by Justine Myers, Lic. Ac.
The new year is often a time of introspection and self-reflection. This process may bring up the desire to make changes or improvements in our lives. We think about habits we may want to change, aspects of our physical and/or mental health that we’d like to improve and goals for the new year and/or the future.
One thing that is great to remember is that even though the new year may be a motivating factor for change, we are all capable of making changes in our lives at any given moment. It doesn’t have to be the new year. It doesn’t have to be a Monday. It doesn’t have to be dictated by an event, deadline or date on the calendar. It’s great to realize that we ultimately have the ability to make conscious decisions about our actions at any time.
Speaking for myself, my biggest overarching goal for many years has been to achieve a sense of balance as well as I reasonably can, and this year is no different. For me this includes a balance of work, time with my family and friends, physical activity/exercise, rest and relaxation, getting to bed at a reasonable hour, outdoor time, the types and amounts of foods I eat, time spent reading/learning, time spent volunteering and giving of myself in various organizations, etc. to the best of my abilities. I have learned through experience not to over-commit myself and to set limits so that I don’t exhaust myself from overdoing it or stress myself out. I notice that I am sensitive to imbalances. As an acupuncturist, a small business owner and a mother of 2 young children I have a lot on my plate. Sometimes the to-do list is long or unexpected problems arise and I feel overwhelmed; it’s normal. We can’t control the unexpected problems that make our lives difficult. Fortunately when I do my best to do the things that help me achieve balance most days, I am better able to weather the challenging situations that come up from time to time.
For me, receiving an acupuncture treatment is an excellent way to feel more relaxed and more energized; essentially, more balanced. I use acupuncture in times when I need it (for example when I’m feeling stressed or anxious, experiencing insomnia, feeling exhausted and/or something hurts) and also as prevention/maintenance at times when I don’t necessarily feel like I need it at that moment, because I know it will help me continue to feel energetic and relaxed and to have good quality sleep. I use acupuncture as a tool in my toolbox of ways to maintain balance.
This year in addition to continuing to strive for balance my goals are to spend a little more time reading and learning, and less time on social media. In 2019 I didn’t start the year with any particular resolution or goal, but early in the year I decided I wanted to challenge myself by reading a variety of books about topics that I wanted to learn more about. That challenge was very rewarding to me and now I seem to have an unquenchable thirst to read many, many more books! Years ago (maybe 2010?) I set a goal to have more fun, and I had one of the best years of my life! Setting attainable goals is a great vessel for lasting change. Taking small actions leads to positive change in time, and it is interesting to see where our goals take us.
Whether you’re staying the course you’ve been on, are still thinking of ways you might like to change, or you’ve just enthusiastically embarked on attaining a goal this year, I hope you will find the journey fulfilling and experience a sense of balance.