Getting Over the New Years’ Slump

Many of you have set goals, “resolutions”, for the new year, only to have already found them feeling hopelessly lost less than 1/12 into 2022. You may have had illness run through your family, unexpected injuries come up, cold spells having you feeling unmotivated, and the general busy-ness of life getting in the way.

The good news is that 1/1/22 was just a day on the calendar. It was not a deadline to start. There is no competition with others to be a better you outside of with yourself, yesterday. You get a new chance every day to keep striving for your goals. Consistency is key, and the decisions you consciously make each day matter. Sometimes we need to take a break to rest when ill, feeling mental overload, or in a busy season of life. However, you can still move forward-it may just involve pivoting a bit. Here are a few simple steps, a blueprint, to help you get back on track and keep on track throughout the inevitable ups and downs that make life the ride that it is.

First, sit down and ask yourself what your goals are. Align this exercise with a check in on your values. What are you looking to accomplish to improve your life in a way that matters to YOU? Setting your goals in line with your values and your WHY in life helps give you clarity and motivation to keep going. Try to avoid external motivators such as the approval or validation of others and rather look inward. Maybe you want more energy to be able to better keep up with your grandkids, or to feel better mental clarity so you are a more patient dad. Maybe you want to enjoy a comfortable pregnancy while simultaneously keeping up with your toddler. Maybe you want to reach one year of breastfeeding your baby. Maybe you want to lessen the frequency of chronic headaches that plague your days. Maybe you have a goal of feeling the accomplishment of running your first 5K. Find your “why” to create worthwhile goals.

Next, think about all the good habits that you already have in place, consistent or not. These are the things that add to our health and improve upon it-whether it is your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health. What are you already doing well or having been working on making a positive change? Add in the habits that you’d like to help you further reach your goal. Now, pick three habits, no matter how big or small, that you can do on a regular, consistent basis to get yourself closer to your goals. Some examples include aiming to get in 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week, getting an adjustment every 2-4 weeks on a wellness basis, eating 3 servings of vegetables each day, drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water each day, sleeping at least 7-8 hours 5 nights each week, starting a daily gratitude journal, listening to an uplifting podcast each week, etc.

The next exercise is a little more negative but valuable nevertheless. Our bodies are amazing and resilient, able to heal and grow despite us not always being the kindest to them. With this in mind, can you identify any habits that you regularly take part in that negatively impact your body and your health? Do you have any habits that may be hindering your body’s ability to heal and grow? Are there any toxic substances or unhealthy foods that you may regularly use? Do you regularly cut out sleep or exercise to get more work done? Do you work to maintain any unnecessary toxic relationships that impact your mental health in a poor manner? Now, pick 3 of these unhealthy habits that you can consciously work on reducing or cutting out of your life to get you closer to where you want to be.

Lastly, regularly evaluate your progress and edit your plan as needed. Are you making the progress you’d hoped? If not, don’t give up. Maybe you need to look at where you are making choices working against your progress. Maybe you need to tweak your three habits that you are performing on a regular basis, upping them when you find you can consistently match them or switching them with more realistic goals if they are discouraging you by not keeping up with them.

As always, we are here for you. We are here to help you make plans to reach your goals, accomplish them by helping your body function at its best and adapt to the challenges of life, and to cheer you on. You’ve got this!

In good health,

Dr. Emily

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