It’s the New Year, which means it’s time for reflection on all of your successes of 2018 (don’t forget this part!) and setting resolutions for 2019.
If you’ve struggled to succeed with New Year’s Resolutions in the past, it could be because they aren’t SMART (no, that’s not an attack on your intelligence).
SMART is a goal setting methodology I recommend using to set yourself up for success heading in to 2019.
And if you can spell the word SMART, you’ll be able to remember exactly how to do it. It’s a simple 5 step process that uses each letter in the word.
In order to increase your chances of following through with this year’s resolutions, your goals should be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Make sure your resolution is specific. Instead of saying, “I want to lose weight in 2019,” define how much weight you want to lose. Instead of saying, “I want to save more money in 2019,” determine just how much money you want to save.
In order to determine whether or not your resolution is successful, it must be measurable. In the examples given above, you would use a scale to measure your weight or the amount in your bank account on the first of each month to measure saving money. If you want to learn a new skill or hobby, define how much time you’ll spend doing it (For ex: 1 hour/week) and plan to keep track along the way!
Attainable and Realistic:
This is where a lot of people veer way off track – make sure your goals are attainable and realistic. Heck, if anything, make your goal underwhelming.
Just think how much more likely you are to start towards that goal if it is “I want to lose 5 lbs,” rather than “I want to lose 50 lbs.” 50 lbs may seem like a mountain that you could never envision climbing (and thus never take the first step), but 5 lbs is realistic enough that you can start to envision success before you start. Who knows, once you hit the first, realistic goal, you may be having so much fun that you strive for more.
Last, but not least, make your goals timely. Define your timeline as much as possible. If you’re hoping to save an extra $5,000 by the end of the year, what benchmarks can you set up along the way? Will you try to save $416.67/month or be able to save more some months than others? Map out your path, so you can change direction if you veer off course throughout the year!
Now that you know what makes a ‘SMART’ resolution, let’s take a look at a few examples:
“In 2019, I will go on two trips to another country. One will be in the summer and the other will be in the winter. I will plan both of these trips and reserve all transportation and lodging by March 31, 2019.”
Grow Your Business:
“By the end of 2019, my businesses revenue will be 20% greater than 2018 totals. In order to reach this goal, I will hire 1 new employee, dedicate 20% more to my marketing budget, and call 3 prospective clients/day. I will track monthly revenue on the 5th of each month to make sure I am on track.
“I will lose 1 lb/week from January 2019 – June 2019 by working out with my personal trainer on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and following my dietitian’s meal plan. I will weigh in every Sunday morning at 9:00 AM to track progress.”
Saving money for retirement:
“I will save $1000/month for retirement in 2019 by following the budget I put together with my financial advisor.. On the 1st of each month, I will review my income and expenses for the previous month to ensure I am on track to meet this goal.”
What do you think? Have you already set your resolutions?
Can you refine the resolution to set yourself up for success in 2019 by making it SMART?
Let me know how you do by commenting below or emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week's post was writtien by Premier Neuro Therapy co-owner, Zach Michael.
It’s the holiday season and one of the season’s traditional songs inspired this week’s post.
“Joy To The World”
But just what is “joy” and how can we bring it to the world? Is it just another word for happiness?
Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston explains the difference in her book “The Gifts of Imperfection.”
“People were quick to point out the difference between happiness and joy as the difference between a human emotion that’s connected to a circumstances and a spiritual way of engaging with the world that’s connected to practicing gratitude.”
In other words, happiness is something we experience when good things happen to us.
Joy is a state of being.
So how can we bring Joy To The World? It starts by experiencing the state of joy. When you experience joy, you can be the best version of yourself, and truly bring this state of being to the world.
Here’s 5 ways you can start cultivating a lifestyle of joy today
1. What are three things that made you happy today?
This is a question we ask every client before every session, and you’d be surprised at how hard it is to answer.
By dedicating a few minutes each day towards answering this question, you’ll start to reinforce pathways in the brain that seek gratitude. You’ll develop an attitude of gratitude, and once you do, you’ll be well on your way to a state of joy.
2. Stop comparing yourself to others
The social media world makes it way too easy to compare ourselves to others. But social media is only a reflection of the best 5% of everyone’s lives. Meanwhile, the other 95% of everyone’s life is just as full of ups, downs, twists, turns, and even mundaneness as yours.
The challenge here is to have confidence in your own efforts. Constantly reinforce the self-belief that you are doing the best you can. If you don’t believe you’re doing the best you can, be honest with yourself and start doing it!
