How To Be Realistic About New Year’s Resolutions

new years resolutionsIt’s the beginning of a new year,  and we all need to be realistic and open to looking at ways to improve ourselves. It is not an easy proposition, but with a little devotion it can be done. Take sometime now and begin by writing down tangible things you want in the next year, and then begin planning how you will achieve those goals. Look at the different aspects of your life from work to home life, and figure out what would you like to see change.

How To Make These Changes Happen

The first thing about change is to be realistic. Weight loss and exercise are some of the most common areas people want to be change. If you gained 50 pounds over the last five to ten years, it is unlikely that in 3-6 months that you will permanently lose the weight. However, losing a pound a week with a plan that involves changing your food intake, exercise, and having support of others and more knowledge of what has led to weight gain, may lead to success.  

To be successful one also has to make the time for the change to happen. If exercising daily is a goal, sitting for an hour watching TV may have to change. You need to look at your current schedule and see what can be changed to make something happen. Further, do not fight with yourself. If you are not a morning person, do not try to wake up extra early to exercise since it is unlikely to happen. Find a time like after work and make it a priority, and combine it with something you like doing, such as watching TV at the same time or maybe listening to audio books.

Having help to make a change in your life is useful and motivating. Being part of a community with similar goals can help drive you through positive social connections. Sharing the challenge of exercise or weight loss with others who have the same desires can push you forward when you may have doubts. A team of support and friends to share the triumphs can make the grind easier since it is not only about you.

Finding Motivation

One of the hardest things to make a change is having motivation. Everyone has something different that makes one tick. Finding what keeps you going is tough and usually you need multiple reasons. Exercise makes almost everyone feel better overall, but that is often insufficient. For many, without exercise, their pain increases, stress increases, energy levels go down, sleep deteriorates, and for some if they stop, surgery may be the next treatment option. Further, some people are self-motivated while others need to be with others to be consistent and be part of a community or team.

Lastly, change is difficult, and consider a secondary plan if the goals are not being met. Sometimes there are a variety of factors that interfere with meeting a new goal. Do not get stuck with negative thoughts of failure. Change the targets and keep trying to move forward. Look for a different strategy and seek out help to make change. No one is alone in this world and there are numerous resources for help to meet almost any reasonable goal. Think positive and move forward, do not try to change too many aspects of your life at once. Choose just a few things and make it point of achieving them, and then add in new challenges.

Resolutions For Keeping Chronic Pain Under Control

chronic pain resolutionsIt’s a new year, but that doesn’t mean you’ve left your back pain in 2016. One-third of the population battles regular pain in one form or another, so although you’re not alone, we thought the New Year was the perfect time to lay out some resolutions for pain sufferers to take back control of their bodies in 2017. Here are some resolutions to keep in mind to help control your chronic pain this year.

Pain Resolutions

The first thing is to commit to change. If you continue to do everything the same as you always have done, the results will be the same. Change is hard, but without change, there is little chance that a different outcome can be achieved. Choose to make one change at a time. It will be uncomfortable, but not all pain is bad. The first stretch in the morning always hurts, but after the initial pain, it goes away and then you feel better. Since we all are humans and not perfect, we can all benefit from change.

For many people who have pain, the next place to turn is to see a physician, especially one who specializes in Pain Management. Believe it or not, this is a small specialty of medical doctors who have expertise in diagnosing and treating all kinds of things that cause pain. Doctors who have medical boards (approved certifications by the American Board of Medical Specialties) in both Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (P.M. and R.) and in Pain Medicine may be your best choice for an expert to help guide your treatment. Most importantly, find someone in the field who has experience, and with whom you feel comfortable. Try to find those doctors who are in the top 10 percent of the specialty, as they have extensive knowledge about diagnoses and treatment, and are continuing to educate themselves about new information.

Change Your Habits

Changes that make a difference are often those that are basic to a healthy life in general. Start simple and try to get good sleep at night. The brain needs to shut down at night and follow good sleep hygiene habits. If you’re still not sleeping, have an evaluation by a physician specializing in sleep quality.

Nutrition is the next big area, what we eat and put into our bodies has a huge effect on every part of our life. We are what we eat. For many of us, we absolutely need to change our diets. Be honest with yourself, track what you eat and change it slowly. If you have no idea what to change, get some help.

Lastly, nothing changes if you do not exercise. Exercise has to be done daily, and it will include stretching, strengthening and conditioning. Stretching should be daily, while strengthening and conditioning can be alternated. Find 30 minutes a day outside of regular activities to devote specifically to exercise.

Resolve to change in the new year. Get motivated, and be responsible to yourself. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, because a third of the world has chronic pain. Medicine knows some of the best solutions are the simplest. Exercise, nutrition, reducing stress and sleep solve many of our health problems. If you have difficulty finding the path on your own, get some help by experts.

Control Chronic Pain With Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

Every New Year’s Day, many of us make resolutions of what we like to change in our lives. When making New Year’s resolutions, we should work on changing things that would improve our lives. If we are like 40% of Americans who have pain, then there are many things in our lives we can do improve our quality of life.

The first resolution is that you can “manage” your pain and move forward in life. Pain has physical and psychological components, and we can control the cognitive, interpretative parts. When pain becomes chronic, there are normal sensory signals going to the brain that are being perceived as pain. The pain does not change, and you feel it regardless if you are moving or if you are doing nothing. Stop doing nothing, move forward, and get busy. If you are busy, you will not have time to worry about the pain, and you will feel better.

The second resolution is part of the first; get regular exercise. Start slowly and work up to a significant level. Two things must be done, stretching and strengthening, and aerobic conditioning. To tolerate more activity, having adequate muscle strength is essential. Core muscle strength is necessary. These are the muscles of the trunk including your abdomen, along the spine, and those about the pelvis and hips. These are muscles that we normally do not specifically work on and most everyone needs guided training to get started. With strengthening, stretching the muscles daily keeps them from becoming too tight and allows them to maintain normal function. Cardiac health is also necessary. This is done through traditional exercises, like walking, running or biking, in order to increase the heart rate. Aerobic exercise helps burn more calories and control weight.

New Year's Resolution

The third resolution is to lose weight and get close to your ideal body weight. Excess weight stresses the body, especially the muscles and joints. Fat also has been shown to produce compounds that cause inflammation, and those who have pain already do not need to promote more pain within their bodies. If we eat healthier, we tend to feel better and have more energy. Mentally, being close to ideal body weight also promotes a better self image. We can control what we eat, and if we eat healthier, there are many rewards.

It is a new year. Step forward and start taking control of your life. Choose wisely and start doing the things that will improve the quality of your life. Stop making excuses for your behavior and change the bad and reward yourself for the right stuff. Start tracking your diet and exercise, and stick to the plan. Use a fitness tracker and pay attention to diet. If you need help, work with your health care providers. Start now and make positive changes in your life.