Prepare for a New Year. How to set goals and achieve them in 2016!
What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. - Henry David Thoreau
-Noah Goldstein, L.Ac., Dipl. O.M.
We all have aspirations. For some, these dreams are like a quiet, gentle nudge; for others they are constant reminders at the forefront of our thought, driving every decision. Whether our dream is to create a warm home with a loving family, to build a business from the ground up, or to accomplish a challenging physical feat like running a marathon, preparation is imperative to accomplish our goals. I like to think of these deeper desires as an outgrowth of each person’s unique journey. Our world is woven together by each person’s contribution. My personal goal is to positively impact the lives of the people around me, through my work as an acupuncturist, in my role in my community, and with my family. With my patients we always set clear goals for what they want and help them find measurable results to help them get back to the life they want. Setting goals is pivotal in manifesting the reality we seek. I am always excited to hear what people want for themselves, and it is wonderful to be a part of their journey. Some of our clients are planning for triathlons or epic ski seasons; others seek reduction in pain, want to manage or overcome anxiety, or want to improve digestion. We are here to support all of them, and you. It is rewarding to see people get the results they seek and the freedom they want. The end of the year is a good time to reflect on where we are, imagine where we want to go, and set goals accordingly. We all need support, encouragement, and inspiration to follow through and achieve what we set out to do. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can help you achieve your goals by increasing energy, resolving stress, and encouraging focus and drive.
If you are already stretched thin from managing the day-to-day baseline activities such as getting your kids to school, cooking, cleaning the house, getting to work on time, and grocery shopping, it can be difficult to accomplish your long-term goals. TCM is a resourceful tool to overcome stress and transform your life. At the beginning of care, some patients will confide in us, their daily stresses and pressures. Some patients feel overwhelmed by their schedules, struggle, or feel paralyzed by pressure. Many of these patients come to treatment for a physical complaint, but notice through their treatments, they are managing stress better, and in general, feel more positive. In TCM, the liver is “like the general, courageous and smart.” A general is a good strategist who sees opportunity and possibility where others see obstacles. Stress arises when we feel stuck, when we do not know where to go or how to get to our destination. Some signs of stress are: when we hold our breath, sigh frequently, hold muscular tension in our bodies (often in our neck and shoulders), and get angry or frustrated easily. Acupuncturists call this “liver qi stagnation.” Movement and exercise are important components of a healthy lifestyle that can help move liver qi and reduce the associated symptoms. Acupuncture treatments allow the mind and body to relax, stress hormones such as cortisol to drop, and breathing to deepen. In deep relaxation, openness and creativity arise and your courageous general has the opportunity to evaluate and assess each situation, free of obstacles. A previously stressful situation is now an exciting chance to exercise creativity. A positive attitude and healthy perspective are essential for hitting targets we have set ourselves.
Have you ever noticed how hard it can be to have an intentional, focused conversation with a friend or loved one? The ability to stay focused and maintain resolve have become compromised in our culture by wildly distracting technological tools. Phones buzz in the middle of important conversations, e-mails and Facebook call to us while we are working, and at night the television invites us to relax without any communication with the person next to us. We are constantly bombarded with requests for our attention and energy. It is reasonable to devise methods to stay clear and focused. Ironically, sometimes as we push closer towards our goal, the drive to make it the last small stretch wanes because we run out of energy and we come up shy of the benchmark. How can we go all the way? In TCM, the kidneys “store the vitality and mobilize the body. They also aid the memory, willpower, and coordination” (Huang Di Nei Jing Ch. 8). We seek to get to the root of the situation, to address the constitutional health so you can stand tall, feel strong, and have the drive you need and deserve. Often the kidneys play a role. We start with non-judgemental evaluation of a patient to determine what their pattern is. It begins from the moment they walk through the door with posture, voices, facial color, clothing. How do you carry yourself? Are you slouching? Do you have pain, if so, where?? I am looking to understand all the ways we can strengthen each patient in addition to resolving the chief complaint. Whenever someone mentions a symptom that could be associated with kidneys, whether it is lower back or neck pain, fatigue, insomnia, hair loss, sexual dysfunction, low libido, or any of the others, we take note. We also think about the psychological impact of pain. It takes a certain amount of willpower just to make it through a day with pain. When we alleviate the pain, we increase the amount of drive available for other things. As a practitioner, it is amazing to watch people regain power in the their lives and accomplish their goals. Improving strength, drive, energy, and confidence plays a large part in feeling successful. Setting goals is crucial to achieve what we desire and ensures we offer our gifts to the world. Sing, code software, teach children, advise, knit, garden, write, operate, or parent. Whatever your gift, share it! Creating goals helps us stay on track and continuously find ways to create and give. When life presents us with obstacles and challenges, it is important to have emotional and physical supports in place. When in pain, we are quicker to snap, have interrupted sleep, and have restrictions in our social and work life; our energy wanes. Tools exist to renew and inspire us back to vitality. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a powerful medicine, rooted in spirit and grounded in science. We share our clients’ joy when they reach optimal health and accomplish their goals.
Most people have no idea how good their body is designed to feel. - Kevin Trudeau
Now is the ideal time to reflect on 2015 and think about what you want to create in the coming year. As a suggestion, create goals for several categories in your life; career, health, family, etc., and differentiate between short-term and long-term goals. Write down your goals; it frees your mind and creates space for possibility and direction. It gives you vision and inspiration for your life beyond your necessary daily tasks. Create action items and set a specific timeline.
Put them in your calendar with reminders, and find a friend or family member who can help keep you accountable. Finally, let us know and we can support you.
Happy New Year!
Wishing you the best in 2016!
Noah Goldstein, LAc., Dipl. O.M., and the staff at the Acupuncture Clinic of Boulder, Inc.
At our clinic, Noah Goldstein, Erin Pass and Cailey Halloran practice collaborative care, providing continuity of care within the practice and ensuring communication with your individual healthcare providers.