that it allows for more information that often leads to a pat on the shoulder because you don’t realize how much you actually have improved. It can also offer a deeper look at “Wow, I thought I really created some change here but I’m lying to myself -- there really hasn’t been much change and I need to change what I’m doing.” A look back can also offer understanding as to why growth was limited (if it was limited) because perhaps you went through extraordinary circumstances.

Look back at the beginning of 2019 and then look at the answers to the questions above. Do your best to remember and follow your journey through where you are now. Perhaps you stayed consistent with your chiropractic adjustments all year long except during the spring months, then jumped back in during June. Note that it’s important to be aware. Maybe you started your commitment to finally drink proper amounts of water daily. Maybe you are 12 pounds lighter than at the start of the year. Perhaps you went through a tragic event and it coincided with your weight loss or decrease in exercise. All of these are important observations that can help you with greater success for the next year.

What Worked, What Didn’t?

Now that you have a detailed set of questions as to where you are currently, and have looked at how life generally went over the past year, start looking at the truth of what worked and what didn’t. Were results created? If you committed to regular adjustments throughout the year, did you have and meet the schedule you set out to? If you created the intended result and the answer is yes, rock on -- it is working for you and there’s no need to fix what isn’t broken.

If you didn’t create the results you wanted, ask yourself why, what stopped or blocked you? Perhaps you need to shift the time or the day. So often folks want their schedule to look and be one way but the truth is it just isn’t realistic. For example, you may love the idea of working out in the evenings and how convenient that would be for your schedule, but if you hate it, stop attempting to schedule it at that time simply because “that’s where it fits.” Personally, I can do this once in a while -- and I mean only once in a while. The amount of energy, effort, and pumping up myself to actually follow through with going to the gym to get an evening workout is literally exhausting. While in theory I can do it, it’s in no way the most efficient use of my time and energy to plan workouts for evenings so my compliance rate is horrible. Thus, results if I did that would ultimately be horrible as well. What didn’t work, and how can you shift things to help your compliance rate?

Now You’re Ready

OK, so you’re ready to take a look at where to set goals for the upcoming year. You have a clear picture of where you are now, where you have been over the past year, whether or not you’ve created results, and your path of progress (or lack thereof). With this clear picture, go to an entirely new sheet of paper and write out your vision of where you would like to be. Remember, clarity is the first law of success so be as clear and specific as possible.

I suggest you then take a bit of a breather; perhaps revisit this process in a day or two to look over your notes, your evaluation, and your vision with a fresh set of eyes to see if you’ve missed anything or need to add anything. On a new sheet of paper, start to hash out the path to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Make sure this includes tangible goals that can be measured and tracked throughout the year. Do a self-check every 12 weeks. Then hold yourself accountable, perhaps through getting an accountability buddy.

Preparation and planning is essential for success. Action and follow through are required to create the tangible results desired. Chiropractors are about health, wellness, and development from the inside out. When you are at The Joint Chiropractic for your regular chiropractic adjustment, let us know how you are doing in your health journey. Our doctors want to help you help yourself in any way possible. Here’s to celebrating the year behind us and making the most of the year ahead of us; 2020 is going to be the best yet!

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