No matter what you’re trying to accomplish, setting goals is one way to help you get there. Often, when people have no goals, they lack motivation, focus and direction. Setting goals also provides a benchmark to determine whether or not you are succeeding. But how do you set goals if you’ve never done so before? Or what if you have set goals in the past, but you didn’t achieve them? Do you just give up and tell yourself that goal setting doesn’t work? That’s one option, but let’s put things into perspective.
1. Set goals that motivate you. What does this really mean? The goals you set for yourself should be important to you, making you feel there is value in achieving those goals. Setting goals irrelevant to your life, will not inspire you to take action. To determine if a goal is important to you, write down “why” this goal matters.
2. Break the larger goals down into smaller, more specific goals. For instance, if your goal is to lose 60 pounds over the next year, break that down into smaller more achievable goals. Set a goal of losing five pounds per month for the next 12 months. This makes the larger goal more feasible and accessible.
3. Write down your goals. The physical act of writing down a goal makes it tangible and real. And writing those goals in ink versus pencil, makes it more permanent. Also, be conscious of the wording you use. In place of “I would like to” use “I will”. This gives your goals more power
4. Make an action plan to achieve your goals. In other words, don’t just focus on the end result. Spend time working on the steps it will take to get you to your ultimate goal.
5. Adjust your goals periodically. Goals may change as you age or as you start to change. Your goals should be adjusted accordingly, allowing for flexibility and growth.
6. Be specific. Even though your goals may change periodically, you still want to be as specific as possible when setting a goal. For example, don’t just set a goal of “getting fit”. Set a goal of running a 5K marathon by a certain date that will help you achieve the fit and healthy lifestyle you are ultimately striving for.
7. Don’t give up. Many times, when we are faced with failure, we tend to give up on our goals. But some of the most successful people in history failed numerous times before they got it right. And they all had to stop, adjust and reevaluate their goals as they went along. The difference between winning and losing is staying the course.
If there is something you want to achieve, set a goal to get there. And above all, never give up. We are capable of doing and achieving so many things in our lives. All it takes is determination and goals.
A study published by the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at the holistic effects of acupuncture treatments. The study looked at how acupuncture treatments were conducted and evaluated. One of the areas this study looked at is how acupuncture influences the function of the brain. By using functional MRI imaging, the researchers were able to see certain areas of the brain were stimulated during the acupuncture treatments. The anterior insula and striatum, areas involved in motivation processing, were very responsive to the treatments. The study confirmed acupuncture on specific points can activate motivation centers in the brain, thus leading to increased physical motivation in the participants.
Everybody experiences times where they have no motivation. Lack of motivation can be caused by many things: weather, depression, nutritional deficiencies, rejection and even not exercising.
Lacking motivation can be detrimental to your health. Even though everybody knows they should be exercising and eating right and getting proper sleep, many of us choose not to. This becomes a bad habit that can actually develop into depression, fatigue, insomnia and even nutritional deficiencies that can cause even worse physical problems. We tell ourselves we don’t have time or we have no motivation or willpower. These are just stories we tell ourselves. EVERYBODY has time to care for themselves. It’s just a choice we have to make.
Acupuncture can help put the pep back in your step when it comes to motivation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), lack of motivation is considered some sort of blockage along the energetic pathways that run throughout the body. Most commonly, this affects the gallbladder and liver pathways. Over time, this lack of motivation frequently develops into depression. When the body is depressed, nothing seems possible. But the fact of the matter is that, there are underlying causes to depression that begin with the lack of motivation.
The reason TCM works so well at addressing and correcting motivation problems is because it addresses the body holistically. When people go to their doctor and tell them that they have no motivation, they are frequently prescribed antidepressants. But the problem with antidepressants is they don’t address the underlying causes of the issue. TCM looks at everything: the body, the mind, the environment and the emotions. This allows for treatments to be customized to the needs of the patient instead of a one size fits all approach.
As mentioned, the liver and gallbladder pathways are most commonly associated with lack of motivation. When either or both of these pathways become blocked, motivation dissipates and people become depressed. One of the first things that happens is emotions become involved and send signals to the digestive tract. This is why many times, people who lack motivation or who have developed depression have no appetite. Energy comes from eating healthy foods. But when we have no appetite, we tend to crave things like sweets and carbohydrates because they give us the “emotional high” that temporarily sedates the depression and lack of motivation. But this quickly goes away and we end up right back where we started.
