As the year is coming to an end, the holidays are typically a joyful and celebratory time filled with parties, family gatherings, friends, special traditions and good food!
But the holiday season can also have its challenges for many people for different reasons. These can include staying focused on a healthy lifestyle goal, such as diet, exercise, fitness, sobriety, financial costs of gift-giving and holiday-related travel, grieving, loss and family conflict; the list goes on.
Researchers suggest that only 9% of Americans who make resolutions complete them. In fact, research goes on to show that 23% of people quit their resolution by the end of the first week, and 43% quit by the end of January.
I think the main reason for this is not having a “why” for your well-being. Having a why keeps you focused on what truly matters to you in the long term, whether it is being physically fit enough to do activities with your kids or to have your body in the best possible condition to have a child. Or even, focusing on overall longevity to be on no medications and avoid surgeries for life, especially in a society that is chronically laden with conditions and illnesses.
When you look at overall well-being, prioritizing your mental and emotional health first will help every other area as a triune of mind, body and spirit.
Finding your why at first can be a challenge. But, identify your core values, reflect on a regular basis, follow specific accounts for inspiration and unfollow accounts on social media that no longer serve you.
Once you develop a why, write it (or them!) down: spiritual, mental, financial and physical goals. Keep them in front of you, whether on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror or at your workstation. Research shows you have a higher probability of achieving goals when you see them daily.
Develop a fitness goal that is not only realistic but that is fun! The ability to move your body even 30 minutes a day shouldn’t feel like a chore or a punishment. Try different workouts until you find one that you genuinely enjoy! Fitness should be fun!
Stick to the 80/20 rule: The 80/20 rule is a guide for your everyday diet — eat nutritious foods 80 percent of the time and have a serving of your favorite treat with the other 20 percent. For the “80 percent” part of the plan, focus on drinking lots of water and eating nutritious foods that include whole grains, lean meat, grass-fed beef (if possible), farm-fresh eggs, fruits and vegetables.
Develop a plan before going out to dinner: Look up the menu ahead of time to see what fits within your goals and give yourself a drink max if you choose an alcoholic beverage, as well.
Spend time in meditation: Meditation doesn’t have to look like Buddha sitting cross-legged on the ground for hours. Meditating can be in the car on your way to work in silence as you intentionally spend time with your mind, and doing breathwork to create an awareness of what your body needs, likes and doesn’t like.
Lastly, share your why. Your inner circle wants to support you. Share your why so you have accountability for your friends or family to check in.
Dr. Amanda Alcamo is a chiropractor in Columbia at Restoration Chiropractic. She is very passionate about truth in health, as someone that has had three spinal surgeries by the time she was 22 years old with the end result of her spine being fused from T3-L4. She lives in Columbia with her golden-doodle Sonny. She loves cycling, hiking and remaining active and healthy. You can follow her at @One_Restoring_Lives or @restorationchiropractic on Instagram.