3 Tips to Make your Resolutions Succeed
The New Year usually sets off a flurry of resolutions and self-promises to make this year THE year to get healthy, lose weight and start exercising. Some of you are starting 2017 simply wanting to lose that last ten pounds, while others are struggling get control of complex and chronic health challenges, like unresolved thyroid problems, Type 2 Diabetes and more. But before you get too far down whatever bunny trail you decided to follow this year, let me offer some advice after having spent the last 20 years coaching and educating people to their health and wellness goals.
FAILING TO PLAN MEANS PLANNING TO FAIL
That’s an old saying that still has a lot of truth, but nowadays, with so many different voices on the internet and in the latest fad book, we now have to ask the question, “which plan is the best FOR ME? And is it enough to have just a plan?”
The truth is that while having a plan is a great starting point, a plan is just a set of ideas and principles. A set of “plans” you use to build your home is not the home itself. So plans need to be backed up by a program that puts the ideas contained in the plan, into action. Moreover, having a plan and a program is not enough. There has to be a process, which intelligently applies the program, which is based on the plan, over time
Let me share with you the Plan, Program and Process that I use in my YOUniq Wellness approach to both simple and complex wellness challenges.
Plans to recover your wellness run the gamut from self-help to seeking-help.
On the self-help side, perhaps your plan this year is to continue scanning the internet and the absolute glut of blogs out there (some of which are written by unqualified people who have zero background in healthcare) hoping to cobble together enough unrelated tips and tricks in the barren hopes that you discover the secret combination of little things to do that will amount to major changes in your goals. Please don’t.
There are only a small percentage of people with real health problems that can get away with this and actually see any results.
Maybe your self-help plan is to be the first one to read the NEXT bestselling health book (adding it to your growing library). You know what I’m talking about – one of those books that are mostly patient stories about how miserable they were until they met Dr So-and-So, but are conspicuously short of a practical way to apply whatever snippets of advice are offered?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with hearing someone’s else’s story – you will find testimonials on my website just like anyone else’s. But while one the the stories in these types of books might sound like yours there is no guarantee that what worked for them will work for you. So again you end with some additional information and advice that may or may not be applicable to you, and a complete lack of a framework to apply that information.
The reality is that I might have ten clients with the same story and/or diagnosis, but what we end up doing with them is different for everyone. Why? Because we are all YOUniq – and whatever you choose to do for your health and wellness should reflect that Youniq-ness.
That’s why my YOUniq Wellness Programs are designed for individuals, not symptoms or conditions, and are not a one-size-fits-all approach. Treatment for health and wellness issues should never be based on a diagnosis, or set of symptoms, but the YOUniq biochemistry and metabolic state of the person!
So if you’re starting to get the idea that with complex and chronic conditions that self-help typically fails somewhere along the way, for any number of reasons, the second option is to seek help. And there are many practitioners out there with all kinds of different approaches. Want a medication? You can get it. Want someone to prescribe a nutrient or herb? You can get it. Want someone to place hot stones on your Chakras? You can do that too.
But seeking help is also not without its potential drawbacks. The field of natural medicine has exploded in the last 5-7 years, with more and more doctors trying to get their foot in door. I know this because I am one of the few doctors who travel the country teaching natural medicine to other doctors. Sadly, at least half of the attendees in any given seminar I teach are just adding nutritional medicine to an already existing, busy practice where they spend most of their time doing other things. And what these practitioners end up doing is adoption that one-size-fits-all approach where they have a program that treats everyone the same. And sometimes they charge an arm and a leg because most healthcare consumers can’t tell who is who, and how qualified they are.
And it’s not just “doctors”. There are self-proclaimed experts on the internet with slick looking websites, that write good blog articles, quote medical research and actually charge people for consultation. Many of these people do this because they had a health problem that they overcame a certain way, and now they’re online practicing nutritional medicine without training, or licensing.
Then there is the modern “health coach”. A designation you can get from taking a short online course, that somehow convinces these people that they have the knowledge and experience to help people with really serious problems.
Honestly, the internet is like the Wild West – there is no law and there are no rules.
Understand that whenever you seek help from any given practitioner, you automatically buy into whatever THEIR plan is. Some practitioners are awesome. Others…not so much. But how do you tell the difference from a website? And how can you tell when someone is just “shooting from the hip”, versus having a plan that is thought out ahead of time? Some practitioners use decision making methods that are little better than rolling the dice, and they’re gambling with your health, not their own.
What’s critical is that whether you do self-help, or seek help from another, make sure you understand the plan. What’s the focus? How many tests do we run? And why? Can we make any reasonable assumptions, or do we need to drive everything off objective diagnostic testing? How long will things take? And most importantly, what principles do you use to make these decisions.
That statement is perhaps the most important. Because any plan, and program, is based on a certain set of assumptions and principles, which can be good, or bad.
