8 Tips for New Year's Resolution(s)! Self-Actualization & Acupuncture!
Updated: Jan 1
Reach New Year’s Resolution Goals with Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine to Savor Self-Actualization!
Are you making New Year's Resolutions? Did you know that acupuncture can help you develop the focus, energy and willpower needed to achieve your goals? Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine can support you in sticking with your resolutions for a healthier, stronger and happier you in 2023!
You don't need to make serious resolutions! One year I resolved to wear fun socks (more often). Another year I resolved to write in purple ink (more often). Another year, I resolved to have an online class available before the end of the year - and I accomplished my goal by breaking it into tiny, achievable steps and creating accountability by working with an editor (see my new online class offerings @ www.lunaria-wellness-institute1.teachable.com) This year, after spending 2.5 years earning my Doctorate in Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine, while running to Acupuncture clinics and parenting a teenager... I am resolving to create better work-life balance to manage stress and improve my own health and wellbeing. Whether your resolutions are silly, fun, or more serious here are some tips to help you achieve your goals!
It's estimated that only about 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions? Why? Because changing deeply ingrained habits is challenging! Why bother? Because striving to be the best version of yourself is a wonderful virtue and when we accomplish our goals - we attain great satisfaction from Self-Actualization! Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine can help you recognize and conquer those challenges!
A few tips to help you:
#1 Clarify: Make your Resolutions specific and attainable. For example, a resolution that states you want to lose 20 pounds in 2023 is both more specific and attainable than broadly resolving to lose weight.. And by further focusing your goal by pledging to lose 3-4 lbs per month for 6 month in a row makes your goal even more attainable. You can further enhance clarity and success for focusing on what you want to attain versus what you want to give up. Shifting from I want lose 20 pounds in 2023 can become: I resolve to return to my ideal weight for optimal health @ 150 lbs. I will track nutrition to guide eating choices and establish health eating habits to achieve my wellness goals. I easily integrate 30 more minutes of movement into my daily flow to improves physical fitness and wellbeing.
Some of my examples above used the phrase ‘more often’ this vague time frame is good when your New Year’s Resolution is about integrating a habit that helps you live more creatively and spontaneously (yes, you can!)
You can further clarify your goals by streamlining your environment: for example, if your goal is walk 3 miles every morning AND what always seems to side track you is lingering over your first cup of coffee: pick out your early AM walking clothes the night before - then put your walking clothes in front of the coffee pot. This helps create clarity and reinforce your intentions for a positive change instead of just being on auto-pilot.
#2 Resolution Board: Research shows that talking about your Resolutions is just as satisfying to your brain as actually accomplishing your resolutions. And other research points to success when resolutions are shared with those who will support you and keep you accountable. What to make of this contradictory research? If you find yourself broadcasting your Resolutions far more than actually taking daily action to achieve your goals - take this as a clue that you need to ‘Wag More, Bark Less’ : ) AND then carefully select a few people in your life who can serve as your Resolution Board: choose people who have either achieved your goals themselves or those you know will hold you compassionately accountable (such as your local friendly acupuncturists!).
You can also make a Resolution Vision Board with words and images that will serve as a visual daily anchor of your Resolution to help keep you motivated and focused on maintaining your Resolution.
#3 Focus: Willpower is something that becomes diluted and scattered if we choose too many things to change at one time. Consider breaking up your Resolutions into Seasonal Resolutions or into monthly steps (see #1) Acupuncture can help you strengthen your willpower! Next time you are struggling with the choice between behavior that supports your resolution vs ingrained habit try squeezing the acupressure point Kidney 3 and Bladder 60 located level with your ankle bone (malleolus) between the achilles tendon and the malleolus. Ki 3 is on the inside: B60 is on the outside. Ki3 is a great point to ground and center yourself while focusing and strengthening willpower. B60 imparts insight into oneself while quelling anxiety. Also see #5.
#4 Write it down & Schedule it: write down your goal(s) every day to make time daily for you to focus on achieving your goal(s). Use my 15/21 principle. Plan on devoting at least 15 minutes per days for 21 days in a row. Know that during these 21 days you will meet all sorts of inner & outer resistance: hear the resistance and then counter it with POSITIVE words and actions*. You will have to exert willpower to overcome these challenges. It takes 21 days to establish new habits. Remember that if you do not write down your goal - it is less likely to happen. Putting on it on your schedule on a daily basis helps our brain/body become habituated towards behavior that supports your resolution.
#5 Download the Dream: Be Visionary! Every night before you fall asleep spend 5-15 minutes visualizing you Resolution goal(s). Find a positive symbol that signifies your goal. Joseph Campbell said “If you want to change the world, change the metaphor.” The same holds true when you want to make a personal change: create a symbol or a metaphor that symbolizes your New Year’s Resolution. Envision yourself taking the positive actions needed to achieve our resolution. When we sleep our brain/memory filters and organizes information that then prompts behavior the following day(s).
#6 Track it! Measure your progress: satisfy the inner data collector within by measuring your progress: whether you use a tracking device (FitBit) and a spreadsheet or using a journal. Tracking and measuring your progress is a time proven method to modify behavior and achieve one’s goals. Writing down your resolutions as well as smaller achievable goals bring you closer to your Resolution and tracking your progress daily also help make you more accountable than simply talking about what you want.
#7 Be compassionately patient: know that you will experience resistance (both from your inner rebel and those around you that are used to you as you are!). Change is not a linear process. Make a plan on how you will overcome the hurdles and setbacks. Know this is part of the process of change! Research into acupuncture reveals that over the course of 10-12 acupuncture treatments the brain literally changes. One acupuncture treatment does not change the brain - just as exercising once will not change your body nor your brain. If you get off track, know that our brains are conditioned to believe that every Monday is another fresh chance to start again as well as the start of every new month or every new moon. There is always another opportunity to re-dedicate yourself to your endeavor!
#8 Find your carrot! Reward yourself along the way: chances are that you have selected a resolution that may take many months to achieve. To keep you motivated find small ways to reward yourself along the way. Find rewards that support your resolution. Avoid negative self-talk or negative reprimands when you find yourself going off track (see #7). Punishment is deflating: positive, healthy rewards are uplifting. Research shows that when we 'gamify' our goals they become easier to achieve, e.g.reward yourself after tracking 21days in a row!
Some people love competition, if this is you then consider having another person or a 'team' of people join your Resolution and work together with friendly competition.
Other people need regular reminders of their progress with meaningful rewards along the way. Find your carrot(s) and enjoy the process of Self-Actualization!
Reach New Year’s Resolution Goals with Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine!
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