It is January again! The month we start thinking about how we will make the upcoming year better than the last. Will 2019 be a better year for you than 2018? Will your health increase, remain the same or decrease in the coming year?

What are your health goals for 2019? Maybe you want to start eating better or lose some weight; or maybe you are suffering with a chronic illness that you would like to improve. Maybe you just have this little voice that is telling you that you had better start taking better care of yourself…now.

January resolutions are only empty promises we make to ourselves unless we take action to put our plans into motion. Making the decision to become healthier is the first step in making change. The next step is to act toward your goal. We are all very good at thinking about what we want to change but many of us are not so good at following through with the steps required to make our goals a reality.

How to achieve your health goals in 2019?

#1 Decide exactly what you want to change about your health? Decide what changes you would like to see and write these down. You must be specific; not just “get healthy” because that is too vague. It should be specific. Good examples would be “lose 15 pounds” “get off my cholesterol medication” ,“have plenty of energy to get through the day” or “be able to sleep through the night.”

#2 Decide what would be the 1st STEP toward making your goal happen. This is where many people get overwhelmed, uncertain and quit. There are 2 reasons for this. One, they get overwhelmed by what might be required to achieve their goal. How long will it take? What changes will I have to make? Do I have the willpower and determination to make these changes? I’m too busy right now, I will get started on this next month. The list goes on and on. Don’t focus on the entire journey; this will only work against you. You will remain stuck at step #1 and may stay there until 2020 or longer! Not a good plan! The second reason people get stuck at step #1 is that they don’t know what the first step should be. If you don’t know how you start, then you should consult with someone who can help you. Maybe you have tried to make health changes on your own, but you did not get the results you were hoping for. Your first step would be to contact someone who has been trained to help you with the problems are dealing with. If you have been thinking about seeing a functional medicine doctor, then you could contact the office of a functional medicine doctor. If you need to reach out and get the help of a professional, then that would be your first action step. The bottom line is that you need to decide what your first action step will be; no matter how small this step might seem.  

#3 TODAY. Ok, this is when we start to feel the pressure and dread and want to put things off until tomorrow or this weekend or next month. You must DO SOMETHING TODAY; preferably right now. If you are going to join a gym, then do a quick search of the top gyms in your area and call one of them. If you are going to start going to bed earlier then start doing that tonight. If you are going to contact a functional medicine doctor’s office, then make an appointment today or at least do an online search for good doctors in your area. The whole point is to DO something. 

Once you have accomplished this first tiny step, then the next step will naturally present itself; then complete that step. Goals are achieved one step at a time; don’t’ get bogged down or overwhelmed by the goal or the process. Focus only on the step you are currently on.

Unfortunately, most people get stuck at step #1 above and never DO anything to move closer to achieving their health goals.

I hope 2019 is your best year yet! We are just starting 2019 and you have time to make significant changes in your health. Don’t let this year slip by, make it a turning point in your life. When 2020 rolls around you will be glad you did!

I wish you success on your quest for health!

If you would like more information about functional medicine and integrative medicine or Dr. Sexton go to www.napervilleintegratedwellness.com

Do your own research, inform yourself and ask lots of questions. When collecting information, you MUST consider the source. There is no shortage of false, misleading, outdated, profit-driven and utterly biased information in healthcare today; even from the most respected sources and organizations.

This approach to healthcare is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease. Why? The FDA enforces its position that these words can only be used with drugs. This approach does not use drugs.