From all of us at Ascent – we’re proud of you.
Whether you’re a patient at Ascent Chiropractic in Brookfield, a newsletter subscriber, or are simply one of the thousands who read this blog online every week, we want to give a shout out to everyone making progress that no one else recognizes. You’ve been silently winning battles and transforming yourself this year – be proud of every step you’re taking in the right direction.
Every step on the treadmill, every set of side planks or lat pulldowns you do because your chiropractor told you to, every healthy meal choice – even if no one else notices, we’re behind you 110%. Let’s keep it up in 2020, and remember that every single action we take every day is either getting us closer to our self-improvement goals or farther away from them.
The new year is a blank book and the pen is in your hand, it’s your story to write!
In that spirit, here are 10 research-backed tips for smashing it in 2020.
1. Set goals, not resolutions. Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them. Don’t be part of that statistic. This year, set goals instead of resolutions – goals are specific, whereas resolutions tend to be broad and vague. Goals are much more actionable, which is what makes them more effective.
2. Get outside, move around, take a walk. Research confirms that a few minutes of exercise in nature boosts circulating endorphin levels, improving both mood and energy.
3. Enjoy the ride. People who focus more on process than outcome tend to remain motivated in the face of setbacks. They’re better at sticking with major challenges and prefer them over the easy route. This “growth mindset” helps people stay energized because it celebrates rewards that come from the work itself. Focusing only on the outcome can lead to premature burnout if things don’t go well.
4. Sweet dreams. We’ve discussed this over and over, but it’s essential to get a full night’s sleep on a regular basis. Our brains are doing a lot of important work while we sleep, including strengthening neural circuits that enhance mental acuity and help us to regulate our moods when we are awake. Sleep deprivation can lead to cognitive impairment similar to that of intoxication, and often is the prelude to an ill-tempered day.
5. Introduce variety into your day-to-day activities. We’re attracted to novelty, and we can get bored if we have to do the same thing over and over. Changing things up every once in a while by taking on new projects, or by doing the same task but with music in the background, or by interacting with different people, can be one way to introduce variety and remain motivated to complete a task.
6. Limit time on social media. Facebook and Instagram often exaggerate how much better off others are compared with how we might feel about ourselves at the moment. Many studies have shown that too much time spent on social media usually is associated with lower levels of self-esteem, optimism and motivation while leaving people feeling — ironically enough — less socially connected to others.
7. Make a contingency plan. Acknowledge potential barriers that might get in the way of implementing your goals, and then identify contingency plans for how you will respond in those moments: “When I start getting distracted in the middle of a big work project, I’ll give myself a quick break and then remind myself how rewarding it will feel to be finished with it.” Better yet, select environments that are free from distractions altogether. If you know you’re always tempted to surf the web while completing work, take your laptop to a place where there’s no wifi and leave your phone behind.
8. Plan a course of action. Set specific dates and times for action. When you make a schedule for new behaviors you’d like to incorporate into your life, they require less psychological strength to implement. When you get in the habit of running every Tuesday and Thursday morning, the behavior becomes much easier to initiate because it simply becomes part of your routine, like brushing your teeth or taking the dog on a walk.
9. Reward yourself frequently. Make your goals measurable, break them up into smaller sub-goals, and then reward yourself each time you hit a particular milestone. If your goal is to lose 50 pounds in the new year, treat yourself to a reward for every five pounds you lose.
10. Embrace failure. How we think about failure determines whether it makes us happy or sad. People who overcome adversity do better in life because they learn to cope with challenges. Failure is a great teacher, helping us realize what doesn’t work so we can make changes for the better. As IBM CEO Thomas Watson once said, “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.”
What’s Holding You Back?
Finally, if pain is holding you back – whether it’s back pain, headaches, knee pain, plantar fasciitis, or whatever other musculoskeletal problem you’ve got going on – we’re here for you and we want to be part of your team. Study after study shows that regular chiropractic care is an essential part of correcting problems, reducing pain and reaching your full potential.
Ready to smash your goals this year? Be BOLD. Let’s do it. To make an appointment at Ascent Chiropractic, call 262-345-4166 or schedule an appointment with our online scheduling app.