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  • Writer's pictureDr. Adrian Pujayana

Achieve By Planning...Not Luck.



You've heard it said in one form or another..."If you fail to plan, then plan to fail". Isn't this our experience with just about any area in our lives? You might be a person who has good fortune with good health, or get "lucky" when discovering an insight about how you can improve a health condition. But luck is temporary, inconsistent, and not what you would count on in the long-term objectives for your well being. In fact, you probably wouldn't want to rely on 'luck' when it comes to anything meaningful in your life, although I would agree you could be fortunate enough to be a recipient of a 'lucky break' at times.


Let's talk about objectives and successfully achieving them in regards to your well being though. Wellness is something most of us want for our health, but not something everyone plans for, or is willing to work for. It's more likely that many people want to live in a comfortable state...doing what they want, when they want. I don't blame them, we all want autonomy, but lifestyle actions lead to consequences, good or bad, and somewhere in-between. This article is a conversation for those who are interested in achieving wellness that is predictable, achieveable, and curated in the way they live their lives that should yield some successful achievement of a wellness goal...God willing.


SETTING SPECIFIC (NOT GENERIC) GOALS

Generic goals are ambiguous and leaves too many gaps in the planning process. For example, to say "I want to be healthier" is practically meaningless, since just about anything you do can be justified as 'healthier'. Let's say, you're at a McD and decide...I'm going to be healthier by not Super Sizing, but still have the regular Coke and fries which is still a 'healthier' alternative to the Super Size.


Instead of "I want to be healtier"...be more specific. "I want to eat out less", "Choose whole food meals than processed meals", "Stop sodas, shakes, and sugar", "Exercise 4x a week...instead of exercise 'more'". Goal setting is best when it's not in broad strokes, but targeted so your plan of action can be more deliberate and be aligned closer to the outcome you desire.


MAKE A PLAN IN ADVANCE

If you have a food or eating goal, you're likely best off by selecting a small set of places you can eat at during your work week. Plan your work day in advance...like when you plan on eating, and WHERE you will go. Select only 2 or 3 places that fit your desired goal, eliminate all other options. Stop asking what you feel like eating, instead ask what's best for your goal according to the menu.


If your goal involves getting out of a particular pain, it helps to assess the activities you do that provoke and produce dysfunction in the body part. That could mean planning to modify an activity for a period of time until the pain resolves, then transitioning back to the activity.


For example, getting out of back pain may mean avoiding rotational movements (if these movements provoke symptoms) like tennis or golf (Oh no!!). But that's what it takes. Meaningful goals require some form of sacrifice and discipline to achieve.


GETTING TO WORK

Where the rubber hits the road, getting to work is about productive decisions. All decisions have consequences, and making poor choices accumulates into destructive patterns that eat away at your gains. Getting to work is a conscious effort to make self corrections on a daily basis, and maintaining that course of action until you see your gains becoming real.


STICKING TO IT (THEN RE-ASSESS)

Consistent behavior has predictable outcome, but it does come with it's own price. Discipline has it's own burdens, and can be stressful to maintain over time. For instance, running 3 miles a day is a great goal and require discipline, but is burdensome (and a liability) when you run injured or sick.


Lack of discipline, on the other hand, is very lenient and care-free, but leads to rapid loss of gains. That's obvious isn't it? Live recklessly, end up a wreck!


Make your plan of action be set for a period of time...4 weeks, 3 months, 6 months...etc. Reassess the progress after the time frame, and determine if the outcome is congruent with the effort. Unless your goal is a race against time...like running a marathon at a particular date in the future...then you should make accomodations for pauses and breathing room in the goal setting process to reasses and change directions for a short period of time before resuming the actual plan.


REACHING YOUR GOAL

There's a satisfaction when reaching your goal, or arriving within it's zone. Remember that reaching goals is sometimes easier (or tolerable) when done together with others. So find others with a simialr mindset and committment level as yours. You may need to be in the company of those who share your values. Such people could be friends and professionals in the field of your targetted goal. Have coaches as well as cheerleaders that keep you in pursuit of your goals.


Some examples of goals...

Here are some specific goals when it comes to your health and wellness, some may resonate with you already:

  1. Have control over body pain

  2. Eliminate processed foods

  3. Control body inflammation

  4. Lose "___" pounds

  5. Gain "___" pounds

  6. Eliminate sugar sources

  7. Sleep "__" hours "__" days a week

  8. Participate in an activity (marathon, trip, vacation destination)

  9. Improve a posture condition

  10. Achieve flexibility in a body part

CONCLUSION

Reaching goals is a personal accomplishment, whether it is done as a group or on your own. Doing your part honorably and faithfully is an accomplishment you can be proud of. Remember that plans can change, and putting your goals and plans in writting is something that will help you keep your focus on the eventual outcome. Give yourself a specific time-frame to conduct the action plan before you re-assess the cost of achieving your goals. The cost is not always financial, but opportunity, emotional, and stress on your body. Make adjustments to your plan before resorting to an adjustment in your goal. It takes wisdom to make good goals, and even more wisdom to alter them.


All the best, I hope ALL your goals are achieved!

Dr. Adrian

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