3. Write a thank you note
When’s the last time you sat down to send a hand written thank you note? Writing a note will allow you to reflect on and re-experience a time when someone went out of their way to do something positive for your life.
When you reflect and relive these experiences, your brain will be constantly on the look out for more opportunities to be grateful.
Plus, you’ll also make the receiver’s day when they open the note!
4 Spend time with joyous people
As one of my favorite podcast hosts John Lee Dumas (and I’m sure many before him) says:
“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.”
Plain and simple – your attitude will be influenced by the people you spend with. If you want to develop a joyous state of being (and bring Joy To The World), make sure you’re spending time with joyous people.
On the flip side, evaluate the people you’re spending the most time with. Do they uplift you or bring you down?
5. Know who you are
At the end of the day, at the center of joy, is knowing who you are. What is your mission? What are you trying to achieve? What are your values? How are you impacting others?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to stay focused and feel less of an urge to compare yourself to others.
Always strive to be the highest version of yourself, and you will bring Joy To The World.
The exercises your physical therapist recommended can be a great help to shoulder pain. However, if the nervous system isn’t functioning correctly, there’s a possibility they might not be providing the benefit you were hoping for.
There’s 3 different reasons your nervous system could be interfering with your physical therapy exercises:
1. The muscles in the shoulder and arm are stuck in a shortened, protective state.
When an injury occurs or pain starts to develop, the nervous system immediately begins to place muscles around the shoulder in what we call a protective state.
In the protected state, the muscles are limited to a much smaller range of motion, making them feel tight (and sometimes sore).
You may notice as you go through your physical therapy exercises that your range of motion feels very limited, or that you’re unable to hold your shoulder in the position that’s recommended for the exercise.
These are both indications that the muscles around the shoulder are stuck in a shortened, protective state, preventing your physical therapy exercises from giving you the most benefit.
2. You’ve learned compensation patterns that keep the correct muscles from working during the exercises.
Think back to when you first injured your shoulder or started to experience pain. Did you immediately start using the affected arm a little differently?
Maybe you started rotating your body a little more when reaching for objects, or pulling your neck down to your shoulder when reaching overhead.
These adjustments to your normal movement patterns are what we call compensation patterns.
Because your body believes a certain movement may be painful, it learns different ways to accomplish the same tasks.
Let’s take one of the most classic physical therapy exercises: external rotation with a resistance band and see how compensations might affect the exercise (Video below).
This exercise is often prescribed to help strengthen the rotator cuff – however, it’s rarely performed properly.
The rotator cuff muscles are so weak that the body learns more efficient ways to perform the movement.
If the wrist bends, elbow comes away from the body, or shoulder sits forward during the exercise (all compensation patterns), you will not get the intended benefit of the exercise.
3. Your nervous system is sympathetic dominant.
The nervous system constantly shifts on a spectrum between the sympathetic and parasympathetic state.
The sympathetic state is more commonly known as our “fight or flight” response, which can be extremely beneficial in overcoming challenging situations.
The parasympathetic state is commonly known as our “rest and digest” state, which is where our body does its most efficient repair and healing.
When your nervous system fails to properly process stressors (whether they are related to work, relationships, exercise, nutrition, sleep, or a number of other factors), it can become what we call “sympathetic dominant.”
When the nervous system is sympathetic dominant, it spends less time in the parasympathetic state, meaning it will not heal optimally (no matter how often you do your physical therapy exercises).
So what does all this mean?
If you want your physical therapy exercises to be effective, I highly recommend qualified supervision while performing the movements. Your physical therapist should be able to instruct you on how to perform the movements properly AND common ways they are done improperly.
If you feel your forearm fatiguing during an exercise that’s supposed to be strengthening your shoulder, you’re probably doing it incorrectly, and need to communicate that with your therapist.
If you believe you might have trouble processing stressors, ask your physical therapist for techniques on how to do so or if they can connect you with another professional with expertise in this area.
At Premier, we use a number of techniques to overcome all 3 of these obstacle and optimize the recovery proceess.. Neuro Therapy helps to identify muscles that are in the protected state, fix compensation patterns, and re-train the nervous system to repair the shoulder efficiently.
Click the link below to apply for a chance to experience Neuro Therapy for free:
A member of our team will review your application and determine if you qualify for a free Neuro Therapy Discovery Session. If additional information is required, we will reach out within 1 buiness day after receving the application.
