Starting the new year off with goals to make healthy changes so we can live a better life is great, but how often are these big plans followed through? We have good intentions and this time we are going to do it! Aren’t we? What is holding us back from the achieving our goals? As a behavior analyst, I have a few ideas that may help you actually stick to your resolutions and allow you to really make this year your best yet (not just the month of January).
When making any modifications to behavior it’s important to define exactly what you want the results to look like. #1. Set clear goals. When we have a loose idea of what we want but don’t actually clarify what the intentions are, it’s easy to let go partway there. If my goal this new year is to finally lose weight, I may lose a few pounds and feel like I’ve made it so I stop the regimen and by the end of the year, the scale is the same as when I started. Define what you want. How many pounds total do you want to lose? How many pounds will you lose each month until you hit your goal weight? How will you maintain the weight loss? Which brings me to point #2: You have got to have a plan. Once you spell out precisely what you want, it’s important to spend some time planning all your moves to help you get there. What needs to change in order for you to meet your goals? What barriers do you currently face and how will you push past those to get to the other side? Exactly what are you going to do in order to meet your goal? #3 Write it down!!! Get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Write down your goals and your plans to meet these goals so you can revisit them if you feel yourself losing sight of what you originally set out to do. When you write it down, it helps keep you accountable along with #4 Sharing your goals with someone close to you. Let someone you are close to in on your plans and ask them to help hold you to your word. If they have goals they would like to meet, you can do the same for them.
There is one last point that will make or break your success and that is #5 Track your progress. Writing down your goals and plans is important but tracking the progress to see how well you are doing meeting your goals is an incredible way to give yourself feedback and keep you moving forward. It’s easy to be motivated when you start your journey, but a month in the glamour of making a big change feels overwhelming and begins to lack appeal. If you can look at a log, something tangible, to show you how you are making progress and moving in the right direction, it can serve as a great motivator. Tracking your progress will also help you see the dips, or where you still struggle, so you can begin to see patterns and help yourself problem solve. Make tracking simple by keeping it on your phone or by your bed so you don’t create another barrier to your success. There are many ways to do this regardless of your goals. If you need some help, reach out and call Allen Chiropractic for some health and wellness coaching. Don’t forget to call and schedule an chiropractic appointment with Dr. James Allen to help get your year started off well aligned!
Aurora Allen, M.A., BCBA