Well it’s the post-Christmas week and you are polishing off the last of the Turkey and stuffing, finishing that lone piece of pumpkin pie at the back of the fridge, and trying to decide if we should just toss out the last of the fruitcake or freeze it till next year. Since it’s the end of December, besides clearing out the Christmas leftovers, it’s time to figure out a New Year’s resolution.
Maybe last year your list included trying to be more adventurous and take sky diving lessons, lose 50 pounds by changing your diet, learn to surf or take up white water kayaking. Well whatever your list included, if you really want to achieve something of value in 2019, we recommend you have a solid game plan and set measurable goals. It’s well known that most successful people did not get where they are by winging it or just seeing what happens. You have to lay out a measurable plan, chart your progress and absolutely stick with it to be successful.
Whatever your goal there are always a few essential steps that will allow you to achieve what you set out to do. Below is a 10 step list to help you achieve your New Years resolutions. These 10 steps can be used for almost anything with the right attitude, organization and commitment.
- Get a clear picture in your mind of what you want to achieve. This means you can visualize it in your head and easily explain it to someone else. If you can’t make sense out of it and find it hard to explain it to others, chances are you will have a difficult time organizing and executing a clear plan for success.
- Breaking things down into bite size pieces. Depending on what you are trying to do, we recommend you break down and compartmentalize the steps necessary to get where you are going. If it’s a complicated goal, like losing 50 pounds by changing your diet, we suggest tasks that roll up to milestones with clear measurable deliverables.
- Write it down. If you do one thing in this list, this is it. Grab a pen and paper and write down your New Year’s goal in detail and how you plan to achieve it. I’ve heard of people writing contracts with themselves and signing it. Whatever you write, be it on paper, computer or contacts, get it in ink and review it often.
- Share your goals for the New Year with others to keep you both motivated and accountable. If you are making 2019 a life changing year, having a buddy to help you stay focused and on task is priceless. I always find it funny that people don’t bring others into life changing goals if they can. Nothing like having to answer to someone else to keep you honest and on track.
- Create a simple spreadsheet to track your progress. Let’s face it, some of us are detailed oriented and some are not. If you are handy with Excel and like to track changes, this is great way to keep a running log of what you are doing and how you are doing it.
- Stay positive even when you take several steps backward. Just keep swimming is sometimes the right thing to do even when the current is sometimes pushing you back. Part of keeping a positive attitude is doing some of the things in the list above like journaling, staying focused and keeping a clear image in your mind of what you are trying to accomplish. Doing these things will keep you positive, reach your attainable goals for the new year and stay motivated regardless of your short term progress.
- Measure your progress weekly and not daily in a Journal. Our recommendation is to take a bigger picture to your success when tracking and measuring your progress. Trying to measure change on a daily basis, especially something like weight loss, is not only difficult but insignificant. Try the weekly approach and ignore the day-to-day grind. You will find it’s easier to quantify real change over the year, and will be less stressed and discouraged by minor setbacks.
- Keep your goal visible and out in front. Again if your goal is complex and requires a significant amount of time that involves many detailed steps, it’s easy to lose track of where you are in the process. This goes back to writing down your goals and revisiting your initial idea. It’s easy to get sidetracked by the journey and fail to notice you are off road and going down the wrong path.
- Educate yourself through research. If you goal is complex or requires special knowledge, you owe it to yourself to do a little research. Knowledge is power so get the facts, speak with experts and find out the details about what you are trying to do. We regularly coach people on plant based diets and encourage them to read not just our website, but gather as much information on the subject as possible. The more you research, the better chance you have of not only making your goal a reality, but maintaining it going forward.
- Focus on what works and drop what’s not. If it’s working for you keep it going and if not change course and adopt a new strategy. Too often we have a habit of doing the same thing hoping sooner or later our efforts will pay off. Although that’s a very admirable trait, it’s also important to know when to reassess your progress and change course if needed. This is where having someone you trust as a partner or coach comes in handy. They can see what you are not seeing and point you in the right direction when necessary.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and anything worth doing is usually never easy. If you have people around you that are supportive of what you are trying to accomplish, keep them close and involved. If you have people around you that are unsupportive, tune them out. Make a pact with yourself that you can do it, and follow the steps above to achieve your goals for the new year. We wish you the best of luck in what you want to do, and truly hope you get there.
Dr. Mark Larinde, a ’96 graduate of Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, specializing in Nutrition, Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation works with patients to make a full and long lasting recovery