The gallbladder pathway is important when motivation is lost. The gallbladder pathway is associated with courage and decisiveness. Lack of motivation causes most people to not be decisive. The inability to decide or act or the lack of motivation to act is associated with a weakness of the gallbladder system. Regular acupuncture treatments can help with this issue, as well as moving energy along both the liver and gallbladder pathways, thus restoring balance to the body and increasing motivation.
Five Ways to Wake Up and Get Active
Everybody experiences times where they have no motivation. Lack of motivation can be caused by many things: the weather, depression, nutritional deficiencies, rejection and even not exercising. For many, this seems contradictory. If I have no motivation, how am I supposed to go exercise? Well, it all comes down to choices and doing what is best for your body.
Lacking motivation can be detrimental to your health. Even though everybody knows they should be exercising, eating right and getting proper sleep, many of us choose not to. This becomes a bad habit that can actually develop into depression, fatigue, insomnia and even nutritional deficiencies that cause worse physical problems. We tell ourselves we don’t have time or we have no motivation or willpower. These are just stories we tell ourselves. Everybody has time to care for themselves. It’s just a choice we have to make. So here are some ways to help us wake up, get motivated and get moving.
1. Acupuncture - Acupuncture can help put the pep in your step when it comes to motivation. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), lack of motivation is considered a sort of blockage along the energetic pathways that run throughout the body. Most commonly, this affects the gallbladder and liver pathways. Over time, this lack of motivation frequently develops into depression. When the body is depressed, nothing seems possible. But there are underlying causes to depression that begin with lack of motivation.
2. Feng Shui – This ancient art is used to energetically balance the home through the placement of the furnishings inside. The bedroom is particularly important because we spend so much time there. Feng Shui tells us your bed should be placed where it allows you to see the door without being in the direct path of the door opening. This allows for a sense of security, which can lead to more restful sleep.
3. Gratitude – Being thankful for everything you have in your life really does make a difference. Instead of seeing the day ahead of you as a burden and worrying about everything you have to do, be thankful you woke up again. This will shift how you look at things throughout the day and the rest of your life.
4. Exercise – Whether you’re a gym rat or not, exercise is vitally important. Going for a walk or a jog first thing in the morning can be refreshing and get the blood pumping. Studies show regular exercise in the morning can actually lead to more energy the next day.
5. Meditate/Pray – Meditation and prayer allows the body to relax and the mind to calm down. Using this tool shortly before going to bed can be very beneficial. And as we all know, when the mind is quiet, the body relaxes more and we get better, more restful sleep, which gives us more energy and motivation to tackle the next day.
Try incorporating one or all of these practices into your life and see how much it affects you. And remember, studies show it takes 21 to 30 days of doing something consistently for it to become a habit. Are you up for the challenge?
Acupuncture for Harnessing Willpower
Ever had one of those days or weeks where you just can’t pull yourself out of bed in the morning? Or perhaps you just can’t say “No!” to the dessert tray. Regardless of the activity, willpower is what keeps some people disciplined. But it doesn’t make you a bad person if you have dessert with every meal, buy more shoes than you really need or take longer to get going in the morning. It just means your willpower isn’t strong. And just like any other habit, that can be changed.
Willpower is like a muscle. It can be trained. Willpower also uses energy and is limited, just like muscles. Exerting self-control uses energy and over time, this energy can become depleted, making it easier to have the dessert, buy the shoes or sleep in past your alarm. So if you’re somebody who has difficulty with willpower, what can you do?
Believe it or not, regular acupuncture treatments can increase your willpower. Acupuncture is just one subset of an ancient medical system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). But it is by far, the most commonly known and used. In TCM, the word for will is zhi. In TCM, Zhi is associated with the kidneys. So if the energy of your kidneys is strong, the will is also strong, this is how acupuncture can help increase willpower. The needles used in acupuncture treatments actually stimulate the energy of the kidneys, thus increasing willpower.
There are two sides of the coin for every organ in TCM, the yin and the yang. With regards to the kidneys and willpower, the yin is the substance that provides the drive, while also accepting the circumstances we’re given. And the yang aspect of will power is our expression of ourselves in terms of goals, vision, ambition and aspiration. When both yin and yang are in balance, will power is strong. However, fear frequently gets in the way of this balance and tends to override our purpose and goals. Why? Because fear is the mind’s way of keeping us safe and protecting us from harm. But anybody who has ever overcome adversity, can tell you fear probably never entered their mind or they did it regardless. All because of the willpower to attain their goals.
The reason TCM works so well at addressing and correcting problems with willpower is because it addresses the body holistically. TCM looks at everything: the body, mind, environment and the emotions. This allows for treatments to be customized to the needs of the patient instead of a one size fits all approach. Customized treatments allow for better outcomes.