New Year’s shouldn’t be a time to set lofty, unreachable resolutions. It should instead be a time of reflection. What more do you want out of life? How can you incorporate better habits and practices into your daily life? Where do you want to be at the end of 2020 and what do you need to start doing now to get there?

1. Create SMART goals

Breaking a habit is difficult. This is doubly important when that habit is something that makes us momentarily feel really good, such as smoking or eating unhealthy foods. For next year, we encourage you to think about the ways you already live your life and create goals that work with, rather than against, your current habits.

SMART goals are

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Assignable (or Attainable)
  • Realistic
  • Time-Based

To illustrate this: setting a goal to be in less pain in 2020 isn’t quite SMART. It doesn’t explain how you’ll do so, what success will look like, or how you’ll measure progress. A SMART goal may instead look like: try out one new complementary pain practice, such as meditation or yoga, every month and create programs for continuing those that helped reduce my pain.

2. Know that change doesn’t happen overnight 

The good news is that you can change your habits. Contrary to popular belief or what you might think, habits are not stagnant creatures we are doomed to carry around for the rest of our lives. But they are also not generally changed overnight.

The act of changing habits has many stages, and there are concrete ways to improve your chances of actually sticking with the changes you make. It’s not easy. It will take time. You will fail on your path to success. However, improving your overall health and reducing pain levels are important and worthwhile goals.

3. Incorporate more exercise and activity into your everyday life 

Starting a new weight-training program or fitness class routine is important; however, it’s also important just to get more activity into your everyday life.

You can easily incorporate activity into your work routine. Consider taking standing phone calls, walking meetings, chair yoga, to treadmill desks. All of the ideas can immediately and easily be incorporated into your routine, with little hassle. The end result is a more active and energetic workday!

One of the easiest ways to simply get moving more is to install a standing desk. An object at rest is more likely to stay at rest. A person who is already standing is more likely to walk around a bit on a call or take a quick stretch. Standing desks can be highly-designed, customizable desks or they can be created with $20 and a trip to Ikea.

Finally, one of the best ways to exercise is by simply walking more. We encourage all pain patients to find a local and supportive walking group. If one isn’t available in your area, make it a goal this year to start your own!

4. Be more mindful of your body

This year, make the pledge to learn more about your pain condition, treatments that could help, and general lifestyle tips for handling a new condition or injury if it occurs.

Every week on the blog, we discuss new information and research on a variety of chronic pain conditions and treatments. Subscribe to the blog to make sure you stay up-to-date on these important advancements in pain medicine.

Here's How You're Going To Achieve Your Resolutions This Year |

5. Find a resolution that works for you

At the turn of every new year, nearly half of all people in the U.S. make New Year’s resolutions, eagerly grasping the chance for self-improvement to make the coming 12 months the best yet.

Take a look at the top ten New Year’s resolutions made by hopeful folks the world over. There’s something to be said for the most popular ones, as they represent desires and dreams many of us have.

1. Lose weight

Those extra pounds creep on over the years, don’t they? Especially after all the delicious indulgences over holiday festivities, losing weight may seem a winning proposition.

2. Quit smoking

No doubt about it, inhaling cigarette smoke kills. Shedding this lethal habit ranks among the top New Year’s resolutions, even if many fail. 60% of smokers require multiple attempts before finally abandoning the habit, according to the American Lung Association (ALA). If you’re trying to quit, this could be the year.

3. Pay down debt

Securing your financial future by paying down your credit card bills or loans can reduce stress and improve your chances for a comfortable retirement. Plus, think about all that interest you’ll save.

4. Improve work and life balance

Work easily overtakes time for family, hobbies, and even working out if you’re not careful. Whether imposing boundaries makes you fear losing your job or you’re just a workaholic, making sure you take enough time off saves your sanity and improves your relationships.

5. Travel

We’re alive for only a blip of time on this big, varied, and wonderful planet of ours. All too often, our daily routines absorb us and we forget to carve out time and money for memorable experiences like traveling.

6. Develop a new skill

Always wanted to learn the guitar? Spanish? If you’re targeting the New Year as a good time to learn a new talent, you’re not alone.

7. Make a career change

The start of a new year provides a poignant reminder of passing time. That jolt can intensify desires to pursue long-held, latent ambitions or apply for that dream job.

8. Read more

If Anna Karenina has been collecting dust on your shelf just waiting for you to turn her pages, this year might finally be the one. And hey, if you’re stuck inside while snow covers the ground, you might as well take advantage and check this New Year’s resolution off your list.

9. Volunteer

The holidays tend to induce warm, fuzzy feelings for one’s compatriots, especially those less privileged. Deciding to spread that compassion year round and volunteer is another top New Year’s resolution.

10. Curb social media time

With new social media networks constantly coming out, just begging for our attention, it’s easy to blow hours skimming Facebook feeds and then wonder where the time went. Taking time from social networks and spending it on some of those other life goals rounds out this list of the top 10 New Year’s resolutions.

What New Year’s resolutions are you going to make this year? If you’re interested in learning more about how a pain specialist can help you reduce your pain this year, you can find a pain doctor in your area by clicking the button below or looking for one in your area by using the tips here:

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