New Year’s Resolutions: A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish

The festive season might have left you feeling sluggish, bloated and a little unfit, but, it’s a new year! With it, comes the opportunity to wipe the slate clean by creating elaborate resolutions in the hope of undoing the damage. An ambitious few will be gearing themselves up for a first ever marathon. Others are designing intricate detox programs, hoping to survive the month on a cocktail of limewater and paprika. Yikes!

Implementing positive change into your life is tough! We know that cracking open a box of Celebrations is much simpler and way more comforting than layering up and going for a run in the midst of a British winter. A recent survey revealed that 70% of those with New Year resolutions break them within the first month. So, what can we do to prevent this dropout rate?

In a world filled with instant gratification, you’ll be hoping to wake up to ‘the New You’ by tomorrow, but change works best when it’s built sustainably. Before setting the bar, do a health self-assessment. It’s a way to measure where you are now, what you want to do, and more importantly, determine how to get there.

[…] it requires a minimum of 21 days for an old mental image to dissolve and a new one to gel.

This was established by the plastic surgeon Dr Maltz in 1960. He claimed that amputees took an average of 21 days to adjust to the loss of a limb. His reasoning went viral, well for it’s time, and soon became a one size fits all number that could be applied to any change. From getting into the habit of eating fruit daily to learning Chinese, it was theoretically achievable to kick start a new rhythm within 3 weeks.

Debunking the 21-day myth.

So much of implementing a new routine into your life hinges on the sort of change you’re hoping to make. It also depends greatly on your personality type and your surroundings. At Spinal Care Clinics, we have found that it takes a minimum of 8 weeks to increase wellness significantly and generate life-changing habits. Ultimately, how effectively you establish a new routine depends on your ability to step forward, and the key lies in seeing your goal as a lifestyle change and not just a New Year resolution.

Don’t overload yourself.

Typically, we see resolutions as ‘extras’ and not as an integral part of life. We seek to add more by placing new demands on ourselves but time is precious, and we are busier than ever. Getting into a new habit is much easier if you’re prepared to give up an old one, so be honest with yourself. Habits come as a response to our needs. You may decide to cut down on the hours you spend watching TV or in front of a screen in general. However, this might be your ‘downtime’, a moment in the day just for you, a time to feel relaxed and happy. Be true to yourself: make sure the habit you are hoping to drop is truly replaceable.

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Remember your surroundings, they could make or break you.

What external factors could help or prevent you from reaching your goals? Many of us decide on exercise and fitness as a resolution. It’s a great idea! However, if you work 12-hour days, live 25 miles from the nearest gym, or reside in a drizzly climate. It’s going to be difficult, so take a look at your ecosystem.

When setting long-lasting goals it’s good to be realistic.

It’s a new year. There is freshness and excitement in the air and we are looking for change. Hone-in on that positivity, the possibilities are endless and this is where the realist meets the romantic. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment. If you have always had a sweet tooth, you may resolve to cut out sugar altogether, but this solution might have you searching under the settee for leftover Christmas chocolates. Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Yes, the clock struck midnight marking the New Year but it’s all about baby steps and moderation. Introduce positive change into your life gradually. This will avoid focussing on your shortcomings, and help you achieve goals by building on your strengths.

Focusing on the future, that ideal version of you is easy, even dreamy.

To get there you will need to focus on the present and that requires deep honesty. Ultimately, we want to encourage you to reach your full potential. Aim for the stars but remember that even astronauts have to contend with bad weather. When setting your goals for the year be true to yourself, work with your surroundings and take each day as it comes. If you’re hoping to improve your quality of life this year but you’re lacking the motivation or support, our wellness specialists at Spinal Care Clinics in Brentwood are here to help.

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