Dr. Clayton Lawrence, CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on overall wellness in an otherwise toxic world. (Always consult with your own physician before beginning any new diet/exercise routine).
It’s post-Christmas and pre-New Year’s Eve. How are you feeling about that? For most people, the space between these highly anticipated holidays can be a time of both longing for a few more days to make good on the year’s resolutions and anticipation for the fresh start a new year can offer.
During the next few weeks, before the calendar flips to 2020, take some time to reflect both on the past year and the next 365 days. But whatever you do:
Look back with regret. Your journey to reaching your goals is a delicate balance of rights and wrongs and ups and downs. Don’t focus on the downs or on the things you didn’t do. There will be many more opportunities to make up for lost time. But never, ever look back unless a valuable lesson is being learned.
Get discouraged. You may have faced some setbacks, but that doesn’t mean you have failed. Get up, dust off and keep moving toward your goals.
Think you’ve reached the end. If you were successful in meeting your goals, congratulations! Now set the next one! Life is all about being the best version of yourself. Bask in the glow of reaching the finish line of one race, but don’t allow yourself to plateau. Continue to set the bar higher.
Give up. This is non-negotiable. It is so easy to allow setbacks to cause you to throw in the towel. Did you try to quit smoking but it didn’t work? Did you only lose 15 of the 30 pounds you had hoped for by now? Perhaps you need to take a different approach. If cold turkey didn’t work for you, cutting back on just two cigarettes gets you closer to better health than not doing anything at all. And if adding exercise to your daily routine wasn’t quite enough to reach your weight-loss goals, consider how your food and drink choices may be holding you back.
Look forward with a sense of renewed invigoration. Forget the new year – every morning, every minute, even every second of every day presents an opportunity to make a fresh start. The reason we set New Year’s resolutions is because the feeling of one year ending and a new one beginning invigorates us. But when we realize that every second that passes is one we won’t get back, we can move forward with new energy whenever we want!
Encourage others to join you. Sometimes all it takes to get inspired is a partner. Ask a close friend to join you reaching your goals, whether for fitness, nutrition or overall health. Challenge each other to continue moving forward, offering encouragement and inspiration, but also accountability.
Set ambitious goals. We’ll never know how strong we are until we’re faced with the things that we think we can’t handle. Individuals with anxiety often are told that their track record for surviving each day that they thought they wouldn’t is 100 percent – that’s not too bad considering every day can feel impossible. Set those goals knowing that, while they may not be entirely practical, they will only help make you realize how strong you truly are.
Meet yourself where you are. Do you know what successful people have in common? They all stand back, take a look at where they are, and call it a success. Success is in the eye of the beholder. As long as you’re putting in the effort, find the good, give yourself a pat on the back and declare victory!