Importance of a routine

Ever wonder why people get up at 5 am when work does not start until 9 am? How does getting a full day of work in before lunch sound? Is your morning relaxed and the same every day? Or do you run around like a crazy person in the morning? What do all the most successful people have in common?

The most successful people have a routine that becomes second nature to them. Now I get it we are not all CEOs of major corporations but we all have something to accomplish in our day. Success does not have to be about money.  Even if you are a stay at home mom, you need to schedule some things or they will never get done. Come on, you know you schedule nap time and are a stickler on it for a reason. 

Routines can be good or bad. I won’t list all the bad but a bowl of ice cream every night before bed is a routine. Yes the flavor might change but it is still the same treat every night. That’s part of your nightly routine.

However, having a good routine is so important because it saves time, makes you more proficient at something, reduces time planning, instills good habits, reduces stress and helps you achieve goals. Creating a routine can help you avoid making bad choices. If you plan out your meals for the week before you hit the grocery store, you are less likely to pick up the pizza and ice cream. When you schedule going to the gym in the morning, you are less likely to skip it because you are too tired later in the day. 

Making all the small decisions in the morning takes a lot of your morning energy. A majority of people are the most productive 1-2 hours after they wake up. If we are using all our energy on deciding what to eat and what to wear then we have taken away our chance for more creative thinking. This is why a night routine is just as important as a morning routine. Packing lunches, planning out breakfast, choosing outfits and planning out the daily schedule the night before saves time in the morning and helps calm the chaos. If you have kids, you know it is hard enough getting them out of bed in the morning. 

A routine can also keep you sane! For those of us Type A personalities, a routine helps minimize chaos and keeps everyone on the same page. There is no guessing if the routine is the same every day or every week. A family routine makes the entire family thrive. 

If you made a New Year’s resolution, a routine is also the best way for you to cut a bad habit. Let’s go back to that ice cream. Suppose you have now changed your routine to an apple with peanut butter instead. Still having a snack but it is a much healthier choice. Also if your resolution includes losing weight, then maybe your new routine includes the gym at 6am every day or intermittent fasting. You most likely already have a routine but maybe it just needs a few minor tweaks to make you the best you.  

Look I am not saying just because you came up with a new routine it will be easy to stick to but I promise it will be worth it when you reach your goals. The best way to stick to it is to write it down and plan at the beginning of the week. Sunday afternoon is a great time to plan the week ahead. Block time out for specific things each day, such as eating, exercise, sleep (yes schedule that in), devotional, work, time with kids, time with spouse and anything productive you want to add.

Do you have a routine? What are you going to add to your routine?

Everyone has the same amount of time in a day…..use it wisely.

Start the Year off Right

It is that time of year again. Time to make your New Year’s resolutions. Let’s look at the definition of resolution because while I don’t like some meanings there are some that are truly perfect for the purpose of setting resolutions.

First, resolution means the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones. That definition is beautiful if you truly make a strong resolution for the beginning of the year. Any good resolution that you are going to stick to must come with an ultimate, BIG goal and then be broken down into baby steps or short term, small goals to reach along the journey. 

Second definition and my favorite: the point in a story when the main problem is worked out or resolved. You write your own story! You get to decide how it goes. Yes I realize that we make plans and God redirects them sometimes but you still need to make goals. You get to decide how you react to the things in life that get thrown your way. My favorite part in any movie is when the main character makes a decision about their next steps after they have spent the whole movie going back and forth on what is truly important to them. There is always a turning point. The beginning of the year is the perfect time to reset or make a turning point.

Let’s get one thing straight…I have been horrible with resolutions in the past. I was so focused on the big picture that I lost patience and stopped the journey altogether. I hated the process. It wasn’t until I switched my mindset that things started happening for me. 

Once I changed my mindset to “this is a JOURNEY” then I started to enjoy the process. You set an end goal but if you reach that early are you going to be done? Or if you don’t reach it, will you give up? I will never be satisfied with where I am because I believe we can all improve and no one is perfect. I still struggle some days. The journey is not easy but it is worth it. If you have an off day don’t let it derail the whole vision. Peaks and valleys are all a part of the journey. If you don’t reach the goal, it is not a failure. You will grow through the process and that is a victory all its own!

Alright let’s get to it. The NUMBER ONE goal every year is losing weight. I have been there many years of my life and I have failed many years of my life. Here is why: losing weight was NOT A BIG ENOUGH GOAL for me or enough motivation. There was a shift in the process when I realized what losing that weight meant to me. It means better health, less chance of disease and longer life. More importantly it means being able to sit on the floor to play with my kids, chase the kids around the yard, watch them play sports when they are older, watch them get married, watch them have kids and my ultimate goal is to be the couple at our grandchildren’s weddings that have been together the longest. Those are the things that motivate me. When setting a goal or resolution, you need to think about your WHY. This will be the biggest motivation for you to accomplish this goal and the thing that will keep you achieving throughout the year.

Let’s talk about actually setting your resolutions. 