The word “stress” tends to carry a negative stigma. In fact, many of our clients’ have mentioned that their stress levels elevate just at the mention of the word.
Over the last couple of decades, our society has become pretty well educated on the long term effects of stress.
It’s been linked to negative health outcomes like:
Just to name a few.
Such education over the last decade has led to the aforementioned negative “stigma” around stress.
But what if that negative stigma is actually increasing your likelihood of poor health outcomes?
A study in 2012 challenged this point by asking the question “Does the perception that stress affects health matter?”
The study concluded:
“Individuals who perceived that stress affects their health and reported a large amount of stress had an increased risk of premature death.”
It goes on to estimate that, over the 8 years of the survey, 182,000, people died prematurely in the US due to their negative perception of stress.
So what can we do with this information?
The first thing we need to do is understand why the stress response exists in the body.
The stress response evolved as a way for humans to “rise to the occasion” for big moments.
In other words, stress exists to HELP us, NOT hurt us.
When we understand this, we can start to identify stress as a POSITIVE thing in our life.
When we identify stress as a positive thing, we can harness it’s power and use it to tackle the challenges in front of us. And when we tackle the challenges in front of us, we feel good about what we’ve accomplished. And when we feel good about what we’ve accomplished, the stress response is short lived.
The problem with stress exists when we perceive it as a negative. When we perceive stress as a negative, we do one of three things that encourage the stress response to become ongoing.
If you’re dealing with stress in any of these 3 ways, you need to find a way to view stress as a POSITIVE in your life, or it will have a negative affect on your health.
A few of the tools from previous posts (here and here) will help you to control your stress, tackle the challenges in front of you, and take the time to recognize your accomplishments.
I can’t tell you how many people say these words to our therapists “I wish I knew you existed before surgery.”
When I hear this, I’m moved in a couple of different ways.
On one hand, I’m happy to hear clients are feeling improvement after working with us.
On the other hand, I’m motivated to help educate people on the alternatives to surgery before they find out “the hard way” that surgery doesn’t always deliver the results they were hoping for.
This week, I’ve compiled a few stats specifically related to shoulder surgery, hoping to do my part in educating others about the process.
.1) The number of total shoulder replacements performed in the US increased from 18,000 in 2000 to more than 45,000 in 2013.
On one side, this could be looked at as good news, because it’s an indication that the surgery might be a more viable option than in the past. However, it’s also scary in some regards, as it shows how often people are neglecting proper shoulder care BEFORE it gets to the point of surgery.
When you consider that a total shoulder replacement requires the arm to be in a sling for 4-6 weeks before starting 6 months of intensive rehabilitation, it might sound like a little better idea to take care of your shoulder before it gets to the point of replacement.
2) Surgery for shoulder impingement is no more effective than a supervised exercise program.
One study took a look at patients who had undergone surgery for shoulder impingement 8-11 years after surgery. The study found that 50% of patients still had pain during activity and 32% still had pain at rest.
In another study, it was found that patients who underwent surgery for should impingement experienced the same results as those who went through a structured exercise program. Of course, the cost and effort involved with surgery (and the rehab process) far exceeds the costs of a structured exercise program.
3) Even with minor rotator cuff repairs, unsuccessful surgery occurs 1 out of 4 times.
And the numbers get worse, depending on the severity of the tear. For moderate tears, the rate of unsuccessful surgery increases to 50%. For severe tears, the rate of unsuccessful surgery increases to 60%.
Moral of the story here:
Surgery should be an absolute last resort. If you haven’t already seen a physical therapist (or tried Neuro Therapy), surgery shouldn’t even be on your radar. The success rates are just too low and recovery processes too long.
If you're new to Neuro Therapy, our staff specializes in helping people who suffer from chronic pain (i.e. pain that has lasted longer than you expected), delayed recovery from surgery, and repetitive injuries.
In many cases, people suffering with shoulder pain want to do everything possible before trying surgery. If that sounds like you, click here to apply for a FREE Neuro Therapy session (we call it a "Discovery" Session).
After applying for the session, our staff will review your application to make sure you are a quality candidate for our program.
If selected, we will reach out to schedule the session.
You will get the chance to meet our staff, ask any questions you have about Neuro Therapy, and go through a Neuro Therapy session from beginning to end.
The discovery session is set up to give you all the information you need to see if Neuro Therapy can be a solution for your shoulder pain.
Click here to apply:
About the Author
Evan Lewis is a nationwide leader in Neuro Therapy and founded the Baltimore area's only specialist Neuro Therapy facility.
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