Start the New Year Right: Tips for Realistic Goal Setting

Root Whole Body Blog

By Casey McCullough, LAc

2020. This is a big one folks! New year, new decade which may (or may not) mean new year’s resolutions for many of us out there. You may see a million resources about how to execute specific goals, but I’m here to give an list of tips that have helped me to create goals and a life of meaning that have nothing to do with weight loss or material gains.  

Vision, dream, meditate on how it will feel to accomplish this goal 

The first steps towards making positive change is imagining what it will feel like once those changes are implemented. Even if you don’t have all the specifics outlined yet. Focus on how accomplishing this goal will make you feel, how will your life be different, how can you allow for greatest ease during this transition? If you imagine you’re already there, steps necessary to take action will fall into place. While visioning, try not to get hung up in concrete details, focus more on the feeling and long term effects, rather than the minutiae. Not sure how to get past the mental chatter so that you can get clear? Practice meditation, exercise, journaling, tarot, whatever allows you to get more in tune with your inner knowing.  

Don’t get so caught up in the numbers 

Often when we set goals, especially concerning physical appearance and material wealth, we tend to zoom in on the numbers. I will be happier/better/cooler when I reach ___ goal weight or make ____ dollars. The truth is that while numbers can be useful for some, they are devices that make it hard to focus on all the other benefits of making positive change. The truth is that happiness comes from so much more than a numeric value, and when we place so much emphasis on quantitative measures, it takes us out of the present moment and away from secondary successes. Maybe you didn’t lose 10 lbs, who cares, you are in better shape than you’ve ever been in your life. Or conversely maybe you’re making your goal income, but you’re miserable because you’re married to your job. Once positive changes are implemented, you’ll realize the holistic and far reaching ways they can impact your life. 

Start Slow 

Too often when jumping into something new we want to to ALL THE THINGS. It’s an easy pattern to fall into, we get excited, overzealous and burn everything in our wake to get to the finish line, or we crash and burn by February. There is no shame in making small, attainable changes in a step-ladder procession. Even small changes can have immense impact that ripple into various areas of your life, plus it will keep you feeling fresh well into the new year. 
 

As far as health is concerned, think about physical, mental, emotional, spiritual 

As mentioned above, it’s easy to get caught up in the details and minutiae of our resolutions. Think about things you can do to improve all these areas of your life. We are not one sided beings, why should our lives and objectives be limited to a little box? Create a life that is well-rounded and you won’t feel the need to escape as often.  

Remember failure is only an interpretation of an experience

So, let’s say you start off strong with your resolutions and you fall flat on your face, or you’re hating the way they’re making you feel. That’s okay. When making resolutions always take some time to check in with yourself. How are things going, is this a sustainable change, do I like the way I feel and interact with the world while implementing these changes? In the game of change and life, I truly believe failure can be our best guide. Overall it can be a great teaching experience and is really only one perspective. Failure is an interpretation of an experience. If you do fall short, how can you reframe your experience in a way that keeps you moving forward. 

On the other hand, let’s say you’re successful at sticking to your resolutions but you genuinely don’t like the way they’re impacting your life. Totally fine; you can pivot. Don’t make yourself miserable for the sake of charging forward. Come back to step one, and repeat.  

As always, our staff of talented practitioners is here to help you reach your goals! Let us know how you’d like to grow this year, and we’ll be here to support you along the way.

-Casey McCullough, LAc

Licensed Acupuncturist, Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Casey’s interest in acupuncture and East Asian medicine began as a teenager after struggles with knee pain and asthma caused her to seek help outside the sphere of conventional care. The rest is history. Casey believes that humans are like intricate mosaics, made up of millions of tiny pieces. Some of these pieces are beautiful, some ugly, but all uniquely us. She strives to respect and value all of these pieces when designing treatment plans, ensuring patients leave feeling empowered about their health—because we ALL deserve to feel good. She enjoys a collaborative, team approach to patient care and wants to make sure that everyone is working towards a common goal. Read more about Casey McCullough.