By Dr. Alisha Ghajar, ND
It’s that time of year again…the retraction that follows the splurges of the holidays. The season when we resolve to take care of ourselves financially, physically, emotionally. And we really MEAN it this time.
If this is you, know that you are not alone. As a naturopathic doctor, I meet new patients every year in the month of January who are ready to start on a new, healthy track. I love meeting people at this stage of their health journey; there is renewed energy and excitement and we have an opportunity to do some great work. But wouldn’t it be great if that momentum stretched well into the year – even to the end of it and beyond? All too often the energy burns out soon after it ignites, for a variety of reasons.
Below are my pointers for starting out on your health resolution (or any resolution, really), in a sustainable, achievable way.
Start with gratitude and begin from a place of abundance.
Goal setting is a great way to narrow in on what is important to you and make a plan of action for achievement.
But how many times have you listed half a dozen things you want to do or have, or changes you want to see in yourself, without considering the tremendous abundance of your life? The energy we put out into the world when we come from a place of “scarcity” and “lack” is desperation. Grasping. Struggle. Hard. Not a great mindset for actually achieving your dreams.
However…what if you first focused on what you already have? On the magnificent abundance in your life? What does that feel like in terms of goal setting? It feels achievable. You feel strong. We can definitely DO THIS.
I first heard of this concept by listening the excellent podcast The Life Coach School by Brooke Castillo. As a life coach, Brooke encourages her clients to assemble their “wants” embedded with their “haves”. It looks something like this (below is a snapshot of my actual list of goals):
- Become a Naturopathic Doctor
- Exercise five days per week
- Join an innovative practice with people I respect
- Eat a sugar free diet
- Have a loving and supportive marriage
I have most of the things on this list; what I want is to exercise more and stop the sugar habit. If I came at those goals from a place of scarcity, then WOW does exercising 5 days per week sound hard. I’m already tired. And avoiding sugar? It’s in everything! How is that even possible?!
But wait – let’s reframe that from a place of abundance. I have already achieved one of my ultimate goals of becoming a physician. On top of that, I got the job I wanted and I have a loving and supportive marriage. So much abundance. From that frame of reference, I’m actually really excited to exercise more and stop the sugar already…because I know I can. If I can do those other things, I can certainly do this.
See what I did there? Now you try. Think about what you have, what you have already accomplished, and don’t sell yourself short! You have more assets than you may realize, and it’s helpful to write them all down. For more help with abundance-based goal setting, I recommend listening to The Life Coach School podcast episode #3 (also available on Spotify and the Apple Podcasts app).
Do a Gut Check, Then Consult an Expert
Once you’ve reframed your goals from a place of abundance, it’s time to make sure they’re reasonable. This especially applies to your health-focused goals. If you want to run a marathon in one year and you’ve never run further than the bus stop around the corner, you’re going to need a plan to avoid hurting yourself. Similarly, if you want to lose weight, or get off your blood pressure medication, or start a family, I recommend seeking the advice of a Naturopathic Doctor. We have extensive training in several areas that are critical to optimal health, including nutrition, hormone management, and mind-body medicine, to name a few.
This is even more important if you have an underlying, undiagnosed health condition derailing your efforts. Issues such as chronic fatigue, inadequate nutrition and hormone imbalances are some of the struggles that can make it very difficult, and in some cases impossible, to achieve your goals. Naturopathic Doctors are excellent at tailoring office visits, lab tests and treatment plans to your individual needs.
Call us – we want to help you reach your goals!