New year’s greetings from Dr. Henry and the entire team here at Austin’s TexStar Chiropractic. Today’s post aligns with our commitment to provide you with a complete approach to care. We made it through 2020 and there is hope in sight for a better year ahead. I know this is a health column, but I wanted to take a moment this month and talk about something a little different, Personal Growth and Development.
Personal development is a term we use to talk about the changes that happen to our personalities and thought patterns as we learn about and experience more of what life has to offer. This personal development or growing awareness of one’s self is a really important part of the human experience and also closely tied to mental health. Ideally, with life experience we also gain perspective which in turn allows us to make better choices more measured and appropriate responses to the things that life brings our way. Some people achieve this goal faster than others and there are several proven methods that can help us to develop this awareness faster, enjoy life and achieve more.
We don’t have the time or space to get into all of these here today so I’m just going to skip to one of my favorite techniques that I personally use to create focus and become more aware of what is important to me, helping me to make better choices for me and my family.
That technique is simple goal setting.
Goal setting is something I do on a regular basis, but I spend some extra time on it at the begging of each year because it always feels like a good time to re-group, re-focus, and reprioritize. Since this is a health column, I am going to show you the framework that I use to help me set my health goals. This same framework works great for other areas of your life as well such as relationship goals and financial goals.
First let’s talk about the four main aspects of health. Mental Health, Emotional Health, Spiritual Health, and Physical health. These categories overlap quite a bit but it helps us to think about health in this way because it will help us to identify where we want to focus or efforts to see the biggest change.
Mental health is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a state of well-being in which we realize our own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and are able to contribute to the community. Emotional health is the ability to maintain control of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. It allows us to keep problems in perspective and bounce back from setbacks.
Spiritual health is something that is a relatively new concept in the mainstream healthcare world. It is defined as our ability to organize the values, the relationships, the meaning, and the purpose of our lives. Research has shown that this is an important aspect to overall health and wellbeing.
Physical health has many definitions but the simplest is the condition of the body and the extent to which it is free from or is able to resist injury and illness.
So, the first step of my goal setting process is to look at these areas and identify which one needs the most improvement or focus in the coming year.
I then ask myself, if I was able to improve one of these areas what would the outcome that I am hoping for look like? For example, if I was able to improve my mental health, the outcome I hope for is to be less stressed which would allow me to enjoy my work and family more. A physical health example would be that if I was able to improve my physical health, the outcome I would hope for is that my body would be in a better condition to allow me to enjoy daily activities more and add more enjoyable years to my life.
Once I have gone through and thought about the different outcomes that I would hope to achieve for each category I pick the outcome that will have the biggest overall effect on my life. This year I’ve decided that is focusing on my physical health.
The next step is identifying a habit or system that I can put into place that will help me achieve that outcome. For the physical health example, it could be to put regular cardio workouts on your schedule at a specific time and make them a priority. For the mental health example, it may be to start adding a morning meditation routine and subscribe to a class or service that will help you implement this.
The more detailed you can make this habit or system the easier it is to follow through on. Another tip I recommend is to write this goal down and put it somewhere that you can see it every day. The goal is not to change everything all at once or go from a couch potato to a marathoner. But, at the end of 2021 you will hopefully be able to look at the goal you wrote down and say that whatever area of your health you decided to focus on is indeed in a little better shape than it was at the end of 2020. Here at Austin’s TexStar Chiropractic, we take a holistic approach to care by providing you insights like these as well as non-surgical and drug-free chiropractic treatment for pain. Contact us anytime to learn more.
Hope this helps Travis Country. Be well and Happy New Year.
Michael P. Henry, DC
Founder and Clinical Director