THE BAD: What worked for me (or the last guy) will work for you too
THE GOOD: You are YOUniq – let’s treat you that way
THE BAD: All health problems are caused by Candida (or heavy metals, or pesticides, or fill-in-the-blank)
THE GOOD: In complex situations there are usually many variables involved. Let’s figure out what your YOUniq set of challenges are and not make any assumptions – test, don’t guess
THE BAD: We need a protocol for every single complaint you have
THE GOOD: Let’s look for the core set of inter-related problems and work on them together
Underlying my YOUniq Wellness approach is the idea that when you have more than one complaint, and especially when you have multiple symptoms, in multiple systems, that these are all related.
The entirety of human functions are controlled by the interactions of your brain, your hormones and your immune system. What medical science calls the Neuro-Endocrine-Immune Supersystem. This is your Master Control System, and when it malfunctions, all systems are affected to one degree or another.
So ideally, if you are seeking-help, you should be looking for someone who has some real experience in nutritional medicine, who is able to articulate to you their Plan (how they see and approach complex health problems), who understands the interactions of the Supersystem, who sees you as YOUniq and is willing to treat you that way, and who understands how to put a lot of detailed information into a Program that makes sense of the details.
A wellness program is simply a framework that let’s you manage the process of discovering and dealing with the causes of health issues.
If you are a self-helper, your program might be, “Let’s try this and see if it works”, and when something doesn’t its back to the drawing board (health food store) to try something different.
Unfortunately, many practitioners are doing the same thing. They have a poorly formed plan, a poor grasp of human function and the Supersystem, and literally grope their way from visit to visit, trying different things until they find something that works.
A large percentage of the clients I work with have been there and done that, and express to me that part of what they are looking for is structure and planning. They intuitively know that part of their success formula comes from having a structured approach.
But the inherent danger for any practitioner in setting up a program is the temptation to make it easier for them! To be honest, it takes a lot more work to walk someone through a customized program than it does a generic program that’s the same for everyone. So the temptation, for the practitioner, is to use a one-size-fits-all approach because it is easier to administer, and easier from a “business” standpoint. Unfortunately, it places the practitioners needs above the needs of the client.
Most of the clients I work with nowadays have read, and tried to apply, at least a couple of health-related books written by some expert…and they get completely overwhelmed. Most of these books contain inspiring stories of hope for recovery, some great information, but there is hardly ever a programmed way to apply it all. And even if one was offered it would be generic and not YOUniq.
People usually don’t know what tests they need, how to interpret the data, where to start first, and what to do second, third, fourth etc when there is more than one thing to be handled. And that’s okay. Nobody can know it all and it’s okay to ask for help when your self-help efforts have proven less than fruitful.
The final element has to do with the process of working through a well structured program.
One you have a solid plan and have outlined a program to work through your challenges, the next element of success is the process of working through it week to week and month to month.
Some plans are so rigid and pre-structured that there is no wiggle room. And while there is value in a program that says do A-B-C in that order, you run the risk of getting stuck when instead of A-B-C you should to C-A-B.
The YOUniq Wellness approach has a built in flexibility that says that any decision we make in what to do, and when and how to do it, is all subject to the feedback from your body. I will tell you that I am not smart enough to figure out absolutely every small detail ahead of time (left my crystal ball at home) but I AM smart enough to listen!
Over the last ten years I have taught other doctors many wellness principles, but based on their feedback this is one of the most valuable ones:
No one’s body is under any obligation to behave exactly the way that medical textbooks or research articles or bloggers suggest. People’s bodies have a mind of their own and will do what they want. It is your job to make a recommendation, help them apply it and listen for the response. Be flexible and willing to change your recommendations based on your client’s feedback. This is a partnership, not a dictatorship
I wish more doctors had that approach.
YOUNIQ WELLNESS PROGRAM OPTIONS
What I have realized over the last two decades in this complex world is the need to have both options for my clients – a fully customized approach for those who need it, as well as a less customized, more “programmed” approach that is still high quality.
My Foundations Program covers the fundamentals that need to be addressed in all cases (blood labs, saliva/hormones and stool testing) and is great for those who have fewer problems or want to make a smaller investment in their health. It is shorter than my Truly YOUniq fully customized programs, but brings people through the fundamentals that we see we need to cover with all clients. In creating this program I asked my self one question: “What do I end up doing 80% of the time with all of my clients?”
While the Foundations Program is great in many cases, sometimes people need something more, hence the need for a Truly YOUniq Program. This approach is a highly individualized program that let’s us tailor things for individuals to whatever degree is needed. Some people have more complex and chronic conditions and need more testing, and more time to get things done.
Both programs are built around a system of education that teaches people how to take care of themselves in the long run.
WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU IN 2017?
If you’re at the end of your self-help rope and need someone to guide you through the process of taking back control of your health and wellness, let us now. We do in-office and phone consultations across the country (and the world) and can help you decided if the Foundations Program is enough, or if you need a Truly YOUniq approach. Either way we are here to help you make 2017 THE year you get back on track.
You can use the contact form below, or call us at 813-340-4588, we would love to help.