  • Make a big picture goal. Where do you want to be at the end of the year? What is the one thing that if you accomplish, you will have the best year ever? Can you measure your progress? Talk with God and see what vision he has placed on your heart.
  • Set goals for each quarter. What can I do this first quarter to take a step towards the big picture goal? You probably will set the first quarter goal at the beginning and then have to do this again every 3 months once you have accomplished this stair-step goal. This has to be something measurable and time sensitive, such as losing 5 pounds by the end of the month.  
  • 3 Actions to accomplish the quarter goal. What habit can I implement to accomplish the goal? What have I been doing that needs to change? Is there some affirmation I need to tell myself daily? Examples: run 1 mile everyday, drink half my body weight in ounces, get 8 hours of sleep every night, eat 1 more serving of vegetables a day or eliminate sugar from diet. 
  • Put your goals in a spot you see everyday. The best place to set your goals is your bathroom mirror where you get ready every day. Seeing the goal constantly reminds you what you are working towards. One time a day is not enough for you to see it. So other good places are at your desk at work or on the dashboard in the car. 
  • Track your progress. Keep a daily log of how you did on your 3 action steps. Who doesn’t love the kids sticker chart….make yourself one. Or write it down in your planner or your health journal.
  • Get an accountability partner. Get your spouse on board with your goal. Find a friend with a similar goal. Reach out to someone that is where you want to be so they can help give you tips along the way. Reach out to a professional if it is physically something you can’t do on your own. Goals are easier to achieve when someone else knows about them. 

Look I realize that some goals can not be accomplished in a year but if it is a 5 year goal then you do have to break it down into smaller chunks. What is attainable in 1 year? 

If you need help setting goals or figuring out your action steps to get where you want to be, please reach out.

Dr. Pam Voss

Move Mountains Chiropractic

Healthy Holiday in the Midst of a Crazy Year

Let’s be honest this has been the craziest year of your life! Whether you were locked up in your house, working crazy hours or made a huge life change, something in your life was not “normal”. You know you miss the smiling face across the store or the grumpy old man trucking through the grocery aisles. All of that has been blocked by a piece of cloth over our faces. And for all you huggers (me included) out there that haven’t given people a hug in months due to distancing standards there is hope out there. Maybe you started a brand new business in the middle of the pandemic because you realized you weren’t happy or that your life had more purpose. I am right there with you.

I am not here to tell you my feelings on the world right now but believe that there are things you can do to keep yourself healthy physically and mentally. This holiday season is also not going to be what it normally would be. But I don’t think restrictions and fear should stop us from living life. I believe that it should make us pivot. I want to give you some tips for living healthy and whole this holiday season.

1) Video calls -  I know that being on a video call is not the same as being physically in the same room with someone but it can give you an opportunity to connect with your people. My extended family lives in all different states and we usually all travel back to Pennsylvania to be with our parents and grandma during Christmas. But this year, we are doing Zoom calls, which is usually insane when we all try to get on together but it gives my grandma a chance to see what her great-grandchildren got for Christmas. It creates some really great memories and the social interaction will increase your serotonin levels (make you happy).

2) Create a new tradition - Try something new this holiday season. My 3 year old loves to help me in the kitchen so this year we will be baking a cake to celebrate the birth of Jesus (the reason for this season). Maybe go for a family hike since you know you won’t be running around from house to house this year. Or play board games as a family. Or sit by the fire and talk about what you are truly thankful for this year.

3) Practice gratitude - Being thankful has been proven to be good for emotional well-being and reduction in the body's fight-or-flight mode. The holidays are stressful for a multitude of reasons. Anything that you can do to minimize that stress is worth it. Being grateful has also been shown to increase one’s self-control, ultimately helping reduce binge buying, binge eating, drinking, and smoking (all things associated with holidays).

4) Limit sugar - Sugar has so many negative effects on our body including decreasing your immune system. Look I get how hard it is to cut sugar out of your is an addiction. I came from a family that did Sunday dinner every week at my grandma’s and there were cookies, cake, or pies every week. There are so many ways to modify those family recipes to make them healthy. Just reach out to me and we can work on those modifications.

5) Drink water - More water will boost your energy, curb your appetite, and allow your body to better digest all the food we eat during the holidays.

6) Move your body - Moving your body for 30 minutes a day boosts your metabolism and energy levels, cuts cravings (cough sugar cough), and boosts your immune system. If you want an even bigger boost get outside to get some fresh air.

7) Get your vitamins - Eat whole food and not processed food. During the winter months, you should be more focused on eating squashes, soups, and warm foods. Make sure to include spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, cloves, garlic, cayenne, and mustard. Bone broth is my favorite thing to increase in the winter months to boost my immune system due to all its rich nutrients. During the winter months, it is hard to get enough Vitamin D due to decreased sun exposure so a supplementation becomes essential.

8) Visit your chiropractor - When your sympathetic nervous system is ramped up due to misalignment of your vertebrae, the compression on your nervous system slows down your immune response. The chiropractic adjustment removes the misalignment of the spine to allow your nervous system to properly function to allow the body to better adapt to the environment.

This is not an all-inclusive list of things to keep you healthy but these are things to help kick start you into a healthier season. These two weeks are the best time to set yourself up to have a great start to a new year.

Remember 2020 was crazy but it was also the best year. It made us all refocus on what is truly important to us and for some, it even got rid of some fear that was holding them back.

God bless and Merry Christmas.